There’s this funny meme floating around the internet that goes like this – “My bed is a magical place where I suddenly remember everything I was supposed to do.” As you can guess, this little meme is pretty popular – probably because nearly every human alive can relate to it! We’ve all been there, when all we want is to get some shut-eye, but our brains are buzzing with thoughts – of to-do lists, past regrets, uncertain futures and unfinished projects. Rather than finding solutions, this ill-timed over activity of the brain ends up robbing us of a good night’s sleep and increasing our anxiety levels.
This becomes the perfect recipe for another unproductive day full of bad decisions, temporary solutions and strained relations. A day like this results in one more night of ‘brain-buzz’ and less sleep. But how does one get out of this vicious cycle?
The answer is in this simple phrase – Writing things down.
How Writing Things down Can Change your Life
This is how it works – get a blank sheet of paper and a pen (or a lovely little notebook – more later), and just write everything down. Everything from things you need to do, things that are bothering you, long term plans, relationship troubles – let everything pour out of your head and onto that sheet of paper. This process is a mind dump, also called a Mind Sweep or Mental Gathering by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. When you’re done with this task, you are guaranteed to feel lighter than ever!
The rationale behind this is the idea that your brain’s job is to think, not to store. You need that valuable RAM in your brain to find solutions and create ideas – not as a dustbin for every random thought.
Here is a closer look at how writing things down can change your life.
1. Instantly Clears your Head
Just putting everything down in a single place can be incredibly therapeutic, especially if you tend to feel overwhelmed all the time. Even though you haven’t really taken care of everything you’ve written about, knowing that it’s all in one place makes you feel like you’ve made a start.
2. Puts things in Perspective
When you write everything down, you might start to see things more objectively than when they’re all swimming inside your head. Random, discrete parts begin to come together and start to make sense.
3. Triggers Creativity
When you’ve put it all down on paper, you’ll feel a lightened feeling in your head, an unburdening of sorts. You’ll now be in a much better place to make decisions, solve problems and generally get more done.
4. Captures Information
As you begin to ‘unload’ your head, things you’d forgotten or overlooked begin to come back. Light bulbs keep going off in your head, and you wonder how you even forgot all that. Well, that’s the magic of writing things down!
5. Gives structure to dreams and goals
When you write down some of your deep desires or long cherished dreams, they tend to seem more real. As you elaborate a little more by writing down what you’ll need to accomplish them, you can see an action plan beginning to form, that can turn your dreams into reality.
Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon
Writing things down can be an eye opener in many aspects, but for this process to yield truly life-changing results, you need to make it a regular habit. There are many ways to do this, and the internet is literally swimming with ideas! You can try a daily planner, a bullet journal or a plain old personal diary. You can go high tech with apps or you can do it the old fashioned way. Choose whatever suits you, although there is something to be said about actually putting pen to paper. According to experts, writing by hand stimulates certain cognitive processes that may encourage better creativity and problem solving skills.
So the next time you find yourself spinning out of control with a million things running around in your head, you know what to do! Just pick up that pen and paper and hammer it out!
[box] Take a look at these lovely little notebooks from Rangroute. You can win one if you enter the Giveaway below. To find our more about their products please visit Rangroute on Facebook and on Twitter.[/box]
This is not a sponsored post – just sharing the loveliness! The prizes are on me.
This giveaway is open only to readers in India.
I can’t agree more! This is one ‘ritual’ that I follow daily. I write a to-do list every morning, as soon as I get up. As the day progresses, I keep ticking them off. I also noticed that writing the ideas down helps in blogging too. Keeps me organized and oh, now I do not forget them 🙂
Love Rangroute journals! Their products are super-cute and I would definitely love to win one of these. Which one? The kettle-one? Or the second? What about the coat ones? Phew! 😛
Completely agree, Corinne. Writing down helps in clearing those cluttered thoughts zooming inside the head and will give a new perspective. I write daily, pen to paper. My favorite activity. Those are some lovely journals. Would love to win one of them . 🙂
I completely agree. I have also started writing from couple of months and now my dreams seem to be more real and achievable. There is a tremendous difference in my way of thinking. I have turned out to be more optimistic and practical.
