Capture Everything — A Caveat | Summer Shorts

Capture Everything. Indiscriminately. That’s the basic rule. But before we move on I need to caveat that. Do you really need to capture everything? Every idle thought, every small task. Everything….really??

Well yes and no.

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Yes you do

I say yes because the basic principle is to eliminate distractions, to maintain focus. Whether that is focus on your work or an activity you are doing or being present with the people you are with. Exercising discernment on what you do and don’t capture will draw your focus away from whatever it is you are doing whilst you give 20 seconds thought to whether or not whatever input you receive is actually valuable — potentially even more time if you stop to think about what to actually do with it first.

So I say be indiscriminate. The idea is to capture everything without really giving time to consider it, that when you can consider it at a later point when your focus is intentionally being given to deciding what to do with something — even if it means you delete 70% of what you note down.

No you don’t

I say no, because as you become more practiced, discernment will come more naturally to you. This predominantly applies to the thoughts and ideas that strike you whilst you are doing something else. I wouldn’t worry too much about this though. And remember — what I am not talking about is where choose not to write it down because you’ll ‘remember it later’. You won’t.

A short word to those of who are thinking we don’t want to be whipping out our phones or a notebook to write something down when we are busy doing something else.

My next post will focus on tools we use to capture things into. For now, remember — the aim is to reduce distraction, not increase it. We write things down so we don’t have to think or worry about them now. The idea is that it actually increases our ability to focus and be present in any given moment, rather than distracted by our thoughts. But what about inputs from other sources? Well, if you don’t want to be distracted by your phone, why is it not on do not disturb? Why does every single application have permission to bleep and blurp at you like an irate R2-D2? If you are meeting someone and want to present with them, a text message, a whatsapp message or phone call should not take priority (unless you are expecting a call about something that you cannot miss). If it is important, they will call back or send a message or voice mail that you can pick up when you intend to do so.

So, as I said, the aim is to minimise distractions.

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