Write it down

If I am consistent enough this year and I stick to my resolution, by January next year this blog will have around 400 posts. That’s a lot of content, yet I am fairly positive that if there is one single idea you should take from this page, it is the following.

When you have something on your mind, write it down.

It might sound extreme, and I don’t mean you should write down everything that comes to your mind. Neither I am talking about to-do lists or grocery store items you need to remember next time you go to the shop.

If something sticks in your mind long enough to make it relevant for you, put it on paper (or on screen). It is valid with ideas, no matter how early stage they are. It is valid with impressions, feelings, talks, chats we want to have, changes we want to make.

When we keep things in our mind, they always make sense, as our brain automatically fills in any gap there might be to make it reasonable for us. This happens very fast, without us even noticing it. And it is dangerous, because when we eventually speak our mind, those gaps are not that easily filled with words and sensible concepts. They become chasms, and we fall into them.

Writing things down forces us to take an additional step. It not only makes space in our mind. It will also help us crystallize our thoughts, make it more likely we will take action (or not), and improve our chances to be successful with that action (or inaction).

Start here. Next time you have an important meeting, a conversation in which you want to deliver your point, a chat with a colleague you want to ask to change their mind. Write it down. Read it. Is it clear enough? What is missing? What else could you add? Write it again. Read it again. Repeat. Until you are ready.

It is one of the reasons why I re-started blogging after that long. And it’s the most important message I can leave behind.

Write it down.

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