You remember those English classes at school, where we’d more or less be fine with the reading, speaking, and listening […]
You remember those English classes at school, where we’d more or less be fine with the reading, speaking, and listening aspects, but when it came down to writing, nah, no thanks, my dog ate the homework. It seems writing got a bad rep at school, but years later those who pursued the writing habit were having the last laugh.
Writing is not just another means of communicating, writing is arguably one of the most therapeutic forms of expression, and when you write down your goals it has the power to help you clear your mind, clarify goals, and focus your attention.
Yet, what we didn’t count on in the past was how everyone would be moving their writing online, not just to keyboards instead of pens, but now towards letting speech take over.
Writing is certainly not a dying art, as blogs are as popular as ever, but you can be sure those of a younger generation would sooner find themselves watching a video of a topic rather than reading it, and if you ask people to write something down on paper today then you might be looked at with eyes that deny your very existence, and that you belong with those dinosaurs.
Yet here I am, hardly a dinosaur in my mid-late thirties (maybe to some), proclaiming why we really need to write things down again, on paper (eco-warrior reasons not to aside).
Why You Should Write Down Your Goals, Ideas, Dreams On Paper
So, here you are reading this online. I get it. I sound like a hypocrite, but I can assure you that the shaping of this article was written out on paper first, and there’s a good reason why. Not just for articles, but there’s a good reason why you should write down your goals, ideas, dreams, anything really, on paper.
Table of Contents
1) Writing Things Down On Paper Gives You Superpowers
Okay, well not really, but it certainly helps you think to your best potential. You see, writing onto paper ensures there are no digital waves subliminally distracting your focus or causing you long-term eye or brain damage.
If anything it stops you from gaining cataracts. Hooray. Plus, it’s scientifically proven to help us focus.
2) Writing Things Down On Paper Saves Paper
What? Get out of town. That’s absurd.
Look, I’m a big advocator of trees, I planted many of them years ago, and I’d like to see them remain as an important part of our eco-system, but this notion that cutting down trees is mainly for paper is what’s absurd.
That’s not actually the problem, the problem is the mass waste produced unnecessarily, and it’s this ‘waste’ of unused paper that actually ends up seeing more trees chopped down.
We didn’t say you have to write on fresh new paper every time either. There’s actually smart new technology coming out that repurposes paper into reuseable journals and disappearing inks etc.
3) Writing Your Goals Down On Paper Cements The Goal To Action
There are thousands of apps today apparently helping people be more productive, but really just leading many to be more overwhelmed with more apps to open up and update each day.
Believe me, I’ve tried them all. With ADHD I need something to keep my floating mind focused at times, and every time I tried some new app I ended up reverting back to good old paper. Write it, do it, cross it. Next.
As well as this writing things down helps you organise your thoughts easier, which helps you clear your mind of mental clutter. How very therapeutic of you! More space to wander off to new thoughts now.
4) Writing Your Ideas Down Brings Them To Life
I remember seeing Da Vinci’s notes and then looking at my own and concluding I should become a painter, trying that and then realising I shouldn’t. The thing in common I had was in the notes, not the paintings.
When sketching ideas down on notes it just lets your idea flow into another one and so on. Anyone who had to come up with a logo for something knows this. You do NOT go straight online, you ALWAYS start with paper, a scribble, a mockup. It’s where the real direction of your thinking takes place, and the best part is you can easily just erase what you have done and start again.
Try the same onscreen and you’ll just kick yourself (or your client) when you realise you have to make a change.
With your ideas on paper, you can quickly look through your notebook and be inspired by old ideas to think up new ideas.
5) Writing Down Your Goals & Dreams Can Make You Feel Free
Ever had a look through the thousands of photos you’ve taken on your phone? All those moments of I’ll take a photo to remember later, only to just forget and never look back, and for it to get lost in a photo album jungle.
We’ve all done it.
When we are restricted to writing our thoughts or goals on paper we have to think about them more directly. It helps free us from other distracting thoughts. Having everything stored online is just an open opportunity to wander off into a trail of links, videos and social media feeds that distract and erase your memory at the same time.
Remembering what you are writing about is a good sign. Finishing an article is even better. Being free from unnecessary noise is a blessing in today’s distracted world. It’s freeing.
Of course, there are many other valid reasons why you should write down your goals, ideas, and so on, on paper, but we can’t ignore the fact that we live digital lives these days and people will find themselves online more than offline.
However, at least being conscious enough of how we actively think and use our time will benefit the overall quality of our lives, and learning to write our thoughts on paper is one such way that will help us unleash the creativity within us, as will learning how to step into a creative flow state easier.