The September/October 2010 FAA safety briefing [PDF download] has a number of good articles addressing the common challenge of maintaining proficiency as pilots.
The first article, ‘Practice makes proficient‘, gives some guidelines on what makes for good practice – make it count (don’t fly the same hour over and over again), make it planned (schedule your training so it happens), making it entertaining (we don’t like doing things that are boring), make it better (keep track of how you did, aim to improve on the next flight).
A second article gives some guidelines and links to resources on the different types of official recurrency programs – the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). This includes links to useful documents such as the guide to Conducting an Effective Flight Review and IPC guidance.
For the instrument rated pilots out there the third article addresses the particular challenges of maintaining instrument currency and talks about the differences between being Current and being Proficient.
A final article, “Getting back in the Game‘, touches on how to get back into flying after some time off and gives some thoughts on the best way to regain your knowledge and the practical aviation skills you need to fly safely.
There are lots of other articles in this edition and they are all well worth a read. You can find this edition and links to many of the past editions of the FAA Safety Briefing at this address: http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/