Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

You'll Never Keep Up

A deluge of information washes over you each and every day. That information comes in a number of forms and from a number of sources. And, most telling, the deluge never stops.

Ever.

A few years ago, I read a column at O’Reilly.com in which the writer talked about a neighborhood teen who took her mobile phone into the shower (in a plastic bag, in case you’re wondering). Why did said teen take her mobile into the shower? Because she didn’t want to miss an important text message. The writer asked the teen whether she missed any life-changing texts while she was sleeping. An answer wasn’t forthcoming …

That story illustrates a powerful point: you’re never going to keep up with all of the information that washes over you. You’re always going to miss things. And no matter how much information you take in, you’re never going to be able to properly parse and process it.

And don’t stress out if you can’t. Deal with that fact. Embrace it. Accept it.

As I’ve mentioned in this space before, most of the information that you’re trying to catch isn’t important in the wider scheme of things. A new tablet or phone has been released? So what. You can live without knowing the specs and price and release date. A new application or operating system upgrade? Not learning about it isn’t the end of the world. Or even just the end of your world.

Instead of grabbing at a lot of ephemeral information that won’t pass a litmus test, focus or refocus on the important things in your life. Trust me, that information isn’t it.

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