I notice a silly pattern with respect to how I've been capturing, triaging, and checking off action items.
It goes like this. First, I feel overwhelmed with all the open loops I have—it seems impossible to keep up with them all. At some point, I remember I used to have this system where I'd write down (capture) the projects and action items and schedule days to resurface each action item. In that system, every day I triage the items I've scheduled for the day to figure out what I'm actually going to have time for. I start using this system. It helps. Things calm down a little. With things calm like this, I can't justify the overhead to myself anymore—it doesn't feel worth it. I stop using the system quite so seriously. Then I get overwhelmed...
It's like the opposite of a time loop. Instead of cycling through the same span of time over and over again, to a span of time but retaining memories and building up to a grand solution, I'm moving through time as normal but forgetting what I've done before and repeatedly reinventing the same solution. It's deja vu problem solving.
[The question is, should I keep up with the system? Is it worth the overhead? Or is it more efficient to reimplement it on-demand when things get overwhelming and I'm just going through the learning process? I don't know, but I suspect I ought to just keep it up. It sounds in the abstract like less work. I probably won't agree, though, when I have to keep up the system every day.]