As I’ve written here before, I’ve become a big proponent of the Getting Things Done system promoted by David Allen. It’s been instrumental to my increasing ability to look at the things in life I want to accomplish, and actually achieving them. I don’t have the system down pat by any means but I’m working on it.
Part of my spiritual/productivity practice is to mine the shared knowledge of others who are also on this journey of accomplishing their dreams. One of these places is a podcast run by Tara Rodden Robinson of Corvallis, Oregon. The GTD Virtual Study Group (GTD-VSG for short) has been have two calls a month on various topics related to GTD for the past 2.5 years. I usually listen on the podcast that they have of the call.
The last call was about “Coping with the Information Tsunami” and the group discussed how individuals managed all the different floods of information that come to us everyday. This, and another related post by Augusto Pinaud on identifying the different “In Baskets” in his life, made me realize that one of the main problems that I’ve been facing in being overwhelmed is that I have too many sources of input coming at me.
I have discovered over the past few years that personal power is about your ability to make wise choices about the situation that you’re presented with, instead of reacting. I realized here that I was thinking that I might “miss something” if it’s there and I don’t see it. When I counted up all the different blogs, magazines, email accounts, etc. that I look at regularly for information, I realized that I was operating out of fear that I’d miss something, instead of the need for that information.
Just noticing this has helped me to look critically at why I’m spending so much energy checking and chasing after this information. I’ve already cut a number of blogs off my Google Reader and giving myself the okay not to read some magazines. It’s also allowing me mentally to choose to focus on some books and articles that I know will be helpful to me.
I’m feeling calmer and in more control with this realization, which is allowing me to get more done.
So, what data inputs do you have, and are they the ones that serve you, or are you serving them? Let me know your thoughts.
PS – I’m going to be the guest speaker on the next GTD Virtual Study Group Podcast on Thursday, March 25, 2010 and I’ll be discussing Using GTD for Career Development. Check out the Resonare Consulting website next week for a handout to accompany that talk.