Life Hack #34 – Take Notes

I love taking notes, and then color-coding them, and then perfecting them to the closest thing to perfect.

I tend to only be this meticulous with taking notes and absorbing information when I am in class.

Taking notes, and I mean literally writing, or typing, down notes, reminders, or information that you should retain is especially important.

Outside of class, there are a million reasons why you should be taking notes, mentally, but most importantly, physically taking notes. Beyond the fact that human beings are incredibly forgetful, human beings are incredibly talented at making mistakes, and even ignoring important details. Taking notes can save you from a lot of stress, inconveniences, and trouble, all which are things that we do not enjoy.

My favorite way to keep track of my life, and every aspect of my life, is to jot down a to-do list. I also love to use planners and calendars, and the more, the merrier. I own at least three calendars and a handful of planners that I love to use, mostly for fun.

I did not used to be like this.

In fact, a few years ago you could not catch me taking notes or using a planner, especially for fun. There was a time when I thought all these tasks were simply unnecessary and a waste of time. Boy, I was wrong!

Beyond to-do lists, planners, and calendars, when I am absorbing directions or instructions of any sort, or am receiving important information that I would like to access and be reminded of easily, I am quick to grab a pen and a pad of paper. If the information is successfully transferred onto a piece of paper that I keep somewhere safe, the information is able to be accessed with ease. Most importantly, the information that you are accessing is correct, accurate, and untainted.

All human beings, including myself, are guilty of lying to ourselves that “we will remember that thing that we thought kind of hard about writing down.” This results in more stress and more problems, as you are forced to construct a semi-accurate version of the information. Your version of the information is simply based on how much you absorbed the information, your ability to listen intently, and your memory. The chances of your almost-accurate information being correct is more often low rather than high. While your version of the information is not a lie and may convey “the same idea,” it is not and will not be correct. Most commonly, while the big picture of the information may have been received, individuals tend to miss the details, which are the important parts.

Taking notes is especially pertinent for those trying to pay attention to details.

Details are hypothetically smaller than the bigger picture. Human beings are all guilty of forgetting the details, or ignoring the details. But, the details are just about the only time that we should be paying attention. Instead of absorbing the details, we tend to focus on the bigger picture and are unable to appreciate, or even acknowledge, the importance of the details. Not knowing the details of any situation you encounter most often  results in mistakes, more trouble, etc.

We are all human, so we are allowed to make mistakes. But, do not let that be your excuse for not paying attention to the details of anything. It is important that you learn how vital it is to recognize the magnitude of importance that details, or skipping details, play in our lives.

Accuracy and meticulous tendencies, such as taking notes in important, information-filled situations, is extremely beneficial things that one should practice.

Even with meticulous tendencies and over-alert awareness for paying attention to the details, one can forget the details.

Can you blame them, though?

Details are just so small, and our society celebrates and promotes the concept of “the bigger picture.” Once again, the small, minute details of an otherwise bigger picture are overlooked, as if they do not play a huge role in the creation of a bigger picture.

Within a bigger picture, one can find one big picture. One can also find hundreds of small, minute details that come together to create the “bigger picture,” in which you are staring at. Without the small, minute details, there would be no bigger picture. Or, the bigger picture would just be a blank, white canvas that looks just like the others.

From experience when I am beginning a new job and am learning all my job duties, and all the details behind my duties, I always grab a pen and paper to jot down any notes, or information, that I find important, I feel is emphasized, or I feel as though I may forget.

Let’s just say that I take a lot of notes.

Just because you are taking down notes does not mean that you do not have a good memory, or that you cannot handle life. It just means that you have accepted the fact that our ability to go beyond listening, or pretending to listen, to information and actually proceed to process, acknowledge, remember, and implement every single task correctly without any reminders, or without forgetting, is not as great as we would like to believe.

We all would like to remember every little thing without having to take notes, or make reminders, details and all. But, this is simply not realistic.

Write down everything if you so please, especially if it is going to assist you in retaining information accurately. Our brains can only remember so much!

Most of us have had our entire lives, minus our infancy, to practice taking notes.

Let’s take it outside of the classroom, how about that?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

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