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The secret to being better at everything you do

For several years now, I've been writing everyday (almost) about productivity, my approach to life and product development, and my world-views and what I write has become really inculcated in me.

Writing prose forces me to think deeply about something. I need to really understand an idea before I can distill it into a blog post that I can publish. And writing daily has ensured that I think deeply about the things that matter to me everyday.

I have been taking the same approach at work as well. Writing documents (product specs, business cases, etc) were originally only with the goal of communicating my ideas effectively with others that I work with. But, over time, it has grown to become something that also helps me think things through more deeply even when it doesn't involve sharing it with anyone else.

The more I write about something, the better I understand it. Simply because I have to read more and research more and think more about what I eventually end up writing about.

This is probably the reason why Jeff Bezos mandates all strategic meetings at Amazon to be supplemented with a 6-page draft of what will be discussed. If someone isn't able to articulate and outline in detail the ideas they wish to communicate with others they work with, handing them that collective valuable time isn't worth it. And more importantly, going through that exercise helps the person presenting the ideas be more articulate and well prepared about all the possible outcomes and scenarios.

I have seen several people who claim that journaling has been a very effective tool to be better at everything that they do, but have never really seen a convincing explanation as to why that could be the case. What does journaling do to us to make us better at everything that we do?

When I looked at it at the lens of my own blog, I began to see the connection. In a way, my blog is a kind of a journal that I write everyday.

Journaling is, in essence, writing prose. And writing prose needs us to think deeply about what we write and hence, forces us to ruminate over our daily thoughts and actions. And doing it everyday consistently over a period of time helps internalise a lot of the thoughts and approaches, making us more effective in everything that we do.

The secret to being better at everything you do - write prose.

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