A long long time ago, a wise man once said that the dimmest trace of pen is stronger than the best memories in the world, while I am not totally agree with this whole assumption, I got to say that this is true to some extent. We all have strong memories but sometimes we have to write things in order to make them more effective and make actions with stronger impact. Today we want to talk about the habit called write it down and we will give you some useful tips on how this approach can boost your team performance.
Why shall I write it down?
It’s simple and easy to understand, there are many strong reasons showing that you have to write some things you need to focus on. First of all our mind is a very busy place and when we work in startup world then it’s busier than ever. You may remember things very well but timing is essential and that’s why if you don’t write your key works of the day then you may remember them a little bit late.
On the other hand it is not only a personal thing and you should know that writing means commitment. There are people who won’t remember some tasks given to them verbally and even some managers have such a busy mind that in some instances when they think that they assigned a task to someone, they assume that they did it without actually doing it. So if you write things down then it means that you are undertaking the responsibility to keep up to that written thing. It might be as simple as a phone call on 9 sharp but still writing it down can be extremely helpful to remember it in time.
From Old school to modern
The oldest method to write things down is using pen and paper but it’s not the case when you are in startup companies. We don’t mean that this style should be totally out of order and you have to reject all the possibilities of using pen and paper but what we mean is that you should rely on all types of written communications.
Outlook for example is a great way to manage your timing and your meeting. It is connected to your calendar and you can get a lot of things done in time because of these reminders. There are other digital tools as well such as Trello, Jira and etc. you can use these things to even share one written document or agenda with others in real time and that amazing if you think about it even for a minute. In the old school way, you can use post it sticky notes and other type of stuff. My work place monitor and table is usually full of these post it papers and each color represent some specific type of task for me. At the same time I’m using Sticky note on my windows based Pc so you can use all you want from old school to modern but the most important thing is just writing it down.
Sharing is not caring all the time
Well there are some things you should keep to yourself. There are notes for you and for you alone and you won’t stick a big post it paper and write your onetime password to check a client account tomorrow. So sharing is not caring this time and you should know when you can share things with others and when you have to write it down for yourself.
One of the easiest ways of stealing information in companies is social engineering. This method is a as simple as looking at person’s hand while entering password and listening to conversations and etc. so when it comes to sensitive information, try to write it in a way that no one can access them except you.
I use a method that I call it duality to address this problem. Duality means that I create a file with password access restriction and put important stuff there and then put a public note on checking this file in time. For example I had to check a client’s system for a possible bug and I had to connect to his system using remote access. Unfortunately he was not available all day long and he gave me access code to remotely use his system the day after while he was away. I had to keep this code safe and at the same time I had to remember connecting too his system between 9:00 to 9:10 so I put his password in a file and locked it with a software and then put a trello reminder on connecting to his system. Anyone in the team could see that reminder but no one was able to open password file except me.
Track back to see the result
This is a simple thing to do, you should not discard any written note unless you are sure it is done or canceled. I have a small basket beside my table and it’s not for garbage. Whenever I think I’m done with a post it note or any other written thing then I will put it in that basket and at the end of the day, I go to that basket and recheck them one by one to see if anything is still needs some attention.
Using this simple way, I won’t miss anything by mistake when it comes to human mistakes. It will only take 15 minutes of my time but increases my accuracy a lot. In trello, I have a list called Daily done and it’s the same as that basket in digital world so tracking back is not that hard for me.
There is no need to exactly follow my method and you can invent your own but my way is not a copy write protected or something and if you like please use it as you like nut remember that tracking back for traces of possible mistakes is always essential.
Spread the habit & let them write it down too
It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO or you are only employee, you can be the start of this approach. Never wait for the others, start by yourself and when you get enough success then others will follow you up and use the same approach.
You have to spread this habit in your company and it will help everyone in your team to achieve greater functionality and more accurate results. Human brain is strong but not immune to mistakes so what we can do is protect ourselves with the simplest tool that we have and use the most basic thing we all learned: writing. So go one and write it down from now on and you will see the result faster than you may guess.
Remember that things will always start with you so don’t wait for the others to start and even if they didn’t follow, you can use the advantages on your own work and life tasks.
As always we have to say that we will be happy to see your thoughts on this article so leave us a comment down below and share your own experience and knowledge on this matter with us.