The other day I was driving to Denver to attend a meeting with the SBA and the Minority Business Office. During the drive, I was listening to an audio-book about how to work smarter. While I didn’t particularly like the audio-book (too touchy-feely for my taste), the author did raise an interesting point when she said that you should write a diary each day. Her argument was that the simple act of observing and then writing about it creates greater understanding.
Specifically, when you read something like this post, you might be inspired for a moment. However, that feeling often fades quickly with time. Yet, if you read this post and then write out a summary of the content and what it means for your specific situation, you solidify it in your mind in what is known as psychomotor learning. This is the same reason that your teachers in school told you to read a text and then write about it as part of a homework assignment or test. They wanted to increase your comprehension of the subject matter. It has been proven time and time again that this type of process improves learning and retention.
Moreover, if you are asked to teach others what you have learned, you build in yet another level of deeper understanding. Writing a blog, even if no one else reads it, creates this greater level of understanding.
Also, when you write and publish a daily or even a weekly blog, it forces you to reflect and continue to write regularly. If you don’t follow through and publish your blog on time, you will lose face in front of your readers. This extra level of accountability strengthens your resolve to keep learning and producing content.
This extra level of accountability is the same reason people joining Overeaters Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. If you share your commitment with others, you feel more committed to following the plan every day. If you join a gym, sign up for specific time slots, and share your exercise goals with your friends, it is harder to make up excuses to avoid working out.
For people who say they’re not a good writer, I’d recommend doing a video log or “vlog” like Mike Baxter (played by Tim Allen) does each week on his hit series “Last Man Standing.” Perhaps you don’t want to go on camera or don’t have a webcam to do a vlog. Then develop a podcast or at the very least just keep a diary for yourself.
In addition, you become more influential and gain more trust in your field when others read your blog, watch your vlog, or listen to your podcast, which is just an added bonus to helping you internalize concepts better.
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