This is Not A Productivity Post «

Life: ,

I’ve had this little collection at my bedside for a dozen years. Well, not this collection.

I go through the index cards pretty quick, so they need regular replenishment. And sometimes they’re a tear-off pad of paper. Or sticky notes.

And this pen is a pretty recent replacement of the one I emptied. The brand and model don’t matter one whit, don’t be a moleskine nerd.

There isn’t usually a little flashlight, that’s way optional. It’s nice, at night, when I’m adding to a note, but I can use the backside or another card if I don’t have a light.

And for a couple years the whole pile was actually a small digital voice recorder.

This is not a post about some clever tool for increasing productivity. That’s a picture of a sleep aid.

When I lay down to fall asleep I’m still sorting through the jumble of the day and I think of things I left undone, or I plan tomorrow, or I have little inspirations for projects, or I realize I forgot to do something, or I have an upsight about how to improve some code, or, or, or, or…

I can’t fall asleep when I’m juggling several thoughts, trying to keep them all in the air until I get up in the morning. I have to get rid of them, get them out, evaporate the fear that I’ve lost track of something. Keeping a pen and notecard, or any other way of recording thoughts, in easy reach is how I relax to fall asleep.

Some nights I don’t write down a single thing. Some nights I write down three dozen. Most nights I write down one or two things. Very infrequently, I jot down all the clutter and with it all cleared away I realize I have an idea so big and important I have to get up and get a full-sized piece of paper to sketch it out, to get it all down or to dive into it and start exploring the implications and producing the work and making things happen. But most nights I sleep very well.


  1. I’m one of those lucky people who can focus my mind on something else. Plus, it’s a good way to irritate your significant other: “Good night, babe.” 30 seconds later she’s wondering how you manage to go to sleep so fast and is creating a plot to carve whatever organ it is from your body and have it transplanted into her own so she can sleep better.

    Well… maybe not quite as sinister as all that. :P

  2. Yeah, I’m kinda with JGadrow on this one. Usually, I can get to sleep in 30 seconds, but sometimes, it’s been 5 minutes, and I say to my wife “I can’t get to sleep” only after she finally moves a bit. (This irks her to no end). But there are occasions that Peter talks about. I can’t sleep because I need to write something down, or make sure the door is locked. I do have a notepad at the side of my bed, but I usually write it where it belongs, which usually requires a computer, because if I don’t, then I end up thinking about whether or not I’ll remember to put it where it belongs in the morning.

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