When I was young, almost everyone who I came across would give me tips as to how to study better. Much as I disliked listening to every individual’s version of ‘How to Score 95% easily’, I was surprised to notice that almost everyone had one point in common. They all unanimously advocated the habit of writing down points while studying. They added that it would help the brain retain information better if it was put in writing.
Easier said than done like most other things, I tried as much to implement it and include it as and when I was studying. But apart from Maths and later certain derivations in Physics and Organic Chemistry it wasn’t entirely possible to write everything down. The theoretical papers for instance. You had volumes of information to be assimilated and writing them down would probably have helped me cover just a few topics but not all of them. So keeping in mind the big picture, I never took to this habit seriously except for certain papers.
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But apart from academics I developed this habit of writing and it has never left me. In school, I always ensured that I wrote my homework. Till about 5th standard, it was made compulsory for us to write. Somehow the habit never left me and I used to keep writing it as and when the staff assigned us some task. This greatly helped me as I did not have to come back home and rack my brains wondering which staff had set a deadline for that week and for the next. It made my life easy. Even in college I used to take a small notepad and note down the assignments, records and other tasks along with their deadlines. In office I maintain a notepad, a sort of a To-Do list and keep updating it every day, lest that I forget something inadvertently.
Till date if I’m happy and proud of one trait in me, it is this. I try (though the implementation sometimes doesn’t go exactly the way I plan it) my best to remain organized and avoid cluttering information. Even in my phone, I guess the most used application would be Reminders and Notes because I make notes for almost everything. To-Do lists, shopping lists, books to be read, ideas for blogs (mainly because you’d be surprised at the events which trigger a new flow of thought and eventually an idea to blog about!) ,blogs to read, Interesting websites, bookmarked websites, links that have been added to pocket, reminders for the immediate future as well as for a considerable span of months, recipes to be tried, restaurants to be visited, Ice creams parlours to be visited, Dresses to buy, Accessories to buy, Schedule for cleaning up my wardrobe and study and a few other insignificant stuff (Insignificant for you, not for me). I guess you get the hang of it.
You might wonder what I would probably gain by writing noting down such trivial information. Yes, after watching the movie Kaminey, I had this idea to sketch out a graph for my life goals as well. But considering that we live by the minute, I chose not to do that. I even started writing a diary which was for my eyes only and after a few years discontinued writing because of certain reasons. Apart from this a lot of what I write is trivial. But they do help me in many ways.
It helps me remain organized
If you’d read my earlier blogs, I would’ve mentioned that I’m no Monica to that extent but I like things to be organized, for which I realized that I should be organized. This greatly helped me when I had to manage home for about 6 months when mom wasn’t around. Making lists for what to do in a sequence ensures that I do not miss out on anything. Though I might spend considerable time planning things, implementing it would be hassle-free. Of course things are bound to change, but it is nice to have some structure to work on
I don’t have to worry about forgetting
Some of us are overly worried about things. It’s like we go at great lengths looking for things to worry about. For such people, they would have one reason less to worry about (I’m not sure if they would be happy with that fact, I would be!). Now I can just walk in, ensure that I collect all items on my shopping list and walk away without bothering to try and remember if mom had mentioned anything else. Even in my To-Do list for household chores, as long as I stick to the list I would be fine. I would not have to worry about what I would/could have missed.
Avoid unnecessary cluttering of unnecessary information in the brain
The brain is our warehouse of information. It is the personalized Google for the human body. It does come with certain constraints though. Sometimes we dump it with unwanted stuff and when we need to store important information, the brain simply refuses to take it in. Thanks to our various lists, ideas and thoughts, unimportant telephone numbers, unwanted lyrics of certain songs, some ad jingles which we just can get it out of our mind, our memory gets overloaded and then Murphy would play judge and ensure that all previously stored important information are erased to make room for the new information. When certain important and trivial information can be saved somewhere else in the form of a list, we are doing our brain a favour. We can get rid of having to remember trivial stuff or those which are required only for a short span of time.
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There is another important way in which writing down important points has helped me. Whenever I used to fight with my elder sister, I used to forget what we actually started fighting about and then resort to certain violent means to prove my point. It is a common and well known fact that we think of better things to say in an argument only after it has ended. So every time I find something interesting or challenging to tell my sister, I note it down and make sure I use it the next time while fighting. That is, till such point we keep arguing in words.
So, where does your history with writing start?