Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Have you ever had the experience of knowing you forgot something, but can’t remember what it was you forgot? (I know, if you remembered, you wouldn’t have forgotten…) And then perhaps something jogged your memory so that you remembered?
Many experts recommend techniques to get yourself remembering things. The techniques cover everything from moving around your house to reviewing old calendars, to creating a master list of “joggers”.
I like the idea of being reminded with a list of memory joggers, but my problem with creating the list myself is simple: if I can’t remember why I went downstairs two minutes ago, how am I going to remember what to put on a list to trigger my memory?
The RAM Dump
I’ve used this very detailed list to help keep me on track and to remind me of things I may need to get to. It is an extensive list, so I only do it twice a year. More than that would overwhelm me.
Using the RAM Dump
To use this list, I print out one copy. (This is contrary to the instructions, but my work is highly structured and a planning system keeps track of all open loops for us.) I take the list and start putting notes right on it.
I usually couple this with a walk around my house, inside and out, opening every closet, cabinet and drawer along the way.
Next my notes go into my Bonsai outline. From there, they fall into my regular task system.
I just finished the first Dump of 2010. I didn’t find as much as I had a year ago, so that tells me that I am doing a better job of keeping up with things. Of course, I found some things that came up in previous dumps, and now I have to consider if I am going to actually do them, or if they need to be jettisoned.
Why This Important
I find that doing regular RAM dumps keeps me from having the nagging feeling I’m forgetting something. Or actually forgetting something. This list of memory-joggers helps me capture fleeting thoughts of “I need to do this someday” that happen at odd moments.
By freeing up having to think about these loose ends (which David Allen calls open loops), I can concentrate on what is at hand.
I encourage each of you to take a look at this list and do a RAM dump of your own. Post a comment with your likes/dislikes and the results!
Photo by William Hook