1 | 3 | Write down everything


Hey there! I'm Marian Knopp, the Online Business Systemizer at marianknopp.com.

The Productivity Tip of the Day™ is: Write down everything

...and I mean everything.

Write down everything you can think of that you need to do, that you need to process, ideas that you have, all of the thoughts that are going in your mind. You should just start overwriting everything to get yourself into the habit of capturing all your ideas and all the tasks that you need to do. What you will find is that it's really overwhelming how many thoughts you have at first if you're not used to doing this, but eventually over time you get so used to it that it just becomes second nature and you don't think anything of it.

The reason why this is a productivity tip and a tip I want you guys to start implementing now is because we're going to get into tips next week on how to process things. When we get into actually doing the things that you need to do and being productive at those things, it won't make sense if you haven't captured all of those things. You'll be distracted by all the things that you have in your head that you know you need to do, but you haven't captured them, you haven't written them down. So today's tip is write down everything. This, like I said, was overwhelming at first, but once I got into the habit, it just has become second nature and I've done it for years.

Here are some practical applications on how I write down everything. I literally have post-it notes and pieces of paper everywhere. I have lots of little post-it notes and pads of paper in each of the locations that I am in my home where I won't have my cell phone.

That includes the bedroom, the bathroom, my reading area, the couch where I meditate, all of the places where I won't be able to actually digitally put it into my to do list or my inbox I can still write it down and it seems silly. It seems silly. Like why would you have ideas, you know, in the bathroom or something? But this is like a real thing and I'm sure you've heard it before, that your best ideas come from when you are in a relaxed state, so you get the best ideas when you're in the shower. I have not graduated so far as to actually have a notepad in the shower, although those exist. I've seen them on Amazon. I don't know what they're called, they're just like shower notepads. I guess they are waterproof.

But I do have post it notes right there at the sink. So as soon as I get out of the shower and I've got all those ideas, I'm writing them all down. Especially in the morning, I noticed that I have a lot of ideas when I wake up on how I want to go about my day and the priorities that I have. Maybe sleeping on the ideas that I had the night before have come up with some solutions or some ideas to act upon. I know I have a lot in the morning. I wake up in the morning and I have a notepad by my bed, I have a notepad in the bathroom as I'm getting ready. I have one at the couch when I'm journaling, because my notes, you know, the notes that I'm putting into my to do list and in my inbox are different than the journal that I'm writing down with gratitude and setting my desired results for the day.

We will get to the part where we process what do we do with all these notes. But for now I would just have a central location where you're collecting all of your notes. So if you have a physical area, a physical inbox, maybe you have a desk or you know, a small space in your kitchen where you can just keep track of all of your notes and ideas, so that you can process them. In Getting Things Done by David Allen, he calls this the capture step. So this is where you're just collecting everything and it seems exhausting, but you'll also feel a lot of relief because you're no longer trusting your brain to remember everything. It wasn't built to remember everything. Why try to hold everything in your brain when you can put it out there and organize it in front of you? It definitely makes your life easier to write things down.

That's my tip for the day and it has a practical application. So I want you guys to start writing things down. If you already do this, then fantastic, keep up the great work. Maybe write more, you never know. With the digital apps, there are lots of places that you can put your ideas. A lot of people use like the Notes app on your phone. There's Google Keep. I use Trello. That's where my task manager is. If you already use a task manager or a to do list of some sort, that's a great place to put your ideas.

No idea is insignificant. Okay? Don't focus on, well, what am I even going to do with this? That's for future you to figure out. What's important is that you're collecting all of your great ideas and then future you will decide whether it's a good idea or not and whether you're going to act on it now or later or never.

But what's important is that you're getting it out of your head and once you start emptying out your head, you'll realize how much there is to empty out of your head. You'll need to write down more and more. So I wanted this to be one of the first tips in this series because I want you to get in that practice, empty your head and get it started because it's a big step into being productive. You can't rely on your brain power to remember everything that you need to do and prioritize it properly and organize it onto your calendar. You have to write it down. So have a notepad everywhere you go if you don't have a phone with you. I obviously work at home, so I have lots of notepads everywhere. But when I'm at my desk, I can just put it right into my system or when I'm out and about, I have my phone, I can even use the voice memo if I'm in the middle of an errand or anything like that.

Assess your surroundings, figure out how you're going to capture everything you want to write down and then write everything down. ​

If you wanted to check out my videos of these episodes, you can, if you're not on Facebook, check them out on YouTube as well and subscribe to my channel, Productivity Tip of the Day

I've really enjoyed launching these tips this week, and tomorrow's tip is going to be about why I've chosen to do this, why I have the Productivity Tip of the Day series. We're going to start your weekend off tomorrow with a really good thought provoking tip for you to go into the weekend. I hope to see you guys tomorrow on Friday for tip number four.

Have a great day!

Subscribe to Productivity
Tip of the Day™ emails