One of the best techniques for becoming a better thinker is setting aside time to think without distractions. However, while most of us can set aside some time, once we start thinking about that important business problem we start going off on tangents. To keep yourself focused and sharpen your reasoning skills, write down your thoughts about the issue at hand. You don’t have to send it to anyone but getting your thoughts down on paper is a proven method for clarifying and focusing your ideas.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, requires that whoever runs a meeting write a memo no longer than six pages about the issue they’re discussing. For the first 15 to 30 minutes of the meeting, the group reviews the memo. The rest of the meeting is spent discussing it. No PowerPoint allowed.
Writing also provides other benefits. It affects the brain much like meditation does. Your breathing slows down and you get into a “zone” as you concentrate, which de-stresses you. It helps improve your vocabulary and if you choose to write longhand, you’ll also retain much more of what you write.
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