Collect and connect

(This post inspired by Seth Godin.)connect dots

Sometimes the volume of information that I receive and gather each day bothers me.  You know how it works – adding blog feeds, Twitter follows, e-mail subscriptions etc, etc. (Of course, an occasional review/purge doesn’t do any harm!)

But then I remember that the purpose of collecting information is to learn from it, and one of the key ways that I learn is to make connections, to spot trends.

In other words, I need to collect to be able to connect, but collection must lead to some form of processing for the connecting to happen. A balance must be struck and a routine/ritual must be created, but more of that in another entry.

And this paragraph from Todd Henry seems to connect with what I’ve just written:

The goal of study time isn’t to simply absorb information, it’s to figure out how it might apply to your life and work. As such, you need to spend about half of your time thinking about what you’ve just read or experienced and considering how it might apply to the problems you’re working on. Write your thoughts and observations in a notebook, even if they seem irrelevant or silly. Little prompts and ideas that pop into your head might indicate that there’s something happening behind the scenes that you’re not yet consciously aware of. You may, like Sara, only connect the dots later.

(photo by Jim Blodget @ flickr.com. Creative Commons license)

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