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Do you remember yourself in 8th grade? You don’t have to be a whiz to know that things were much simpler back then. Our minds had a fraction of the information, thoughts and ideas it stores now but we were much smarter about processing the essential from the noise back then. I’ll tell you how.
In 8th grade we hand-wrote. We matched ink to paper. No, I’m not talking about today’s 8th graders. If we are forgetting our hand-writing habits, maybe they never developed one in the first place. But, that’s another story for another day.
We, entrepreneurs are essentially creators, artists in our own right. Our journey is a blank canvas and all we’re doing is filling it up with our vision. And what is hand-writing if not performance on paper, even if it’s just for ourselves? But there’s more to it. Writing down every idea, every important thought that crosses our mind engages it an inventive process that helps us brainstorm with ourselves and explore new lines in our thinking. It de-clutters our minds like nothing else can. Why hold all that information in your head when something else (your journal) can do the job for you?
How to Journal?
Journaling doesn’t need a structure. There are no guidelines. You don’t have to answer questions about what you’re grateful for and you definitely don’t have to do the stereotypical “Dear Diary, I’m having an awful day”. Write About Anything. Try it for a few days and you’ll know your place of comfort. I maintain a tasks and notes list; a food log and there’s one for ideas, quotes and inspirations. You could write about what made your day great, things to improve upon or notes from the book you’re reading. Who knows, maybe you’ll write down an idea today that’s a solution to a problem you’ll face in the future?
Typing or Writing?
Digitalization has caused irreparable damage to our writing habits. I’m a journaling purist and I’d say that writing needs to be detached from the distractions of technology. It’s a quiet time to reminiscence – almost meditation; and trust me you don’t want a pop-notification in the middle of it saying you’ve been tagged in a photo. Paper unfolds creativity in a way that’s unmatched on the screen. It’s therapeutic and inspires maximum productive abilities.Also, handwriting isn’t just a matter of craft— it’s a detailed skill that affects our mental development and trains our visual, motor and memory circuits. A research field, called “haptics,” focuses on the connection of touch, hand movement and brain function. According to the Wall Street Journal, studies show that handwriting engages different circuits of the brain than typing simply doesn’t. And those
strokes and pressures of the pen actually send messages to the brain, training it in vision and sensation.
Long Story Short
Do yourself a favour and start a journal. Remember the time when you wrote down all your notes as a student and go back to your basics. I guarantee you; it’s going to change your life as an entrepreneur and in many other dimensions. Clarity of the mind is basically clarity in life.