Putting your thoughts on paper gives rigour to your thinking. Vague notions can no longer hide in the dark recesses of the mind, they must be brought into the light where they can be examined more closely.
Writing crystallises your thinking, even if it’s just a few words or half a sentence. It frees up short-term memory space – by holding your thoughts on paper rather than in your head – so creativity can flow once more. Mind maps are a great tool when exploring ideas. As you quickly jot down ideas and chunk them together new, related ideas quickly spring to mind.
If you are writing process instructions or specifications, more complete sentences will help make your thinking more precise. Writing forces deep and complete understanding that’s difficult to get by just thinking or talking.
Something special happens when you force your thoughts onto paper. “Almost” ideas become more concrete, better understood and actionable.
‘The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation… The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.’ Jacob Bronowski
Struggling with a difficult issue? Start writing!
Paper, white board or the back of a bus ticket; single words or full sentences – it doesn’t matter. Just get your thoughts out there where you and others can examine and build on them.