Buy time when returning to a task by using zanshin

Have you ever caught yourself at the beginning of a task and you have no idea where you left off? This can be especially true when you have multiple tasks and need to split them up by time. 

Buy time when returning to a task by using zanshin

I am sure many can recall such cases. And at the same time, what often happens when we are working on a task is we think “No, I will not forget this” or “I will work on this tomorrow, I will clearly remember everything.” 

Unfortunately or fortunately, life has a very annoying habit of not following our plans, and sometimes literally anything can happen between part 1 and part 2 of your task. More days before you can reconvene, an unexpected trip, other major distractions, and so on. And here we are at the beginning of the second part, again having no idea where we left off. 

What helps me and what I incorporate more and more into my daily routine is “Zanshin” — 残心, “remaining mind”. It’s a martial arts term that I really like. It means a state of relaxed alertness and often refers to alertness after a technique is executed. 

When you are done with part 1 of your task, it’s a good time to zanshin — take notes, write a summary, note what you need to do next, mark sentences you need to pay attention to, write down ideas you want to think about etc. At this point, you have everything you need in your “RAM*” which is easy to get hold of. Even if you return to part 2 of your task soon, your mind will still go out of the state of flow and it will take you longer to remember things. Either way, by doing zanshin, you’re buying time. 

It usually takes me 5 to 10 minutes. But you will know exactly what you need and how long it will take you to do zanshin intelligently after you try it. See for yourself.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” — Michael Altshuler

*RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system, application programs and data in current use are kept so they can be quickly reached by the device’s processor.