What George Washington and iPhones have in common.
Can you remember what you had for dinner last night? Probably. Can you remember what you had for dinner exactly six months ago today? Very unlikely. Unless you keep a diary. Of course, there's no particular need to remember what you had for dinner six months ago, unless I suppose you're perhaps a chef, nutritionist, or very interested in your food habits.
The point is that for important stuff, it's sometimes a very good idea to get it down somewhere.
Then, when you need to remember how you did something well - you can just go and look it up. It doesn't have to be a conventional diary. It can be a journal. An iPhone app. Emails you send yourself. You could even save it in 'notes' on your phone. Anywhere you can consult and learn from.
George Washington was the first US president, and he was a mad keen diary writer.
He lurrrved writing diaries. He wrote diaries on all sorts - politics/war/travel. He was especially keen on writing diaries on farming conditions, apparently. These diaries mattered so much to him that once he went on a long trip and forgot his diary, and was very annoyed when he discovered he'd left it behind. He ordered somebody immediately to jump on the horse (I made that horse bit up... but it sounds nice) and go and find it at his residence.
‘It will be found, I presume, on my writing table,’ he said. ‘Put it under a good strong paper cover, sealed up as a letter.’
Why did he write so much down? He realised the importance of planning for the future, but also of recording what he did with his time so he could return to have a look at it at any point in the future.
If iPhones, or smartphones, or laptops had been invented quite a lot earlier, perhaps he would have written his stuff that way instead. (Now you've worked out the tenuous title of this blog).
"We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience."