“There are days when my forgetter is working overtime. I remember just as much as I always did, but as I have gotten older I have so many more things to remember and I can’t figure out which button to push on my cranial computer.” ~Marge Jetton, 105 vibrant years old.
Marge Jetton’s words cause me to think about why we forget to follow through, to remember important dates, faces, tasks, meetings or other such things. I believe that in this day and age we have allowed our heads to become overloaded with too much information. Furthermore, we don’t take the time to sort out what, when and who are really, truly important. We spend inordinate amounts of time “downloading” multitudes of information. We over stimulate ourselves with information that is unimportant, nonessential, low level and time wasting. I know for a fact that I have done this in this technological age. I have decided to combat this overload by becoming more strategic in how I approach this 24/7 information dump on my head. I periodically, once or twice a month, spend about an hour or so looking at what I am doing to make progress toward the five to seven personal or professional goals at the core of achieving my vision for the future. If the incoming information isn’t related to those goals I spend little or no time on it. I won’t allow myself to spend precious time on information, activity, or communication that will not get me to my ultimate goals.
As I get older and time is more fleeting, this approach has been most satisfying and energizing. Of course there is much more to my approach than I can explain in this short missive. However, allow me to share a regular activity I use in those twice a month sit downs I have with myself. If you choose to challenge yourself, take a sheet of paper and list out all the activities you have participated in over a two week period. I mean everything, as much as you can remember. Then, review your two week activity list. Put a check mark next to every item that was focused on your top five to seven personal and professional goals for the year. Then star those activities that were unrelated, time wasters, irrelevant, low level activities that seem to come in over the internet, into your office, called in on the phone or those that are piled on the desk. I will wager that if you do this, you will find that at best three quarters or more of your time will have been spent NOT focused on what is truly important.
You see, I believe information overload, overstimulation, and wasting time is a choice we regularly make. I know it is for me. However, I am learning how to find the right buttons to push on my cranial computer to delete the useless overloads that are coming my way.
Good luck rediscovering your F10 button!
“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” ~ Barry Werner