I’ve always been one for keeping lists and writing down anything and everything that comes to mind for fear of forgetting about them a moment later. In the past when I worked at an office, at the end of the day I would write down everything that I was working on or had to work on the following day. Then when I left work, I could free up my mind from anything having to do with work and the following day I could review my notes and quickly return to where I was and get to working.
This is a very “Getting Things Done” (GTD) thing to do, to get the tasks one has to do out from the mind and into a trusted system, but instead of recording tasks I need I find the act of writing down these notes as a record of my state of mind. I’ve found that this facilitated both emptying the mind after each day’s work as well as being able to return to where I left off very quickly the next time I was at work.
Only recently have I been doing this kind of note taking at the end of my work sessions on my different personal projects and I have found it incredibly helpful in the same ways as it did for my work life, but in an even more valuable way as it is my personal work. Today I was very excited to be able to review my notes from my last work session on my piece and with only enough mental energy to focus for a short amount of time (15 minutes), I was able to almost fall exactly back where I was last working and accomplish a lot in that time. (I am remind of Feldman always doing a “day’s work”, whatever that was for that day, and certainly today feel that a “day’s work” was done.)
With so many different projects going on it was always a trick to get sort everything out in my head. Reusing this technique of writing notes at the end of work sessions to other areas of my life has already yielded benefit and I will be looking forward to experimenting with this for all of the projects I am working on.