I have several important projects on my “to do” list. Instead, I’m typing on my BLOG. I’m making phone calls for my business school reunion. Everything except what I “should” be doing. Just the thought of the projects leaves me dizzy. But why?
When I have a hundred tiny, no-thought things to do, I can just stick ’em on a list and blast my way through them. When a project requires thought, Life Slows Down.
I was never a very fast problem solver. Pondering, reflecting, and going deep work best. My brain latches onto something and follows it and follows it … and follows it. The problem is that my brain’s not terribly good at following too many things at once. With four high-thought projects in the midst, the brain stalls, and none of them get any progress. But gee, does my BLOG get updated 🙂
Maybe there’s an important distinction here. Maybe overload is sometimes “detail overload,” where there are just too many things to keep track of. But maybe there’s also a form of “depth overload,” where there may not be high quantity, but the amount of thought needed for the few items is so great that progress is tough to make.
That suggests a simple solution: defer one or more of the high-thought projects until others are done. First, gotta figure out what the Deep Thought limit is. I fear in my case, it just may be One…
(Also see my more thoughtful articles at http://www.steverrobbins.com/overcomingoverload/index.htm)