Several years into my teaching career, a long time ago now, I found myself going to lots of meetings. I was not very good at meetings. (I’m still not.) My mind wanders, I get fidgety and I get bored. I needed to make notes but that seemed like piling tedium upon tedium. I wasn’t keen.
Just in time, along came Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. In amongst many great ideas that, to this day, help keep me relatively sane, was this great tip: use tools that give you joy and so turn chores into pleasures.
I went out and bought a black Lamy Safari and a Moleskine. (As I said, this was a long time ago, when Moleskine notebooks were quite good.)
It worked. Writing became fun. I wanted to take notes because I wanted to use my pen and notebook. I won’t everything down. I paid attention. I didn’t get sacked.
Many people wonder why anyone would want to spend so much time and effort on something as everyday and unremarkable as pen and paper. Yet it is this ubiquity that makes it worthwhile. If you are going to be writing more than a word or two a day, why wouldn’t you want to spend some time making that experience a little more fun?
It might even help you keep your job.