“Ideas Overload”

Thoughts on the beginning of the school year.

We hear the phrase “information overload” and think about the wealth of resources and information available to us in this age of the internet.  As the new school year approaches with increasing speed, I am experiencing “ideas overload”.   Browsing Twitter, websites and blogs and talking with my colleagues provides me with a plethora of inspiration – ideas, thoughts, concepts, plans, programs, projects – all a click away.   Global projects, challenges, programs ranging from short term to long term abound.   They all have merit and some are very exciting.

A recent conversation with a wise woman reminded me that we need to filter the possibilities and choose a few simple goals.

“”You can do anything but not everything”.

The tendency to want to do everything , read everything, try everything, is really quite self-destructive.   A similar idea is discussed in the article  by Harry and Susan Squires “Talking back to your brain”, although with a different slant the principle applies in my circumstance.

The concept is simply that if we ask ourselves small questions, we are more likely to be able to come up with achievable answers (apologies to the authors for my paraphrasing).

I don’t want to exclude the time for ‘big picture’ thinking, but in order to be able to function effectively, to take the next step, to get the ball rolling, I need to bite off achievable chunks from my vast array of choices.  I need to work within my many limitations but still strive to extend my boundaries – if that makes any sense?!

So the thinking continues.  Following Harry and Susan Squires advice, what small questions should I ask?

2 thoughts on ““Ideas Overload”

  1. Hi Celia

    I wish I was a wise woman!

    I can relate to the “ideas overload” and sometimes it exhausts me seeing so many ideas and opportunities via Twitter and the blogs I follow. I want to try them all, but I can’t! Hence the need to try to filter down to what I CAN do effectively in my TL role with my timetable, technology limitations and meeting the needs of students and staff. Well, I’m going to try…

    Thanks for adding the link to “Talking back to your brain” because it really explained something that has been worrying me. For quite some time I have felt almost “paralysed” in my planning and teaching. I have been feeling overwhelmed by wanting to try so many things and in reality not achieving much at all. Now I understand a bit more that feeling overwhelmed and even fearful at times has been stifling the creativity and dare I say “joy” in my teaching. Yes, I definitely need to practice Kaizen (“What small, insignificant change could I make to improve?”) while keeping in mind the big picture…and at the same time remember that I can do anything but not everything!!

    Maybe if I do this then great ideas will start coming back to me in the morning while I’m in the shower…

    Good luck this year Celia…glad we’re on the journey together

    Kim :)

  2. Pingback: Opening the door… » Motto for 2012

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