Journaling is an excellent way to track your activities, capture thoughts and ideas, and generally empty your head when necessary. Almost all of the popular productivity techniques involve some sort of “brain dump” or “mind like water” philosophy. The dilemma comes to separating work from home. I’ve heard it advocated to not separate them, but rather keep one journal for everything you do.
via slacker manager
Now I’ve heard some scientific types that suggest that the mind can only keep track of 4 or 5 things at one time tops.
A study published last week affirmed this finding, and also furthered our understanding of the factors underlying working memory capacity. Awh, Barton, and Vogel’s research showed that working memory capacity (on average, about 4 items) is not affected by the complexity of the items remembered. More complex stimuli will be remembered with less detail, but the amount of information remembered is about the same.
So to me one of the keys to actually getting things done is having some type of device/system/thang to store your mental data so that you can pay attention to what happening now with a clear mind…
Because the world is too rich for our brains to process at once (or even in a lifetime), we are equipped with mechanisms that restrict the avalanche of information to a manageable trickle…
At the level of the brain, this restrictive bottleneck is referred to as attention; when we attend to a certain stimulus, we select it for more comprehensive processing, while relegating the rest to a relatively superficial survey. Because of these limitations on our perceptual capabilities, we can only focus on one input at a time, making it difficult to, for example, have a conversation on the phone while reading an unrelated magazine article.