I have an admission to make.
I am tethered to my electronic devices – if it’s not my iPhone, it’s my iPad or my MAC book (yes, I love Apple products). Lately, I have been trying my best to not spend my days staring at a variety of screens. I come home and plug up my phone and take some time to be mindful away from social media and other work. I also starting rethinking more about how much I used to love writing my thoughts and plans down. I was the girl who got all different colored pens, expensive paper and took enough care to write things out neatly. Little did I know, there was a science behind it all. Yes – a science! There is evidence that the actual act of writing your thoughts and notes by hand help you remember things better, help our minds visualize our goals and increases productivity.
Here’s how this stuff works:
1. It improves our ability to visualize and focus
Nothing kills my concentration faster than my text tone and email notifications. So much of what we do at work and in our personal lives requires us to be fully present and demands the ability to absorb information. Digital chatter precludes this. We have to learn to fully eliminate the temptation to check social media and email during our brainstorming sessions. When we are fully attentive, we are better able to fully participate with our thoughts and when we write, the worthwhile ideas begin to flow.
2. It boosts comprehension
It’s not science that the act of writing something down- handwriting- is much more deliberate than typing and forces the brain to actually work. Typing and recording things on a screen causes our minds to be on a sort of auto pilot and so it does everything out of rote – it keeps a minimal amount of information. When we write, the brain is forced to analyze information, determine what’s most important and encode it for future use, boosting comprehension.
3. It increases memorization
Not only does the physical act of handwriting boost comprehension, the encoding that the brain does actually serves as a storage mechanism for the information we write down. I’ll give you a very personal (and it was oh so painful) example. I had to take the NYS Bar exam several times before passing. The first three times I took the exam, I purchased software and was studying almost solely on my MAC Book. The fourth time, I decided to chuck the software and do it the old-fashioned way (the doing the same thing insanity theory)– by writing down my lessons, definitions and essays. Let me tell you, my mind remembered the important things and I was able to remember them, somewhat easily, while I was in the exam. Here I am, your go-to lawyer/friend so obviously I passed, and I really do believe it was because I wrote things down.
So, the next time you decide to make a to do list, examine goals or even journal what you’re grateful for, put those things on paper and watch how beneficial it will be in the long run. Take a look at the journals and workbooks I have listed for you in my Shopify store for easy download and follow me on Facebook and IG: @CrystalClearEsq