Monday saw me at a loose end. My therapist had to cancel and I was left with a hole in the middle of my carefully crafted morning. Rather than waste the time I decided to use it for some reflection, very much in the spirit of therapy. I turned off the phone and computer and sat with a pad of paper and tried to jot down some of my thoughts. It was a useful period and I was enthused with the ability to clear my mind a little.
As I switched back on to technology, I remembered that I had a whole series of saved articles to read. Now routinely I save web links, short films etc to an app called Pocket (disclaimer – I helped Pocket carry out their Beta test for the current version, other apps are available such as Instapaper, Evernote etc).
I’ve got Pocket set up so that I can save to it from other apps such as Twitter or my web browser and I can even forward emails to it. Which is great, except for someone as endlessly curious as me, I very quickly end up with hundreds of articles waiting to be read. This is what confronted me on Monday morning. I intended to just use the journey time I would have taken to return from therapy and cull the obvious ones, reduce the list a bit. However, once I started it became compelling.
I went down the list and deleted links which no longer interested me. Then I went through and read several short articles on mental health. Soon I was watching short films and reading longer articles on management and human behaviour. Some I discarded once read, others I archived for future reference and still more were tweeted out or emailed to friends who may find them useful.
As I write this today I’m about to embark on another trawl through the app. I’ve got a couple of TED films to watch, an interview with Tony Buzan to listen to and some interesting articles to read about motivation.
So why am I telling you this (apart from warning you that my twitter feed may be a bit random for a while)? Well, much like the time I spent clearing my mind during my aborted therapy session, clearing out the articles gave me room and space and a fresh perspective. It helped me de-clutter my thinking on a couple of important issues and prompted new connections on how I could use some of the knowledge gained. Not a bad return for a cancelled appointment.
My call to action. Have a think about your life and your work – where could you benefit from some de-cluttering?