Ditch the Mental Clutter: Why You Should Write Everything Down

Ditch the Mental Clutter: Why You Should Write Everything Down

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Between work deadlines, social obligations, family responsibilities and somehow squeezing in time for ourselves, we all have a ton on our plates. So let’s be real — you pretty much already play the role of Super Woman day-in and day-out. And we also know you’re already a pretty organized, on-top-of-it type of gal. But name a superhero who doesn’t have a trusty sidekick?!

That’s where your favorite new habit and secret weapon comes in — writing things down. To do lists, brilliant ideas, daily reminders, dairy entries, plans, whatever. Yep, it’s that simple! Writing it all down changes everything.

Imagine this: It's the night before your sister-in-law's birthday party, and for once you're NOT scrambling at the last minute for a birthday gift. Or better yet, no more trips to the grocery store at 9pm to pick up that darn cupcake mix for the school bake sale (surprise, it’s tomorrow!). Writing things down (we're talking old-school, pen-to-paper style here) will help you focus on your daily priorities, sort out your upcoming plans and clarify your long-term goals.

Lists.... Lists Everywhere!

Start a list in your phone’s Notes app. Keep a running list of reminders on your fridge. Stick a few Post-It Notes to your bathroom mirror — it doesn’t have to be perfectly organized nor have a system to it whatsoever. But the more quick reminders, brain dumps and random lists that you have strewn around, the more space in the top of your mind you’ll have freed up for clear thinking and brilliant new ideas. Not only that, but scribbling things down on paper also provides a creative outlet and a space to reflect on your thoughts and emotions.

And that’s the really the main goal of all this — to become more efficient and pave the way for deeper thoughts. You might not realize how much brain power it takes to remember those eight random things you need at Target. By throwing them down in a notepad, now you don’t have to worry, especially when your day inevitably gets interrupted and you don’t make it out to the store until next week!

It’s a proven fact that writing things down helps improve your memory recall — even if you never go back to re-read it. After all, that’s why taking notes in high school and college is such a big thing! Writing things down can also help clarify and organize your thoughts, leading to better-informed decision making, both in the short and long-term.

morning journaling ideas

30 Seconds of Daily Journaling Will Change Your Life

Grocery lists are great, but the real magic of writing things down happens when you get into your real feelings and thoughts. Find a (preferably cute, like one of these) planner or notebook to leave on your nightstand, and get in the habit of doing a 30-second brain dump when you wake up each morning. Jot down how you’re feeling, what’s causing stress, what you’re grateful for — whatever! Let it be freeform and just flow, the fewer rules the better.

Journaling is an incredible tool to help you understand yourself on a deeper level. After two weeks of writing down the same stressor or complaint, you might finally take action to solve that lingering problem. Or those exciting goals you can’t stop thinking about (and now writing about)? Seeing them constantly come to the surface is bound to drum up the motivation to get you to take the first step towards achieving them.

Getting introspective through journaling is an invaluable lifeskill. It can be a cathartic, meditative process that helps relieve stress and help you become more self-aware. It can also help recognize areas of ourselves that could use a bit of improvement — if re-reading your own thoughts from just a few days ago makes you cringe, you might realize you need to adjust your attitude, or learn to handle stress or a difficult situation differently in the future.

By doing a daily journaling brain dump, you'll find space to be completely honest with yourself. Treat it like a safe haven where your worries, dreams, and aspirations all come together. No doubt, you’ll be amazed at the insights you gain, the stress that you release, and the positivity that you bring into your life — it was there all along, you just need to untangle it from the rest of your mental clutter!

Leave a Pen & Paper Next to Your Shower

It’s amazing what happens when we step away from our phone, laptop and tv screens for more than a few minutes at a time. Like clockwork, as soon as we turn off the continuous stream of consumption, our brain begins to flow in the opposite direction, generating new ideas and suddenly putting the puzzle pieces of solutions to problems together. 

Have you ever noticed that you have strokes of genius when you're doing the dishes or in the shower? It actually shouldn't be that surprising, as these mundane, mindless tasks get us out from behind our phone and computer screens for a few minutes and reverse consumption mode into output mode (either that, or there’s something about the idea generation part of our brain that comes out with the soothing sound of running water!)

why you should write everything down

Compare Notes — Literally

It’s a great idea to hold onto all of the random notes that you write down. Get in the habit of throwing a date in the top corner of each one, and instead of tossing them, collect them in a shoebox or in a folder. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a boring old grocery list, because you never know what secret clues and patterns they might reveal when you look back on it in a few months.

Writing things down is essentially a form of journaling, especially when you let your thoughts and ideas flow freeform. Sure, you might have started with boring old “milk, eggs, cream cheese” but since you already have the pen in your hand, why not throw down a quick note about how your feeling that day? It might seem crazy, but it’s a great way to build a habit of journaling every day. PS: Tidy Plan’s printable daily planners are the perfect tool to help you build this habit!

Shout It From the Rooftops

Writing things down and keeping a journal can unlock countless benefits to help you grow as a person. Whether it's writing a shopping list, taking notes during a meeting at work or reflecting on your own daily experiences, making the time to jot down your thoughts (again, pen-to-paper in a cute journal recommended!) will no doubt have a positive impact on your mental, emotional, and personal well-being. Embrace the power of the pen, you newest superhero sidekick and discover the positive transformation that it is bound to bring to your life.


Thanks for checking out The Deep Clean, Tidy Plan's blog full of tips and advice to help you declutter your mind and build good habits. We're all about self-care, productivity, organization, and are here to assist you on your personal growth journey to become your best self!