I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind... At these times... I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure.
-- Albus Dumbledore
-- Albus Dumbledore
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J K Rowling introduced the Pensieve, an magical object where people can store their thoughts and memories.
I recently built my own Pensieve. Okay, it's just a notebook, and I didn't start out making a Pensieve.
A few days ago I started a to do list. A 5 year to do list.
There's a lot of things I'd like to do or or need to do in my life. Some of them I have to do tomorrow. Some of them can wait. But they were floating out there in the ether of my consciousness to be delayed or forgotten.
I began to write them down to organize them and to experience the joy of crossing things out.
This is just that -- a list. It's not an action plan. It's not a collection of goals. It's just 9 pages (and growing) of things to do in the next half decade. Items range from "Take out the recycling" to "Hang puzzle on wall" to "Tour Japan"
Somewhere along the way, it turned into a Pensieve. Now, whenever I start thinking about all the things I have to do, I take out this list and write them down. The stress goes away as I touch that wand to my forehead, extract those silverly slivers of thought, and deposit them in the basin.
Writing down these to do items frees my mind of clutter. It puts the items and detritus of a busy life someplace where I can work on them, and stops them from attacking me with their urgent impatience. And with a 5 year time frame on the list I don't have to worry about missing my own self-imposed deadline. At least no yet.
Now I just have to try crossing them off the list faster than I add new things. 2013-05-03 isn't that far away.
You can find more Harry Potter quotes here.