Saturday, 6 July 2013

Review burnout - I can't do it any more

Suddenly I have had to stop. Or at least scale back my reviews.

I have been running a two-week window over every week of the past two years to review the images pinned to my mental calendar, then every day of the past month.

Some times I did not complete the review and so the next day ran a three-day window to make sure images had their refresh. I was scared I would start losing them otherwise.

The two-year period stretched back before 17 December 2011, when I started this process of remembering, and there are many blanks prior to that date. I wanted to become accustomed to days dropping out of the reviews before the precious images from 17 December 2011 onwards were put at risk.

But I burned out yesterday. Two years is too much.

I had fallen asleep the day before without completing and was faced with three-day reviews.

I just couldn't get going. No energy. I skated over the surface of my mental calendar unable to engage with the images.

I compromised and began the process in January this year. That was not only comfortable, but gives all the positive benefits I have been writing about. I'm not stopping, but adapting.

Without regular reviews, memory tags for the whole of 2012 are at risk.

I've restarted my diary, which takes time, because it is not just the tags, but all the key things they conjure up I want to write into my narrative. Now I have a sense of urgency to catch up so if I lose what I had, I will be able to find myself on paper.

Today, I continued with this strategy, covering only this year in my review.

With free time on a bike ride, I did go back through the 6th of every month. Everything was still there.

The experiment of whether the memories are now entrenched and will remain without regular reviews begins now.

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