Jobs that involve working with people generally have a written work component to them (report writing and record keeping, for example). This can become a routine part of the job, and so there is a danger that we write without first thinking about what we are writing, why we are writing it and who we are writing it for. The result can be very poor-quality written work, communication breakdowns and misleading records and reports that have the potential to wreak havoc. What we write may continue to be used for many years to come by other people involved in the future, so committing stuff to writing for posterity without giving it any thought is a risky business. So, the idea of ‘think before you write’ is wise counsel.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that the Avenue Successful Time and Workload Management e-learning course is based on four principles of time and workload management. One of those principles is ‘Invest time to save time’. Unfortunately, busy people often fail to do this. There may be useful ways in which they could save time and energy, be more effective and/or achieve better results with the same resources, but many people will not explore these because they see themselves as being too busy to do so. That is, they don’t invest time to save time. An investment is not the same as a cost – the idea is that you should get that time back, with interest. Abraham Lincoln is attributed with saying that, if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axe.