As I’m running low on time, I want to quickly provide a checklist for ending sessions.

I wrap up sessions with four different checks.

  1. Would your future self benefit from a summary or bullet point list, noting what you worked on today, or noting where you left the document? Or maybe he could benefit if you add temporary tags like review, or a tag stating what draft it’s on. (We want to do more thinking for that future self.)
  2. How can you get some sort of feedback on the work you did today? Who could you share this with? Or at least, how could you set it up so you can revisit your work after a break.
  3. What nuggets from the session can you recycle? Did any information catch your attention that you want to share elsewhere? Any tweets? Any blogs? Any quotes to send a friend or family member?
  4. Lastly, update your next actions. Did any new actions arise? Did any old actions change course?

All of this focuses on tying up loose ends and looking out for your future self.

This might be the biggest change in my workflow over the last year. I used to work for hours and all I would end with was 50 new ideas that were scattered about. Not one was a complete, shareable thought. All that would do is make me more confused about my work. The next time I sat down, I would have all 50 of those on my mind, without any idea where to begin. So instead of building upon those, I made 50 more new ones. And so it goes. Instead, when you focus on developing one of those into something that someone else could understand, you build momentum. Your future self sits down and it’s like a snowball rolling downhill. He adds the next shareable layer. And so it rolls.