We can’t hold everything in our heads. Even if we try. Our brains only remember a certain amount and unfortunately it doesn’t distinguish between important information and trivia either (which is probably why we can remember all of the lyrics to a song we haven’t heard for ages but can’t remember what we did with our car keys!).
The point is that our brains only have a limited capacity, just like a computer. So if we don’t download the important information into something a little more robust it may well end up being lost forever! No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot remember it all.
In fact, writing things down, rather than keeping it in our heads can have an amazingly positive affect on our lives. In a study a psychology professor from the Dominican University of California found that we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals in life if we write them down on a regular basis.
Writing things out actually helps us remember them. It helps us focus and signals to our brain that this is information important enough to be retained. Which is also why writing our to do lists out has a much greater impact on our productivity than if we simply try to remember what we need to do each day.
However, it’s not simply goal setting or planning that benefits from the process of getting the information out of our heads. It can have a positive affect on other areas of our businesses too.
Writing your processes down, the ‘how to’ of your day to day business activity, can save you valuable time and money.
Firstly and fundamentally it gives you clarity and takes away the stress of having to rely on your memory (and your’s alone) to run your business effectively. However, it can also save you money and time in other ways too:
- By writing your processes down you can delegate tasks to other people. Sometimes we have so much to do and what we really need to do is outsource some of it. But we feel stuck because the ‘how to’ information is in our heads and we feel it would take as much time to explain it to someone else as it would to just do it ourselves!
- Writing your processes down enables this information to be transferred quickly and easily. Being able to pass some of your workload to a VA or sales assistant gives you so much extra time and allows you to focus on and do the work that will ultimately increase your profit. And just imagine how good it would be to be able to take a break, actually switch off and know that your business wouldn’t grind to a halt.
- Getting your processes out of your head also stops you duplicating tasks. When you’ve written down how to do something you won’t waste time trying to figure out how to do it again. How many times have you struggled to work something out only to finally remember that you’ve done it before. Once it’s out of your head it’s there as a reference point for the future, ultimately saving you hours of otherwise wasted time.
- Having how you do things written down also gives you consistency throughout your business. It means you’ll set standards and whoever works with you will maintain those standards and work in the way that you want them to. It gives you more control over your image and ultimately your reputation. Something that is invaluable if you want to grow and expand.
Getting your processes down can save you so much time and will ultimately help you grow and increase your profits. From creating consistency to streamlining tasks and out-sourcing (not to mention relieving the stress of having to remember so much information!), writing it down has a myriad of benefits and advantages. So give yourself and your memory a break and release the information that’s stuck in your head and save yourself time and money.