The Value of Taking Notes by Author John Hawkins

Lasting motivation doesn’t come overnight. Seeking motivation is a lifelong endeavor, and motivation can happen at any time. To find it, you must commit to the change, engage, and trust in the process. With some changes, you will start to see the world in a new light. You should start to change. You will start to notice a difference in your thoughts, actions, and interactions with others. 

When you own and define the direction, you will have more energy to accomplish the goals you set out to accomplish. If you are not engaged and are still making changes, then continue to trust the process. If you are still feeling unenthusiastic, consider simple changes. Take a different way to work. Change when you work on your reflections. Switch from the morning to nighttime or nighttime to daytime. How about during lunch? Are you writing in a journal every day? Where have you tried to think? 

Writing Enforces Knowledge and Helps with Planning 

In school, our teachers taught us the art of note taking and how to capture the lessons and our homework assignments. I am sure you remember diligently listening to a lecture and jotting down keywords to capture the main points. After you watch a TV show or a movie, do you remember all the names of the principal characters? 

If you don’t remember all the details, it’s most likely because you were not 100 percent engaged in the process. You have to want to remember the details to be able to remember them. It doesn’t take long before we forget conversations and live in the moment. Living in the moment is good and well, but many who are seeking to achieve lofty goals diligently commit their ideas to paper. It is easy to forget our feelings and goals if we do not commit to writing them down. 

Note Taking Helps with Memory 

Many successful people write down their notes on a daily basis. The key is to capture the current situation and your thoughts as you go along. This will make writing your memoirs much easier when the time comes—I’m partially joking. If things work out, why not? If you haven’t started to write notes on this, try it soon. Make sure you set aside the same time of day for note taking, this will help you develop the habit. 

Some Note Taking Ideas 

There is no secret to writing or taking notes. If you are new to note taking, focus your energy on three areas: the past, present, and future. How much time you spend on each item can impact your success. Change is all about modifying the present so that you can have a future that is better aligned with your desires and goals. Your journal entries should reflect this. Spend the least amount of time on the past (unless you have not dealt with certain issues from the past), a fair amount of time on the future, and most of your time on the present. 

When you sit down to write, organize your time accordingly. 

If you have ten minutes, spend time in each of the following areas. 


Spend 5 percent of your time writing about the past—(what you have accomplished since your last entry). Track your progress. When you’ve reached 5 percent of ten minutes, move on to the present. 


Spend 70 percent of your writing time on the present. Your top priority should be on the here and now. Write about your daily actions. Jot down the activities you spend time on (maybe a half-hour increment or more) for each of these activities. Document which actions got you closer to your goal and which did not. 


Spend 25 percent of your writing on your future. You may be a great planner, but too much focus on the future can put you in an ivory tower. You will be sitting at the top of the tower without a foundation beneath you. Dream, plan, and make sure you are aligned—but always stay grounded. Write down the activities that align to your goals. Write down what you must accomplish today what would be nice to achieve tomorrow. Plan for tomorrow. 

If you have open issues with your past, they take priority. Spend time writing about the past so you can move on. There is nothing you can do to change what has already occurred. Always measure your performance. If you’ve set a goal that requires time, track it. Review it—and keep the progress top of mind. 

The best way to experience achievement is to focus on activities that are in alignment with who you are. Have a vision of what you want to become. By creating a plan with realistic goals, you can overcome your fear of success or failure. If you create a strategic plan for your life, business, or both, you won’t have to be anxious about potential success or failure. You will be gradually accomplishing little victories that will not be as intimidating with your newfound confidence. 

John Hawkins' new book, Coached to Greatness, was written to help those in need of inspiration and motivation, by sharing his experiences building plans to avoid pitfalls that could lead them further from achieving their goals and help coach them to greatness. John is also a technologist, strategist and has over 20+ years consulting to fortune 25-500+ companies. Find John on Twitter @HawkinsJohn

I hope you enjoyed this article about the value of taking notes when writing for work or professional projects.

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