Why you should write down your thoughts

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t have a strong personality. You know how it feels when you look at certain people and know they mean business! I wondered why I couldn’t be like them.  It then dawned on me that I’m flexible and adapt to situations at ease and that’s probably my personality. It works well for me. I can switch effortlessly between fussing about getting work done to knowing when to let go and enjoy the moment. I understand when to stick to productive techniques and when to indulge in endless hours of entertainment. But this comes with its own setbacks. There are phases between the transition when you feel guilty of choosing either side. You suddenly realize that there are more things to be done than the time you have at your disposal and feel anxious about every single thing. Damn!

The other day, I got back home after a lovely weekend getaway. We spent most of our weekend in Hunter Valley and got back late on Sunday evening. I decided to complete only the essential chores and leave the rest for later. I was tired and didn’t want to be stubborn and tire myself more by clinging to my list. I also wanted to ensure a good night’s sleep before the work week. The minute I hit the bed and closed my eyes, my mind decided to remind me about all those tasks I’d left for later. All those tasks that I had planned to do the following week and month, and all those goals I had in mind for the year and all those ambitions flooded my mind. It went on and on. I knew I had to do something before all traces of sleep vanished.

I had an idea. I decided to do the one thing that I’m good at – making lists.

I took my notepad and wrote down whatever was on my mind. I was surprised at the clarity at 12 am. It took me a few minutes to realize that the things I wrote were not only about the mundane weekend chores but everything I’ve been meaning to do but didn’t. I wrote things like speak to friend X, Complete the course in Udemy, Find the best treatment for nail growth and so forth. The most random things, but the ones which crossed my mind at some point. I always believe in writing things down – to avoid stressing the brain. I write down things to do, grocery lists, expenses (I have a template for these), places to visit, places to eat, new dishes to try, and so on. Despite writing most of them, I realized there was one category I never accounted for – The Miscellaneous ones. And this perhaps occupied a fair share of my mind. If those miscellaneous thoughts could speak, they would complain about how they’ve been merely thoughts for so long that they have almost been forgotten. So, the minute they found an opportunity that they were being taken seriously (when I started writing), they couldn’t resist pouring their hearts out. And out they came from their comatose, and boy were they lively!

The outcome of this exercise was strange. I felt peaceful. It was as if I had held all those thoughts captive and then liberated them one fine day. I thought I would end up worried about the insane list I had in front of me. But it looked like I had taken a step in the right direction – getting them off my mind and into something more concrete. I then organized them into things I could do immediately, things I’d need to plan, and things beyond my scope.  I always work with the process of elimination. It helps me focus on what matters to me without diverting my attention.

Once I went through all those tasks plaguing my mind, they did not overwhelm me as they usually did. I made a list of all the one-time activities, the activities that would need to be repeated over a period of time, the ones that would need extensive planning before it can be acted on. Once I organized the complicated mess and clearly wrote them down, I knew there was nothing to worry about. I even enjoyed untangling the complexities and stripping the tasks down to the bare minimum. This was not just an illusion but definitely, a confirmation that I had them under control. Now I could sleep in peace.

I find many people worrying about too many things at the same time. I wouldn’t tell them not to worry, coz I’ve been there myself and know how bad it feels. But I do have a solution that would help them deal with their problems/thoughts. I would suggest the same activity I did – to write down every single thing bothering them and then tackle them one by one. Things might not always take care of themselves, it needs our intervention to get seek order amidst chaos. Once you write them down, you will realize that they aren’t as bad as you’d imagined them to be. Even the most complicated equations in maths had the simplest solution once you start working your way towards them. It all begins with a simple step.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

13 thoughts on “Why you should write down your thoughts

Add yours

  1. I make lists too …in fact whenever we travel , making a list of what to take is the actual packing task … then its only a matter of picking them up and putting them in your bag .


    1. I do the same thing. I make a list and then put everything on the bed and then only start packing once I have everything I need. Saves me the trouble of worrying about too many things on my mind- I feel like I outsource it when I write things down- I don’t have to go through the trouble of remembering every bit of it 😀


  2. Good one!! Somewhere in the past decade I have changed and started to let go and live in the moment… Not that i am shirking any of my responsibilities or neglecting stuff, just become easier. I dont think, i dont analyse and dont fret about anything… But yes I do have the same problem as you, if i have a certain list of things to be done on a day I need to get em done, else sleep will elude….

    Oh and you do come across as someone uber confident and knows what they want… 🙂

    btw what course are you doing at Udemy? I have been seeing their ads for a course I wanna do, but unsure of how good/reliable they are…


    1. Thank you! 😀 I feel writing things down takes the trouble of remembering all the details off my mind. So that does allow me to indulge and enjoy the moments, but I do that in phases, I still haven’t figured out how to balance the two at the same time 😀

      Glad I come across as a confident person. I often worry if I cross over to the other end of being over-confident and keep myself in check 😀

      The udemy courses are really good. I’ve done many courses before and I took up basic writing courses and then writing for different medium (reports, marketing, opinions, blogs and analysis) for work. You can try one and see if it suits your learning style.


    1. Thank you, Shailaja. Glad that you could relate to it. I’ve been a list person for as long as I can remember and I’m so glad I’ve incorporated that into every aspect of my life 😀


  3. Writing has always helped me, and jotting down points whether it is related to to be done tasks, blog ideas or just random stuff, I pen it down in my little journal almost on a daily basis. In fact I am trying to get my little one too to inculcate a habit of penning her thoughts down


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