But I never thought of so many advantages before. Would surely write with more love from now on 🙂
Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)
My first writing memory is trying to create a flip book (you flip a book with drawings with your thumb and the drawings seem to move) with a friend who was great at drawing. She drew. I wrote the story, whatever it was. It is a hazy memory. I may have been about 7.
So true, since I started journaling I have been more motivated and more productive!
You’re so right, Corinne, Writing things down helps you to clear your mind so you can think better. You’re no longer trying to remember all the things you have to do. Thank you for a good post.
I agree upon this. When I start writing some points for my blog I have less in my mind. And gradually the creativity starts increasing and there’s a lot of ideas on the paper.
Lovely. Exactly my thoughts
Absolutely correct!! I started writing when in school. Initially just the routine, what I followed and what is to be done more. Even now I note down my thoughts. It is easier for my own self to understand my thoughts when written. Difference is I do that on mobile nowadays. Those beautiful journals are real inspiration to use pen and paper. Hope I get one.
I absolutely agree! I find writing is a great release for me plus it keeps my mind in tack. As a child, I would write plays that would never be acted out. When my mom passed at 11, I wrote about my grief. With today’s technology, it’s easy to blog things out but I still prefer the old school way of good old pen and paper.
Ha ha! I loved whe you said, we need to think using our brains and not use it as a RAM. Many times I write but I also rely a lot on my memory. Which so far has helped but I know not always 😉
Love those notebooks. Who wouldn’t love to have one? 🙂
I am a diary person and I love writing things down but I don’t know why something hesistates me now a days to write my personal things so I create a story in other’s name and then pen down my thoughts …
I love the idea of unloading thoughts of brain on a blank sheet of paper.
We all need to do this, else the brain may explode at any moment or it will not work productively.
Great post, I loved your style of writing.
And the rangroute journals they are amazing because they ate hand a made with a classic touch, I am entering the giveaway too
This is a post close to my heart. I cannot survive without writing my everyday to-do lists and lists for long term planning as well. For me, writing things down is all about 3 Ps : It gives me a Purpose, makes me Productive and thereby Peace of mind.
Love these journals, so beautiful and cute.
Writing always helps. Though I do not write to do lists but my idea to start Blogging was only for the love of writing.It clears the mind. Will enter in a giveaway for sure. I need to gift this to my Mother.
I agree , and practise, writing things down.
The bed and the shower are my idea generators :)))
Making grocery lists also saves me a lot of shopping time, as I don’t wander aimlessly , and money, as I don’t by things I don’t need.
‘According to experts, writing by hand stimulates certain cognitive processes that may encourage better creativity and problem solving skills.’ I do write * read scribble * by hand, need to start noticing if it helps.
I loved reading this post, Corinne. Thanks for sharing.
I have been jotting down things since forever,… writing to vent out, express, untangle those emotions, … Writing helps in a really great way… My phone has the lists making app, notes app, and the writers write app.. love them…
Love these cute bags.. would love to have one 🙂 😛
O yes! I do this a lot! Thousands of thoughts and to-do list keep running in my head and it is only when I put them on paper, I feel less chaotic and the goals too seem achievable!
Yah I agree with your points.. Its very true that writting can change your life. You can remove your depression also by writting your feelings. You can gain and increase your knowledge also. so there are many ways by which writting can change our life so keep writting..
I was kidding at all the points here. So true. What writing does to you is something magical. Has been my stress buster for quite some time. And wouldn’t it be awesome to write your heart away in those cute Rangroute journals
The coat ones especially, it kinda says write away and close it for some magic to begin.
My bag and my pockets always have scraps of paper – I try to jot down things but during night time, it is awful because a line of a poem I have wanted to write will poke me and I cannot get up to save it since my daughter is beside me ready to sleep – so I lose the thought by morning, only sometimes am I lucky to have retsinedvthst thought. Lovely stuff for giveaway – will enter it since I am coming to India next month .
Yes, you mailed It, Corinne !!! I write dairies every year upto 2005. I also write when I feel upset. I write daily atleast to do list, Sri rams jeyam, blog ideas, gratitude lists and much more.
Rohan Kachalia (@rohank01)
Absolutely agree when it comes to writing things down as it helps in getting a clearer picture of things and then can plan ahead. Moreover, I still write my expenses down, get an idea to curb unnecessary spending and save more.