Information Like Water: Priorities and Input Management
There is an endless supply of water. There is limited container space.
And you won’t capture much water standing under Niagara Falls with a milk jug.
You might try filing your milk jug in something calmer, like a river, lake, or a placid ocean. If you need water from Niagara, you’ll need a different container.
But then you have to start asking yourself questions.
Is this the kind of water I really want?
What kind of water do I need?
How much water do I need?
If so, is this the right container for capturing it?
And even then, you won’t capture all the water because water is infinite. You and your containers are not. You can’t get infinitely bigger containers.
Water and information are similar. They are both essential and infinite. You have to figure out how much and (at least in the case of information) what kind is essential for you.
You have a limited ability to process and store information. Sure, you can get bigger containers. To a point. But soon you start to look like a digital hoarder, with petabytes of storage and no way to assimilate what you have. You’re very own Niagara Falls of information. You can not possibly process it all.
The important (and difficult) task is getting to the right kind of information, at the right time, with the right kind of capture and storage tools.
Maybe we don’t have to know what celebrities (and presidents) have to say on Twitter or Uncle Eddie’s latest political rant on Facebook.