In a digital age, with numerous apps and software helping us to organize our ever-busy lives, it seems there are now very few reasons to continue to put pen to paper. For most of us, writing isn’t essentially hard, but it is much less convenient than typing, especially when we already spend many hours a day in front of a screen. These days we are much quicker at typing too, either on our keyboards, phones or tablets and as a result we’re now even faster thanks to the bonus of auto-correct and spell-checker functions to fix any of those regular typos. But don’t pass on the hand-written option just yet; writing things down on paper such as your To-Do List plan, has so many advantages, including potential health benefits!
How Writing Helps Your Brain:
As humans, we are generally bad at retaining information, however, when we write things down, studies have shown that we retain the information far better. Additionally, when stressed, even people who normally have a good short-term memory experience dips when under pressure, so writing down the To-Do List plan can also prevent any forgetfulness. Even if you never re-read what has been written, it can just be the act of writing something down that can increase our memory abilities.
For me, both my planner and journal have to be hand-written. It keeps my thoughts organized and significantly helps to boost my memory – I am much more likely to remember the activity if I have written it than just punched it into an app on my phone. It’s almost as if the act of writing it down by hand requires more concentration and as such increases the connection with the brain. Some studies have shown that the act of writing things down on paper can actually have a similar effect to mediation – result!
As well as inducing mindfulness, writing those important things down almost signals to the brain that this is something meaningful. If you’re trying to increase your willpower or achieve any goals, jotting it down on a bit of paper has been proven to significantly increase our chances of achieving them.
So next time you open up that app on your phone, why not instead try to write it down? You don’t even need to use a fancy notebook, but it certainly does help 😉