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If It’s Not Written Down, It Didn’t Happen


Robby

About 4,000 years ago, humanity invented a new technology called written language. Here’s something we still haven’t seem to learn: if it’s not written down, it did not happen.

That may seem like a brutal philosophy. Obviously, history happens whether it’s recorded or not. Here in Indianapolis, jobs are filled and eliminated every day. And most of them disappear without ever appearing in an Indiana paper of record or barely on any paper at all.

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However, when you write something down the world changes. Instead of a comment just being an idle suggestion or a high-minded idea, it becomes a real promise. It’s suddenly something that has a sense of reality. There’s a real chance it’s actually going to happen.

Writing is also a way to predict the future. When the Indianapolis Colts make a roster change, for example, they send out a press release. The promise becomes fact. There’s no guarantee that writing it down will make it happen, but it certainly puts the process well ahead of just talk.

At your own job (here in Indy or elsewhere), consider writing things down. Summarize a conversation in a email, so that it’s captured and complete. Take notes in a meeting and post them on the wall. Keep a journal of phone calls. Update your job description. Jot ideas on whiteboard.

No matter what you do, writing makes it more likely to actually happen. If it’s not written down, why should anyone think it’s worth remembering?

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Mon, March 12 2012 » Corporate Culture, Leadership, Personal Organization

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