Monday, November 9, 2009

Inbox ZERO + Twitter ZERO + Google Reader ZERO = Overwhelmed

Yesterday during my run (3 miles) I listened to the @context podcast (Episode 14), this episode featured Tara Rodden Robinson interviewing Augusto Pinaud (the normal host). Augusto discussed his GTD system which seems to be very complete and he made some very insightful statements during the podcast.

The one thing that stuck out so drastically for me was Augusto mentioned that he is taking a break from technology on the weekends and that when he checks into Twitter on Monday mornings, he doesn't go back and read everything he has missed over the weekend. 

This made an impact on me.  I immediately identified something that I believe has been weighing down my productivity recently.  I've been trying to keep my Inbox at Zero, my Twitter at ZERO, and my Google Reader at ZERO.  All while keeping up with my day job and reading a book (The world is flat) at the same time.  This has pushed me into an unproductive state.  And I don't even use Facebook which would be one more item to review.

Merlin Mann's Inbox Zero philosophy is one piece of work that made a large influence on my productivity (another huge piece to my system was, great stuff Jim).  It helped formulate my system for managing my email and staying ahead of my email so I don't get behind.  Over the time I have been using this system, I think it has engrained the Inbox Zero philosophy into my dna.  Now, I seem to have a daily goal of getting Twitter and Google Reader to ZERO.

Getting all these channels to ZERO has really overwhelmed me.  After stepping back yesterday and thinking about it, there really isn't that much great stuff that I'm getting from Twitter or Google Reader, and that my life won't be any different if I let some of those items go.  Mentally I have to teach myself to go back to my old ways and let go of the Inbox Zero philosophy.

Thank you Augusto for opening my eyes, and hopefully my productivity will return to normal heights.


  1. Dear Darren, thanks for your super kind words, I am glad we were able to help you.

    I have discover that it is really simple.
    Step 1: Move Forward one step. Evaluate. If Step was good, Repeat Step 1. If not, go back to the place you were before Step one and Take another Step.

    This only works when you are having fun in the process. Do not forget that!

    Have a great and productive week!

  2. Hey Darren,
    Thanks for the shout-out and kind words! I am grateful that you're getting so much value from @Context. :)
    Best wishes,

  3. Thanks Tara. You rock.

    P.S. I've listed to Virtual Study Group podcasts for a long time. I'm going to try my best to join the iPhone call. Love my iPhone for productivity.