Note to my future self…
Lately I’ve been experimenting with ways of becoming less reactive to external stimuli. I am not referring to significant events like a tragic loss or a direct confrontation. What I am referring to are all the dozens of micro-events in our life that demand our attention and tend to throw us off course. Here’s a mundane example. Sometimes I am scrolling through Twitter and I come across some bite-sized advice for startup founders and I automatically start thinking about how to implement it (sometime going down a rabbit hole).
Acting on relevant information that you come across is not the problem. The problem is that not everything is actionable or even that insightful. Responding to every piece of stimulus that you receive is being overreactive to your environment. This is terrible for being effective because you’re constantly switching context and sometimes handling contradictory information. So what can we do about it?
I am already taking some steps to reduce my reactiveness. This is what I have so far:
- Avoid taking direct action on any inbound info unless it’s a tactical opportunity (this is very rare because most things can wait).
- Take notes on any inbound information and have a cool-off period (24hrs?) before acting on it.
- Proactively ask yourself → In what areas of my life am I being too reactive?
A specific tactic that I am implementing:
- Avoid reading articles the moment I come across them. Bookmark them with Instapaper and then come back to it 24-72 hours later. A lot of times the content will no longer be relevant.
That’s it. I will report back with any updates.
Now back to work…