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10 Reasons You Should Write Something Each Day

10 Reasons You Should Write Something Each Day

    The written word is a part of every day life. At its most basic, writing is a way of communicating. This is the one inalienable characteristic of writing itself, whether you’re communicating with a colleague or friend or you’re actually communicating with yourself – though a shopping list, for instance.

    Aside from the fact that writing is an inescapable part of every day life, there are many good reasons you should make a good session of writing part of your daily routine, even if it’s just a few hundred words. You don’t have to be a pro to reap the benefits of creating the written word.

    1. Remove stress from mind, place on paper

    Writing can be therapeutic. It can be a way to vent all the pent-up frustrations burdening your mind into a far less volatile form, paper (or screen). You can address your anger, fear, worry and stress without bludgeoning the person who embodies those emotions for you with a paperweight.

    Writing can serve as a form of cathartic stress relief where you finally get to say what you can’t say out loud, in real life. Just don’t let your vented feelings get into the wrong hands, or you may end up paying some pretty hefty blackmail cash.

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    2. Sweep Your Mind

    A daily writing habit gives you regular time to sweep your mind for forgotten tasks and ideas that have been fermenting in the back of your head without your knowledge. It allows you to take the unordered thoughts floating around your head like lost puppies in zero gravity, and turn them into ordered plans and actions.

    This is the fundamental principle that the mindsweep and weekly review are based on: getting everything you can think of out of your head, and into a written format. This simple process can save your life when things are getting overwhelming and complicated.

    3. Keep Your Writing Skills Sharp

    Write every day to keep your skill with the written word sharp. Like any skill, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and aesthetically degrades without practice. As a result, many people who don’t write regularly can freeze up, lost for words, on something so simple as an email to a friend.

    Writing every day, even in a stream-of-consciousness, unedited format will maintain and gradually improve your writing skills, and since dealing with the written word is a fundamental part of daily modern life, there’s nothing bad about that.

    4. Make Some Pocket Money

    If you’re not a professional writer, pocket money is probably all you’ll ever want to earn from your words. But if you’ve got a knack for it and just had a great dinner at a new restaurant and written about it for your daily pages, then isn’t it better to have a shot at getting that review published instead of letting the piece do absolutely nothing?

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    These days, it’s easy to submit to many publications without spending considerable time and money doing so. While you’re unlikely to get too many bites without a good track record as a writer, it’s certainly easy enough to be worth the effort, and your wallet will be pleased.

    5. Turn the Noise Off

    Get away from the constant low-quality input and output systems of day-to-day life, such as meaningless small-talk and weather conversations, text messaging, Twitter, checking the mailbox, and most email and many websites. You receive and create barrages of useless distractions that don’t help you or the people you know; sitting down to write lets you get away from it all.

    It’s important to keep the noise to a minimum so you can focus on creating and receiving strong material, things that are really worth reading and writing.

    6. Enhance Your Communication Skills

    Use daily writing to enhance your communication skills. In this culture, communication is so often hampered because we don’t know how to express ourselves, whether it be verbal or written. Writing regularly can hone the skill of self-expression, something that is useful in written communications such as email, and that can translate into improved verbal communication.

    If you have trouble communicating what you want or asking tough questions, regular writing will give you a mind for structuring words quickly to achieve the desired affect in a diplomatic way.

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    7. Know What You Want

    Part of the reason so many people do not get what they want in life is because they do not know what they want from it. Certainly not the main reason that people don’t get what they want, but in so many cases it is the obstacle. How can you get what you want or achieve your dreams if you’re not 100% clear on what they are?

    Writing each day gives you time to think carefully and reflect on what you want to achieve the most, and develop a clearer, achievable image and plan for that result.

    8. Develop Your Analytical Skills

    Writing regularly develops your analytical and rational skills. Working through your problems with a piece of paper encourages you to think things through clearly, in both linear (sequential) and non-linear (creative) ways. The best solutions come from a mix of both logical and creative thinking.

    Many people tend to panic and react emotionally to their problems, but if you’re used to solving them by processing each component of the problem in writing, you’ll develop a better approach and skillset. You’ll at least pause to think through the situation before hitting the panic button next time something comes up!

    9. Get Away from Technology

    In #5 we talked about turning the noise off for a while, which comes from all sorts of sources – not just tech-related sources. But another problem of ours is our dependence on technology, and it seems that everything that can be done on a computer, is done on a computer.

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    If you opt to use a pen and paper instead of a computer, you give yourself valuable time away from technology to gather your thoughts without constant, meaningless interruptions and distractions. But more importantly, you give yourself time with the tactile and real.

    10. Meet Yourself All Over Again

    In a fast-paced society it’s easy to forget things like what you believe in and what you’re doing this (whatever this may be) for. Letting words flow out of your brain unedited can introduce you to a part of yourself you’d been censoring from yourself to cope with everyday life. Why did you start down the path you’re currently on? This is an important question whether you consider your current path to have begun on the weekend, or a decade ago.

    Discontentment, disillusionment, and unhappiness often come from forgetting why we’re doing something (or, on a different track, not having a good reason for living a certain way) and it is important to keep those simple reasons at the forefront of your mind or you run the risk of letting your life become a series of boring, menial actions.

    It’s not only important to remind yourself of your motives for your current actions; it’s important to monitor your actions to see if they align with your life goals so that you can change them. Sometimes, the only way to keep such a close monitor on your actions and goals is to write about them every day.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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