Simplicity (Cool Your Green Mind Monday)

  • Published on October 11th, 2010

In this time of internet, cell phones, and iPhones, we have so much information at our fingertips, and so many options possible to us every second of the day, it can be a little overwhelming.

While these tools have created great things and great opportunities, they also create a handful of problems. “Information overload” is a relatively new term becoming more and more discussed in psychology and in popular culture.

And besides the pure overload of information, those of us who have a responsible or caring spirit also have the trouble of feeling like we should be working or doing something to help the planet every second of the day, or even more…

I am sitting in bed writing this an hour and a half after the time I recently committed to myself and my partner that I would stop working on weekdays, ironically. But duty calls…

I’ve been thinking about this topic and solutions to it for awhile. Yet the solutions always seem to dissolve in thin air in practice.

One thing I am trying to focus on now, though, and think is perhaps more useful than most is simplicity — (it has been for me so far). I think in this day and age, many of us would benefit from a greater focus on simplicity.

In practice, what I mean is:

  1. Lay out a few things you need to focus on, keep them to a few and don’t embed hundreds more underneath them. Focus on those.
  2. When working, don’t let your internet browser or email box fill up with things “you’ll get to later.” Accept that some things will never be gotten to and split your filing system into “will definitely get to later” and “will get to if possible,” in order to not overwhelm yourself with the things you would love to get to but don’t 100% need to. I know, the hard part is drawing the line. But, literally, having a couple labels splitting things into these categories can help a ton.
  3. When you are working, work on one thing at a time — set times to work on things you would normally be going back and forth between continuously. Not only does this feel better and make you feel like you’re getting more done, research has shown that it is more efficient.

I hope these tips help you (and continue to help me more and more) to deal with the awesome amount of information and capabilities we have today.

And one more thing I’ve written about before, which I think is part of this, part of bringing your life into more manageable expectations, is stepping back and taking a broader look at your life. Keeping perspective keeps us from getting lost in the details.


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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.