In our business lives we use productivity tools. We flag emails, add keywords, set up junk boxes, use time management tools, etc. Like going on a weight loss program though, one of the most effective tools available—at no cost—is discipline. The staunch determination to stay focused and committed to the goal at hand. Our short attention spans, coupled with a natural curiosity (a great thing), and no self-imposed deadline do us in.
Example: Let’s say you have space for a small garden and spring is right around the corner. You’re interested but not sure where to begin. You Google “small garden.” Right away, you find images for small gardens. So you poke around in the photos, getting ideas. You find one you like, thinking, “oh, that one’s cute,” and you click the link. It leads to a blog about someone tired of the smog and auto exhaust ruining her tomatoes. After five or so minutes of commiserative reading and silent nodding of agreement, you return to your search results. Wait—what’s this? An article about small garden design ideas. Better check it out. “Using a sawzall to clear laurel bushes and small tree limbs.” Fascinating. Wait. What’s a sawzall? Google.
Now you’re browsing a home improvement warehouse site, doing a sub-search on sawzalls. Wait! Cordless screwdrivers. You think, “That’s what I need to hang those curtains. I thought my wrist was going to go numb from all those fasteners.” You read on devouring the information. Affordable, good battery life (But no spare), padded rubber grip. You decide to keep looking. Here’s one with a spare battery included. Nice. Pricier, but seems like a good deal. I better check the reviews. Huuum. This guy says not to bother with a cordless screwdriver and just get a decent rechargeable drill because it can be used for a lot more than just screws. Good call. But pricier yet. You wonder, “Will I use it enough to offset the cost?” Google.
You key in, “Why do I need a rechargeable drill?” and hit enter. Wow, those are some interesting stories. And the funny ones are a crack up. I’m going to forward the one about the woman that drilled into a PVC pipe and sprouted a kitchen water leak to my friend, Lisa. She’ll think it’s a hoot! What is a PVC pipe, anyway? Google.
“PVC pipe.” Well, come to find, PVC pipe has oodles of uses. Some larger gardens use PVC pipe for irrigation. “Well,” you think aloud, “Great idea! I should look into planting a small garden right here at home!” You decide that after lunch you’ll check into gardening ideas that would fit the size of your yard.
Like life, it’s discovering as you go, learning what to look for, what to let pass, and what to tuck away for later. The key is to pinpoint the problem, focus on the information that provides a solution, and follow-through with appropriate action. Of course, searching for and identifying solutions was both easier and more difficult before today’s glut of available information. I heard someone once say that it’s possible to reach the end of the Internet. I doubt that’s true. I better research it. Google.
If your challenge is determining what type of paint to use on a bedroom wall; worry about fall jacket styles another time.
Excerpt from Dear You, Live! Love, Life
Available in paperback and eBook on Amazon