Mark Your Progress
I was thinking the other day about how to better structure my morning routine to get more stuff done and it occurred to me that I had tried this task before.
More than that, I recalled that I had identified specific problems I was facing–I felt tired when the alarm rang in the morning, I didn’t feel productive, etc.
There are many problems of this sort, I think–what foods to be eating, how to stay awake in the afternoons, whether or not to spend extra time relaxing–which crop up in everyday contemplation, especially if we have self-improvement on the mind.
The point is that, as I thought about the problem, many of the thoughts and connections I was making felt very familiar–they were thoughts I’d had before. I was thinking along the same lines, and I could feel that these thoughts were nothing new. I wasn’t discovering new connections, but “rediscovering” lost threads my brain had spun before, which felt familiar again upon reunion.
However, it seems like we could lose a lot of headway if we have to retrace the same thought path every time. So it seems helpful to keep track, in whatever medium works best, of where we are mentally, especially when considering recurring problems in our lives.
Detailing the mental journey we take throughout our problem solving endeavors seems obvious in retrospect, but it’s something I haven’t been doing. We keep notes of the work we’ve done when solving math problems so we don’t have to redo calculations–a similar approach could remove unnecessary “repeated thoughts” for other life problems, I think.
Aside from allowing you to “save your progress”, keeping an “open problems” journal seems like the sort of habit that would allow these problems to be more salient in your mind, making it easier to create headway and muse on them in free moments.
I will start keeping one of these journal and see how things go.