Posted: 21 August 2023
Inspiration: Conversation with colleague
How do you arrive back into thinking about something at work after time away?
In short, the primary way i help myself reassemble the context I need to become present in thinking about a piece (or “body”) of work after some time way is by equipping my future self with the context it needs to arrive back into the space and navigate within it.
Emphasis on “navigate” for movement and navigation are metaphors i heavily depend on to conceptualize how i think. more on this below.
For me, "...equipping my future self with the context it needs to arrive back into the space and navigate within it" amounts to answering questions like the below.
Note: it's key to sketch answers to these questions while you're still "in" the work, before you've "left."
- Why am i “here”?
What motivated me to think about this thing in the first place? What am i trying to decide? What new information am i trying to integrate? What uncertainty am i needing to make sense of?
- Where am i trying to “go”?
What question(s) am I trying to answer? What am I trying to learn? What impact am i trying to have? etc.
- Where have i been?
What have i already tried? What do i know? What have i decided? What do i assume? What have i not yet been able to answer/figure out?
- What context clues can i use to help navigate?
What assumptions, hypotheses, prior work, etc. informed what i’ve come to think? See "3."
Core to doing what i described above is seeing the value in the effort of externalizing what you’re currently able to hold in short-term memory because you can see/anticipate a future wherein that short-term memory is now holding other things.