If you think about the past 24 hours and analyze all the information that your brain has had to process you will be amazed. Your day is a constant flow of information, which comes in various forms: news, conversation with friends and family, emails, radio, music, phone calls and text messages among many others, and one of the most important sources of information is yourself. You have thoughts, ideas, opinions and dreams.
Only about 1% of the information that arrives to your brain is potentially useful, and even less than that should be acted upon. But how can you be sure that under such load you will remember what is worth remembering? All the sources of information are vying for your attention and desperately want to become part of that 1% worth retaining. As brilliant as your brain is, it can only keep so much information, and unless you carefully select what you want to keep, chances are that you will remember the unnecessary.
The only way to make sure that all that is worth keeping is recorded is by
writing things down.
The Latin proverb “verba volant scripta manent” (spoken words fly away, written words remain) is true even in your personal life, even if originally it was not intended as a productivity advice.
If you haven’t done so yet, grab a pen and a paper, a smartphone, or a computer and start recording everything you want to remember in one place: appointments, errands, promises, goals etc. Don’t strive to have the perfect system set before starting to jot down things you want to retain. The important thing is to write everything in the same place and not to scribble each thing on a different piece of paper or a different smart phone app. You can work on implementing a system later. Don’t get disappointed if you end up with a mile-long to-do list. Most people don’t have one at all. The sheer fact that you have written down what you consider important is the first and most important step toward productivity.