Can't see the forrest for all the trees

Getting things done while staying sane

Are you overwhelmed by all the things you really need to do at the same time you get a constant feed of information just waiting for you to dig in? A couple of weeks ago I freaked out about this balance – how the hell do I stay on top of everything? And by everything I really mean everything. From the every day work stuff to the bigger plans, from blog posts and twitter feeds about some really important stuff connected to work to those nice food, fashion or gadget bits that keep flying by.

I read one post by Chris Brogan about why I’m not successful. I agreed and tried to better my attention discipline. Then I read another post by Johan Ronnestam. Well nothing new on the tricks of the trade, kinda used all of the tools and services Johan mentioned. Then another post by Mr. Brogan flashed by. It seemed like a fun idea to have 20 minute focus laps, maybe not so realistic if you actually have some heavy duty work that needs to get done. Was then reminded by the TED talk by Jason Fried on why I don’t get anything done at work – 20 minutes aren’t enough. And there’s that bloody attention distortion again; email, Reader, Twitter, colleagues, meetings, internal IMs, and so on. A recent post by Jill Konrath guest blogging at HubSpot did comfort me a little bit. I’m a slug and I’m effective – damnit I’m efficient too.

So what am I getting at here? Really I just wanted to have moment of zen. You know. Zen. Caterina Fake (she’s for real) blogged about social media and FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out. Hah, did that sound familiar or what?! But I didn’t feel totally lost. I was aware of it and was actively structuring my life around the chaos (well you know what I mean). However, in the end Caterina got to Buddhism, well at least the part of not always be filled with craving and desire. And even if it’s kind of a stretch to make that analogy I can see the similarities.

Be a little more zen about everything. Just click “mark all as read” on your Reader, don’t care about Twitter, check your emails in a couple of hours instead of right now. If the world is coming to an end, you’d get the memo anyway.

Ok, so that’s my spin. What’s your take on getting things done and coping with everything else?

Agree or disagree?