In today’s business world, our attention spans are shorter than they’ve ever been. Our brains are inundated with so much information on a daily basis that it’s never been more difficult to focus. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy for our minds to race through all the various things we have to do faster than we have time to process them. When this happens, ideas are often forgotten, and important tasks slip through the cracks.
As a business leader, being pulled in multiple directions and juggling a massive to-do list comes with the territory. Still, it’s not easy, and without a systematic way to document your thoughts, your business strategy can quickly become unmanageable. Not to mention your employees’ ideas and thoughts are some of the most valuable currency your company has. As employees come and go, capturing this information is essential, so you don’t lose it!
When we work with teams that are struggling with productivity due to an overwhelming number of competing priorities, or even teams that are stuck on a problem, one solution always comes to mind is the magic of pen and paper. Getting into the habit of writing down everything is a business strategy that can actually have enormous benefits for your team. While it might take a little bit of work and patience to get into the habit, the rewards can be well worth it. Here are five reasons why you and your team should write down everything:
1. You Can Improve The Way You Prioritize Your Work
Business leaders and high-performing teams often have dozens of projects simultaneously competing for attention, which naturally makes it difficult to prioritize. Writing things down lets you take a step back and realize the full scope of what is on your plate. Once you see the big picture, it’s much easier to carefully consider the impact and time commitment associated with each project, task, or goal. You’ll then be in a much better position to prioritize your work and resources appropriately.
2. You Can Give Projects, Goals, or Critical Ideas Your Full Attention
Great ideas often hit us at a moment’s notice, and then it’s only a matter of time before we’re forced to shift our focus to a new topic, meeting, or phone call. By writing things down, you’re able to return to your ideas later, give them your full attention, and ultimately finish your thoughts. Documenting things on paper allows you to better determine the viability of a particular project, goal, or idea when you have time to sit down and focus. Conducting ongoing project management by writing down critical projects helps you determine proper priorities for the long-term success of the business.
3. You Can Stay Motivated
Putting an idea, goal, or project plan down on paper brings it to life. If you get into the habit of writing things down and returning to your list daily, seeing your ideas in visual format time and time again can ultimately help to drive motivation. After all, crossing things off of your to-do list is such a great feeling. Writing things down is a great way to help ensure you make daily progress. You don’t even need to use pen and paper, rather, track your work in a cloud-based project planning platform, so everybody can keep tabs on progress. This may even spur a bit of healthy internal competition.
4. You Can De-stress
It’s easy for high-performing teams and leaders to become overwhelmed. When we carry so much on our plates, we often stress about missing things or letting important tasks or goals slip through the cracks. Writing things down allows us to take the pressure off of our minds and memory by keeping visual records of everything that needs to be accomplished. By eliminating stress, we’re more likely to work effectively.
5. You Can Track Progress
Writing down project plans and goals is important as it ultimately allows you to track progress and measure results. You can start by documenting a plan and breaking it into smaller, attainable milestones. Then, by keeping a daily journal on actions and progress, you’ll be better positioned to understand how your team is performing relative to your desired business strategy.
Writing things down is important because our minds are only capable of focusing on a limited number of things at any given time. Being able to create and maintain documentation allows you to see the big picture at all times. As a result, putting ideas, goals, and plans on paper is one of the most productive habits you can create.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve productivity among your team, a business consultant can help. Contact us at Lilly Consulting Group today.