I’ve been meaning to write and publish blog #4 of this series for a while but a poorly toddler and husband who has been away meant I’ve had to put it off. Although it’s remained on my to-do list, so it was always going to get done eventually.
On the topic of “to-do lists”, I want to talk about the benefits of writing things down. From daily to-do lists, to writing down plans for a long term goal. From meal planning to workout planning. From shopping lists to writing blogs. Writing things down helps me tremendously to stay focused and productive.
Each day I write a new To-Do list, it can be for small things like finally cleaning the tumble dryer filter, or getting round to texting that friend who I haven’t heard from in a while; or it can be to do my workout, go for a walk or write a blog. Whatever it is, I am much more likely to do it if it is written down and I can tick it off as I go. Having something visual to look at also helps me to plan my time and give me the best chance of getting everything done. If something remains on my list at the end of the day, then I put it at the top of tomorrow’s To-Do list.
I have a number of projects that I am currently working on; building a website, blogging, running a Facebook page and organising a weekly fitness class. When I get ideas for any of these projects, I write them down. Either on my phone or in a notebook, I just make sure that I write down ideas as they come in to my head because if I don’t then 2 minutes later I will have completely forgotten it.
I also write down things that I want to improve on, so that I can record my performance and ensure that I am progressing. For example, I plan my workouts before I do them. I know what exercises I will do and what weights, reps and sets I am aiming for. I then record them so that I can aim to improve at the next training session (progressive overload as some of you may know it as).
If you are wanting to lose weight then writing things down in the form of food diaries is a great way of seeing where you need to make changes. Also recording your weight and taking weekly averages is a good way of making sure you are getting closer to your goal.
If you don’t have a plan, you don’t know how you will reach your destination.
A study of Harvard students recorded those who had goals and who write them down, out of those interviewed only 3% wrote down their goals. After 10 years the same group were interviewed again and it was found that the same 3% were earning higher than the other 97% of their class combined.
So all of the above are examples of how writing things down can help you to be more productive and to progress. But writing things down has helped me at a more deeper level. This blog for example has given me an avenue to express myself, to share experiences and to unload some of my thoughts. It also gives me something to look back on as I can read old blog posts and see what mindset I was in and what was going on in my life.
Sharing stories and experiences is an extremely powerful thing. I have found this to be especially true when writing about experiences of parenthood. I myself struggled in the beginning and I know others who did too, and I think we all agree that being open and honest about our experiences (if you feel that you can share) can give comfort to others, to give them hope and to know that there are other people out there who have or who are experiencing the same things.
In my opinion, writing things down, either on a keyboard, on your phone or with pen and paper, is an extremely important and powerful thing for both the writer and the reader.