Paul McCartney wrote and performed the song “Yesterday” which made for the first solo performance of the Beatles (arguably the greatest band of all time). The song “Yesterday” still remains popular today, and is one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music. If it wasn’t for a dream, a pen, and a piece of paper, the song would not have existed. Paul heard the melody in a dream, woke up and wrote it down, and from there went on to be the historical song it is today.
Whether it is a #1 song, or an item you need to remember at the grocery store, writing things down not only reminds us of things we think of, it also possesses powers you may not realize.
Writing things from pen to paper cements it in your brain. When I was in high school I was not the best student. My mind was always wondering off to things I wanted to do or places I wanted to go, anything but school! It is a miracle I graduated with my poor study habits, and lack of ambition towards the books. One thing I did possess was a way to get around things in order to pass. One trick I would do before tests, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, was write out “cheat sheets”. About an hour before the test, I would sit down with notes from another student (I was too busy day dreaming to take notes) and write out key facts to reference during the test. Here is the funny part, I hardly ever referenced those sheets. I would open the test, read the questions, and I could see the answer I had just written down an hour before. I was studying without even knowing it!
Writing your goals down works the same way. Writing down your goals cements them in your brain. You are more aware of your goals, and having them on paper holds you accountable. It’s like the game “telephone” you may have played when you were a kid. If you are not familiar with the game it goes like this…you start with a saying and the first person repeats the saying to the next and so on. By the time you get to the last person, it is a completely different saying. It works the same way with goals if you don’t write them down. You say one thing, and by the time you are to have reached the goal you are either making excuses why it isn’t done, or you have changed the goal to something much easier. This type of goal management is the cyclical kind that keeps you chasing your tail and gets you nowhere. If you had written down that goal…it is there, in your face on a daily basis. It has the date on it to remind you that you need to take actions to get there. It reminds you and keeps you accountable instead of drifting away as “life happens” and you forget about it.
Writing things down not only keeps your thoughts straight and holds you accountable. Writing things down relieves stress and anxiety. Once you write down what’s on your mind, you can move on to other things. Have you ever had a time when things on your mind disrupted your sleep. You tossed and turned, or worse yet couldn’t get to sleep because your mind was racing! A great practice to adopt is writing your “to-do” list for the next day, the night before. At some point in the evening, write down what you need to do the next day. Once the information is written down, you no longer have to worry about it, you can relax. Because it is now written down on paper, it is no longer wondering around in your brain. The next day, you don’t have to worry either, because all you have to do is follow what you have written…it’s your plan.
These are just a few examples of how writing things down not only organizes and prioritizes your life, but can help you relax and enjoy your life a little more. Start tonight…write down a list for the next day and see how you feel. Don’t just do it once, do it a few nights in a row. A good thing to write on the list is to do your list for the next day. After a while it will become second nature and your life will become more organized, prioritized, and with less anxiety. How does that sound? Sounds pretty relaxing to me J