Thursday, February 21, 2008

A River Runs Through It

For almost an hour today I sat as my workgroup discussed m-learning and read-write web tools and my brain flashed back to a thought I had about a week ago. A week ago I had one of those moments where my mind wanted to pursue about five different avenues of exploration all at once. As I fretted over which avenue to pursue first, it hit me that there was no way I could pursue all of my choices at once and I need to prioritize.

Initially I was depressed because all of these projects:

  • converting home video to DVD
  • creating a vodcast about the value of using Windows Live Meeting
  • reading the book Gut Feelings
  • maintain my blogging at reading other blogs


These were all things I wanted to do. But with work and family responsibilities that need to be managed, as well as a need for some downtime other than when I sleep, there was no way that I could manage it all. Besides vodcasting, I am interested in the entire broad spectrum of read-write web elements. But the sheer breadth of that topic and the virtual whip-lash I experienced as we bounced back and forth once again led me to dispair my lack of time to delve into it all.

That was until I followed Stephen Downe's post, A Guide for the Overwhelmed, Part 2 - It's a River, Not a Reservoir, to Rob Wall's post of the same name. Rob's post made me feel better. Especially this nugget:

The number and diversity of applications are increasing far faster than I am able to learn about them, let alone mastering them. But that’s not a problem. I can go to the river and get what I need. I’ve developed a trusted network of people who know about these sorts of things, and if I ask them to share their expertise they do so cheerfully. The currency exchanged in this case is not money but a willingness on my part to contribute back to those who ask within my areas of expertise or experience.

This is going to be my new motto. The flow of information can be daunting if you try to swim or walk against it. I need to let it flow around me, select one or two items I want to pursue and just kind of dip in and sample as I need to for everything else.

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