On letting go to make time

So I’ve been reflecting a bit on last week’s lrnchat on narrating / showing your work. This is a topic that was very timely for me, as I was setting up this blog and writing about this very thing last week. Although I wasn’t able to participate in real time, I reviewed the feed after the event. It was very interesting.

Something that came up a lot was not having the time to narrate. I totally get this. ‘Time’ is one reason it took 2 months for me to start this blog.  But whilst we often think we don’t have enough time to do certain things, it’s actually more that we’re not making the time to do the things we want or should be doing. Making time is about deciding what’s important, and letting go of some of what you’re currently doing to do the important things.  This is a theme I’ve seen in some of what I’ve been reading lately:

  • Harold Jarche writes about finding the time for PKM by reducing wasted time (through effective utilisation of social networks) > letting go of existing unproductive practices to make time for more effective, more personalised learning
  • Elliott Masie says innovation requires stopping: letting go of some of our existing learning programs and habitual practices to make room for more innovative ones
  • Julian Stodd talks about the importance of learning what to leave behind, what to handover, and what to stop doing, in order to remain relevant, add value and succeed in the social age.

So I’ve been reflecting on what I can let go of in order to make time for some of the things I now regard as important: narrating work, exercising creativity, and building more effective social learning networks. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been letting go of sleep to make time for this. But I don’t think that’s very sustainable :p. Some better actions for me would probably be:

  • letting go of perfection – being comfortable with showing work or thoughts in progress (as pointed out by @espnguyen in the lrnchat), to write freely without constantly editing and re-editing my sentences
  • letting go of ideas in my head – writing them down, in order to develop them further, and to make room for new ideas (rather than driving myself crazy turning them over and over in my head)
  • letting go of control and sharing responsibility for more things (I’m thinking housework here! But it’s certainly relevant in a work context – appropriate delegation is important)
  • letting go of wasted time – being more organised in my personal life, thinking and planning ahead more (I never did grasp the concept of weekly shopping trips, for example – though I think this could save a lot of time)
  • letting go of the compulsion to be constantly connected – at least once in a while. We went away for a couple of days to a place without internet or phone access recently. It’s great for the soul. It allows time to just be. To have actual face to face conversations. To rest. Whilst I think social technology can be great, the constant chatter it generates can also be exhausting.

That’s what I’m going to work on letting go of. What about you?

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