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  • Step 1: Carry a Notepad

    [caption id="attachment_2517" align="alignleft" width="352" caption="Write Your Thoughts Down"]Writing Inspiration[/caption]

     

    Do you sometimes have a million ideas and thoughts running through your head at once? Do you ever come up with an idea, remember something important, or hear something that's inspiring and wish you could remember it? Drew Hansen, a writer for Forbes Magazine, discusses how carrying a notepad with him at all times has helped him organize his thoughts and prioritize what he needs to accomplish that day. You might have another tool like this: iPad, notebook or clipboard...whatever it is, as long as you are getting your thoughts down on paper. We might not see this or realize this, but many people do this, especially those who are running a business, like Sir Richard Branson.

    It’s the key to deeper insights.

    When I was in high school, I started carrying a small notepad everywhere I went. I needed a way to keep track of my homework assignments, and I guess my school planner wasn’t doing the job. Maybe it was too structured, and I needed a more flexible option. Or maybe I ran out of space near the end of the year and needed a temporary solution until school started again in the fall. Either way, I carried this notepad religiously and soon began compiling lists of things to do, whether they related to school or not. Gradually it morphed into a method of  jotting down broader observations and questions about life. At the time, I didn’t know anyone — especially in my peer group — who did this.

    A couple years later, I met a prominent man who had a similar system for recording his deepest thoughts. We sat next to each other during a meeting and both listened attentively to the speaker. At one point, he reached inside his suit coat and pulled out a small notepad and pen. I watched as he scribbled a few notes down before sliding it back into his pocket. When I retrieved my own notepad and showed it to him, he smiled and, while nodding, whispered that he had an entire drawer of these small notebooks at home. They were full of his thoughts, recorded in the instant they occurred. Apparently I was onto something.

    Turns out he and I are in good company. I recently learned that Richard Branson has a habit of carrying a notebook everywhere he goes. Like an exceptional student, Branson is eager to learn, but unlike the majority of his classmates, he doesn’t document the lecture’s main points. Instead, he focuses on his reaction to what he encounters. He’s a true student of life.

    Read more at Forbes Leadership

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