Energy

Been thinking about energy today and I’m curious if you think about energy in the same contexts as I do. There are so many aspects to that word it requires a bit of explanation to the flood of thoughts that came into my brain on this Monday.

It was 102 degrees today in the Twin Cities. I sat with a woman from New York earlier today who complained bitterly about “the heat wave” there. A buddy of mine from California and I talked earlier about the crisis of possible blackout conditions due to the heat there. All the discussions and awareness about global warming of late made today’s heat a constant reminder of my personal energy consumption and the carbon I’m spewing into the atmosphere.

But my personal energy consumption and outlay goes beyond carbon-based and other generated fuels.

  • I’m spread fairly thin in my work life and someone close to me is ill. I’m only able to invest my personal energy in so many places simultaneously which has made me consider all of my personal energy investments and where I want to place them going forward. My choice has been to eschew new commitments and I’m struggling to take care of existing ones…but have put everything on hold to attend to someone for the next few days.
  • My podcast has waned. I enjoy the hell out of podcasting but have been experiencing a challenge of motivation to continue it due to all the other pressing commitments I’ve made. I used to be obsessive about blogging every single day no matter what but find I’m prioritizing all the time and sometimes this blog suffers.
  • My news aggregator has exploded with articles. Just a few months ago it was 500-600 articles a day and is now up to nearly 1,000 per day. I’ve only added a few blogs and news publications to the mix, so people have become more prolific in their writings and the energy being invested in blogs is amazing…but now I’m questioning the payoff from my energy used to consume all these writings.
  • My iTunes podcast subscription list has grown and the podcasts have also grown…longer. No longer enjoying (did I say “enjoying”?) a 30 minute commute twice a day, I find less time to listen.
  • I’ve always had several books at various stages of being read, but for some reason that list has accelerated to seven! Plus, for the first time in my life I walk into Barnes & Noble or go on Amazon and lament the fact that I’ll never have time to read everything I want to in my life.
  • Then there are meatspace friends and my imperative in life, my family, as well as social sites and virtual friendships (specifically people I’ve connected with via my blog and podcast) that I’d like to nurture and grow.

I look at all of this and don’t feel anxious, sad or depressed. Instead I look at all of this abundance with a bit of wonder and amazement and am now trying to figure out which to choose and where to invest my energy. It’s all about choice so here is the question for you if you also have so much choice: How do you prioritize your energy investment? Alot of geeks seem to be embracing David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Merlin Mann at 43 Folders is a huge fan and there are a ton of tools available, but is this a trick or an authentic method for superior levels of choosing, prioritizing and then executing? I’ve not invested enough energy in it yet to determine it’s efficacy and would be curious what you think.

3 Comments

  1. Pascal Venier on August 3, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Please allow me to extend my best wishes to the person you are attending to.

    This is a very thought provoking post. One which has made me think further on the issue of feeds and the Getting Things Done method. I propose to post something on my blog about this shortly.



  2. Mike Korner on August 4, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    And I, for one, miss your podcasts Steve! But I certainly understand the dilemma of having many competing demands, and I can relate to many of the circumstances you mentioned (example: Having 7 books going, have way too many feeds, lots of Podcasts, etc.) Sorry to hear about your loved one with an illness. I, too, offer them/you my best wishes.

    As for GTD, I got my first exposure a couple years ago. Its simplicity and power got my attention quickly. While I mostly use Covey’s First Thing First and Urgent vs. Important principles for setting priorities, the GTD techniques help me stay focused and organized. GTD introduced me to the concept of multiple IN sources, convinced me of the value of processing IN religiously, helped me organize my files (paper & electronic), and convinced me that the two-minute rule is good. Bottom line, I think it is worth your time to check out GTD in depth.
    Mike
    p.s. Also, sometime check out the book (or audio book) “The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal” by Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz. I listened to “Full Engagement” about a month before “GTD”, and found “Full Engagement” to be a very thought provoking foundation on which to add GTD techniques. From listening to many of your CTD podcasts, I predict you will get a lot out value from it, too.



  3. Steve Borsch on August 4, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    Pascal: Thank you for your kind words. If you *do* go forward with GTD, let me know how it works for you. I’m ordering the book/CD set (from David Allen’s site directly) and will post about my experience after it’s set.

    Mike: This weekend…another podcast for sure. Appreciate your words too…and the heads-up on Full Engagement. I’ll take a peek but really want to get through “American Theocracy” and Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity is Near” before tackling more (the other five can wait).

    Funny too…but I’ve realized that I never pick up fiction to read. Maybe a good mystery would do me some good. I tend to read things that provide perspective, enlightenment and spark new thoughts.



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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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