As I have progressed in my career I have taken on larger programs and portfolios of projects and programs. I also like understanding the details of the programs (so that I can articulate them when presenting to senior management or being asked questions). Combine those two things with a bad memory and attention/focus challnges that I have and the result has been a need to write everything down. I have a “book of truth” that I use to write down the background and litany of events for each program I manage as well as pages for one-on-ones or other key initiatives. I tend to review it cover to cover once a week as a way of reminding myself about the programs and where they are.
I also find writing down the notes and key issues helps me to remember the information and have an auidt trail of key facts (which I do reference a lot). I know some people struggle with the time investment it takes to write things down but I find that if I do it during meetings it actually helps me to focus on listening to the key points better.
For me, I always find it interesting when people don’t write anything down in meetings. Maybe I am just projecting my memory issues on other people, but I find it hard to beleive that people can remember all key items from meetings let alone any takeaways or action items. I have seen a few people who had this skill, but not many.
So I encourage you all to write down key points and then reference them back again on a regular basis. Hopefully you are doin that with my nuggets of wisdom from this blog each week.