Merge's Blog

To improve your productivity, write things down!

Earlier this month, I promised that in 2020 I would specifically focus on a video series on productivity tools for leaders.  In each video blog, I plan to give you one practical and useful technique to reclaim control of your time, to improve your productivity, or to even get more done through others.  Today, I am excited to kick off this brand-new series with one specific suggestion that I hope you’ll take to heart and implement right away.  And of course, expect more productivity strategies to come in the weeks and months to follow.

Write things down!

Today’s tip: write things down.  It’s simple, but don’t let the simplicity fool you into thinking it is lightweight.  It’s not.  Writing things down is a very powerful to improve your productivity.  So get into the habit of making a to-do list.  Whenever you think about something that needs to be done, stop and make a note.  Right then, not later, because later often means never.  The benefits of writing things down to improve your productivity are many.

Improve your productivity in several ways …

When you write down your thoughts you automatically focus your full attention on them.  It’s very hard to write one thing down and think another, so by picking up your pen or pencil (or typing on a keyboard), you’ve just given that fleeting thought the consideration and attention it deserves.

When you keep a written to-do list, you can clear your mind to focus on higher-level stuff.  Because your to-dos are recorded, you can rest easy that they won’t get forgotten, so your mind can move on to other big-picture things.  The very act of writing it down will start shifting your mind from chaos to control, which means you’re closer to prioritization and action.

Speaking of prioritization, writing things down means that you can now assess everything in totality and determine what needs to be done now, and what can be done later.  Rest assured, when you write things down, you have just taken one giant step to improve your productivity.  Now of course, you still need to rank your to-do list, but that’s the second step.  In my next blog post, I’ll talk further about how you can prioritize your to-do list using a simple two-by-two matrix.

As I said earlier, I have a whole year of video tips coming on this subject.  But if there’s something specific you’d like me to address sooner rather than later, please let me know by adding a comment below.

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