If you seek to become smarter, taking up regular writing activities is a good place to start.
Multiple studies have shown that writing regularly makes you smarter, as it helps you make sense of your everyday world and sort through the jumble of your thoughts. Here’s how it can make you smarter, and how to start writing in order to feel the benefits.
Deal with emotions and crises
Ever keep a diary or journal as a child? As an adult, you could well benefit from taking up that habit again. A study followed recently fired engineers, asking them to write about their thoughts and feelings every day.
It was found that those that stuck to their writing regime showed less hostility towards their previous employers and that they were coping better with unemployment. What’s more, they found new jobs quicker than those who did not.
Writing about your feelings allows you to sort them out and really examine what’s happening in your life to make you feel this way. It helps raise your emotional intelligence and improves your coping mechanisms for when things do go wrong.
Choose your method of writing wisely
If you’re thinking of taking up writing activities, you’re probably thinking about using your PC or laptop in order to start taking down notes. In fact, in lecture halls you see students tapping away at laptops regularly. However, that isn’t the best way to retain information.
A study focusing on the difference between note-taking by hand or by typing found that hand writers take in more, every time. This is because when you’re typing notes, you can move quickly so you’re not taking in what the speaker is saying.
Instead, what you’re doing is transcribing. If you write by hand, though, you have to think about what you take down, as you can’t write everything and keep up with the lecture.
Writing helps when you have too many thoughts
Ever felt like your brain is like a browser that has way too many tabs open? There’s too much information, you feel like you’re going to crash any minute, and one of the tabs is playing a tune and you can’t figure out which one it is.
If you have too much going on in your head, then writing it down allows you to ‘free up space’ in your brain. You can outline all those ideas that are swirling around, and then get on with whatever it was you were doing. There’s a reason why so many writers keep a notebook and pen close by at all times.
Writers do better in the workplace
Writing activities don’t just help you in your personal life. In today’s workplace, most of the communication you do will be through the written word. How many emails do you send every day?
If you practice at writing, then your writing at work will improve too. You’ll be able to express yourself more clearly, meaning you need to send fewer messages. Your co-workers will find it easier to work with you, as they know exactly what you need from them.
Good writing is a sign of good leadership qualities, too. If you’re looking to move up the career ladder, then writing every day is going to be key to this goal.
Communicate more clearly
Writing activities can help you with your communication in general. There are lots of people out there that feel like they can’t quite explain what’s going on in their minds. It’s not that they can’t express it, it’s because they don’t have practice in expressing it.
Practicing regular writing means that you’ll no longer get that feeling of having a word or expression on the tip of your tongue. Writing about your thoughts means that you’re laying them bare on the page. You can see for yourself where you want to go with these thoughts. You can then flesh them out, and you’ll find that this becomes easier as time goes on.
Understand concepts easily
When revising for exams, some students will take a fresh piece of paper and write all of the facts they can remember. This does two things for them. One, they can see what they already know. Secondly, it shows them where the gaps in their knowledge are.
This can work for you, too. Whenever you need to grasp a new concept, write down everything that you know about it. When you’re done, you’ll be able to see what you still need to learn. This is a highly useful skill and shows you how writing activities can really help make you smarter.
Write every day
If you want to start writing, then you need to do it regularly. Doing it whenever you remember won’t work. Writing every day is the only way to truly get the benefits of writing activities. Set aside a time and place and write about whatever’s going on in your head. It is recommended to write until you’ve filled up two pages, or around 750 words.
You can use writing to improve your intelligence. It just takes a small amount of time and dedication to do so.
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It reminded me of the technique of the morning pages. This technique is described in the book by Julia Cameron “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity” Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, ideally done first thing in the morning.