Always On

amplifi clarifi simplifi Mar 17, 2021

Do you feel like there's a lot of stuff coming at you?

If so, you might be suffering from the always-on conundrum.

You know that feeling that something will come at you at any time or that awful persistent thought that you might be missing something?

It's hard to put edges on our work in the information age.

Just fifteen or twenty years ago, people could parcel off pieces of their lives. Not completely of course, but enough to have some peace of mind when spending time with family and friends.

Thus we have the conundrum.

If we try to compartmentalize our work and home, we probably make the noise worse, because of something called ironic process theory: The more we try to not think of something, the more that thing is cemented into our brains.

You may have read studies on this using a white bear or a pink elephant.

Give it a try.

Don't think about a pink elephant!

While one part of the brain is shutting out thoughts of the pink elephant, another part helpfully reminds you that there's something about a pink elephant that needs to be dealt with.

If it’s on our mind, our mind isn’t clear. "Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them." (David Allen)

That’s why we need a plan to capture things, then get them out of our heads, and write down our next best action.

🗒 A notebook.

📱 The notes on our phone.

💻 Screenshot.

📲 An app.

It really doesn't have to be anything fancy.

Getting that idea out of our heads is the first step toward information peace of mind.

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