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Really, this is personal. I mean, what's best for me isn't
necessarily best for you and vice versa. I think what I do is pretty
elementary, but I don't see a lot of people doing it. Most of them
should, I think.
At the end of every work day I write in my "readme.doc" file what I
should do tomorrow. If I don't, when I get to work the next morning I
stare at my computer for a while, gathering my thoughts,especially on
Mondays. This way I don't waste time. I do the same thing at home.
I have to-do lists all over the place.
I also write most things I learn. Here at work I've had to learn a
lot of procedures. I wouldn't dare trust my memory, there are so
many. This way I can consult my notes rather than walk down the hall
and take someone else away from their work to help me with mine.
Saves time and saves face. (This is, of course, in an ideal
situation, when my notes cover EVERYTHING, including troubleshooting
problems that may come up.)
I used to be ashamed that I had to do these things because it's
admitting that I have a crummy memory. But I felt better when I read
in one of those self-help books that all successful executives to
exactly what I do.