Though I can’t say with any definitive proof that everyone will benefit from this tip, I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t ever complete anything without it–and it’s worth a try.
I’m talking about the art of uniformity.
Whether you are a student or a full-time worker, this art form–it really is just that–is well worth a shot if you’re struggling to motivate yourself.
The whole idea of uniformly organising notes, loose leaf papers, pens, and pencils is not new. For a lot of us, this tip will have been something tried and failed… So why am I suggesting you retry something that has already failed once?
Essentially, it is a much better system of organisation than any other, regardless of how many times it hasn’t worked out. We often think of organisation as two options: clean or messy. I can assuredly say that clean beats messy when it comes to motivation–every single time.
A lot of people–and I used to be one of them–often say that formatting notes and making them look “pretty” is not really conducive to productivity. Rather, they say that it slows them down or provides an avenue for procrastination.
I agree. Yes, note-taking is an art form, in that it takes time and energy. However, where my opinion differs is the initial kickstart note-takers will experience when first setting eyes upon a set of clean notes. Tidiness does wonders for self-motivation.
I’ve noticed an improvement in my motivation and productivity whenever I staple together a uniformly formatted document of notes. Having headings with the same font, colour, and size is uber helpful in not only organising ideas and key words in my mind, but also making my notes look decent enough for me to willingly pick up on a Saturday afternoon.
Aside from headings and uniform formatting, I’ve also taken on board a system of note-taking specific to each subject at school. For instance, my maths notes are sorted by topic (like calculus, real functions, and trigonometry) and hand-written on A5 paper, while my economics notes are saved electronically by chapter.
Both methods are valid and useful, despite the general assumption that formatting and organising would take up a lot of time that could be otherwise spent. The extra time you spend taking notes neatly is time you’ve saved from putting off assignments and revision because you just can’t stand the sight of your notes. You can set yourself up for a more motivated mindset if you plan out your notes tidily, ready for revisions and exam preparation.
So next time you are preparing for an exam, try neat note-taking (again).
How do you normally take notes? Tell us at @Fuzzable on Twitter!