Why You Should Always Write Things Down
When people fail to write things down, some serious consequences can occur. People lose productivity time, they waste funds, and they create stress for themselves and all of those in the environment around them. Most people fail to write things down because they believe they will be able to remember all of the important things they must during the course of the day. This, however, is a false idea. We find it difficult to remember all of the things we must because we are so busy. Generally, the phone rings, three people stop by your office, and you’re trying to handle six tasks at once. We try to move from task to task. New thoughts pop into our minds all of the time. We are incessantly interrupted before we can complete a task. When we do write things down, we do this on small scraps of paper that will eventually become lost. Writing things down in the correct manner can put an end to all of this insanity.
In order to begin writing things down, you must develop and organized system of record keeping that works for you. A telephone log is a good place to start. You can buy a pre-made telephone log, or you can make your own. Be sure the log you choose has space to write down the name, business affiliation, and phone number of the person calling. Then be sure it has plenty of space to record both the nature of the call and the action required on your part. Additional information you can include in the log might be things like who made the call (you or the other party), the duration of the call, the date of the call, and the time of day. This might help you to determine several things when you are analyzing your phone time like how often you talk to certain people, the time of day you are most likely to be on the telephone, and any excess time you are spending on the phone. Store the log by the phone you use most frequently for business. Every time the phone rings, grab a pencil and start writing. Use this log for both incoming and outgoing calls to make your telephone time even more productive. Even if the phone will not stop ringing, you won’t forget the things you need to do or remember as a result of the call because they will be written down. A quick read through of the phone log a few times a day will help refresh your memory as to tasks left unfinished. Moreover, you will not forget what you have told clients during previous phone conversations, which can be a bit of an embarrassment at the time.
This same procedure can also be followed in the form of a visitor’s log. It will help keep your from forgetting what you tell people who drop by your office on a regular basis. If you are speaking to them, and their last visits come up in the course of speaking, you can simply flip to your log and refresh your memory. It can also cut down on your failure to listen. It can be very hard not to listen to a visitor when you are writing down what your visitor is trying to say to you. It might also impress your visitor that you are being so thorough based on his or her visit.
In addition to your telephone and visitor’s log, it can be very helpful to keep a small notebook with you at all times. This might help you to record thoughts or ideas that pop into your mind through the normal course of a day. You can simply buy a small notebook or you can purchase a day planner. These typically have a section for writing things like this down.
Whether you make the logs yourself or purchase them, writing things down to this degree takes persistence. You may find that you often forget to write things down. Take it one week at a time. Do not force yourself to think any further into the future than you can. By the time you hit the second week, you will find that it has become second nature to grab your log and start writing.