You might not be able to always stay in touch with all your work. I mean the work that involves psychological commitment/labor. For some time you might feel like you have a good grip of everything in your life and sometime later you’ll feel like you have lost the touch. You might feel like you had it all figured out and on your way to completion. But you can be easily thrown off the track by some illness, work, travel, parties, sex, games or whatever. These things happen and it’s OK…… as long as you don’t go backwards.
When you have to dig miles deep for a treasure, it’s alright to stop digging for a while. A huge shift in your way of life is difficult and everyone has their own pace. Some might be all enlightened in one step and some might do it in thousand or even a 100 000 steps. What you must not do is taking a step back. You can stop the digging and take some time off. But never bury what you dug; not even a little bit.
Always know where you are in your work. Know how much you have created. Know how much you have understood. Then, if you went out of the track you know where you have to start from. After staying some time off the track you might think that you’ll have to start from the bottom or some lower place. It’s a complete delusion stuck in your mind. When proving a mathematical theorem, mathematicians use all the previously proven theorems right away instead of going back from the basics or somewhere between where you are and the basics.
Take a field which needs a great deal of human insight like Quantum Mechanics. Not many people can swallow it at once. You can learn QM little by little, taking small breaks. When you come back after a break, remember where you were at last and start off from there. You may feel like you’ll have to go back and slowly get into the subject. This will slow you down immensely. All the things you have learnt are stored in your memory. You have experienced them all. Just put yourself on the edge of what you have learned and push yourself forward. This will make you let go of your need to go backtracking and what’s already in your mind will come out. Think you are tired and can’t run really fast. The truth is you just don’t want to run. Put yourself in front of a mad dog and you’ll not only run fast, but also be very smart and tactical.
If you are involved in creative work and had to engage in some work that gets you out of the mood, I recommend going for an idea sprint. When you are not learning but creating, this is the best way to get into the flow. After some time you’ll realize that getting out of the “zone” or natural flow is just like pausing a game or a video. You can start off from where you left. So remember to save frequently and use bookmarks so that you wouldn’t be bewildered when you come back.
Here is an extra tip: If you still feel difficult to get back into the flaw and start off from where you left go for something related. It’s completely inefficient to start off from a lower level instead of resuming your work. Think you are stuck with a vital part of a short story. Then start another story that is a bit related to what you were writing and after some time you’ll have created something to fill the vital part. If you are stuck with some QM notes, watch a documentary on QM. If you are stuck with a difficult question, try answering some other questions for some time. This will engage yourself in going ahead in some other work while getting you into the flow of what you originally wanted to engage in. Good luck with whatever you are doing! Always remember to be efficient; not hard or “slow and steady”.