There are always about 4 or 5 works in progress hanging in my house, in different dry condition. I add one layer of paint and then it needs to dry before I add the next layer or refine the details. Btw: layers are not always covering a whole painting from corner to corner.
If one of them is sitting on my easel again, I always have difficulties to re-connect with the painting in question. Sometimes they have been in rest for weeks and sometimes even for months. But every time it seems I need hours or days before I know how to work further on it, like an interrupted conversation. Most of the times my first attempts are quite pointless too.
To prevent this 'stumbling', I always write down a kind of start-up for the next reunion. To all of my paintings there belongs a little scrap paper with the receipt of the most important color mixes of that painting. Also the state of oiliness of the medium of the last applied layer is important to know. And than the start-up. That can be something like: "Next time start with a darker glaze for the shadow sides of the barks. Or "start to pink the horizon".
It maybe sound like silly reminders, but the moments they came up I'm in the best conceivable work flow to just that particular painting. In those flows I know exactly what the best order of layers or details is. The only problem are the huge interruptions.
I found out the written start-ups helped me a lot to restart. They quickly pull me back into the painting.
I LURRRV to-do lists.