A short series of 2 minute observations…
A consequence of lockdown is too much time on-line. The result is that you end up reading things that normally you wouldn’t bother with (…like this blog!). On-line feeds, facebook or linkedin offer a snippet… and you decide to take a look.
But the articles that tend to be featured and clicked most are those of the ‘how to identify a smart person in 3 minutes’ or the ‘6 phrases that managers need to avoid in team meetings’ variety.
These are click candy but my lockdown time has reemphasised that I have reached a stage in my life when I don’t need these articles. In fact I think I reached this point sometime ago. Yet it is not because I don’t need to learn more, even about some of the topics.
It is that another list of things to do when I get up or when I am at this or that task. Nope – it doesn’t work it is impossible. I don’t have the time, memory or energy. They simply become another thing I am not doing ‘properly’. My daily bucket is full.
I would need to run them like my bookcase – one in ~ one out. But then which one would I get rid of? My ‘8 tips for handling difficult people’? or my ’10 ways to stay fit and healthy’? It presents impossible trade-offs!(…back to my ‘5 ways to stay stress free’).
Life is not a game of performance, a series of tasks done well. Learning cannot be added by a new list in my knowledge base.
A simple checklist helps when you have a specific issue to address but too many is too much.
To learn I need to think. This needs a framework to integrate new lessons or even reminders into. I have to hook into that understanding and that is easier with clear overall goals into which understanding and insight can fit.
This normally means something longer and more considered than your average key points article.
What does help me?
Most useful – an in-depth piece on a subject, or well-crafted case examples that I can mull on or articles that offer an entirely different perspective on a topic. These are much rarer. Sometimes they help reshape my thinking but more often they let me act like a seagull at the beach – swoop in on a tasty morsel which is easy to integrate in my ways of thinking and working.
These build up the structure of understanding not just fill in some tactics.
Not so many articles seem to do that.
That’s another book then.