Although I’ve been successful in putting the kibosh on stacks of paper piling up on my desk, my mind remains cluttered at times. I am afraid that my obsession with multitasking has affected me. I want to know what’s going on; I try to stay informed of what’s happening in the world. I try to understand complex things outside the realm of what I’m supposed to be good at. Why am I trying to wrap my head around the functioning of an economy, the state of an overseas conflict, or quantum physics when I have overdue projects that should receive my undivided focus?
Abandoning paper has shifted my stacks of information piling up into the digital realm. Adopting Inbox Zero principles have shifted my anxiety about 10,000 messages in my inbox to 5 messages being in my inbox. I sometimes end up falling into the behavior of “scanning”… Check my inbox. Check my RSS reader, check Google, check Facebook. These cycles of checking are terrifyingly similar to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. These are my light switches that I must turn on and off a hundred times, just to be sure. I must not let this debilitate me.
My obsessions with collecting information are expressed by my panoramic photography. Not just photography, but photography from the highest points possible, collecting as much information as possible, grafting as many photographs together as possible. Climbing to higher and higher points the oxygen thins as I strive to capture more gigapixels of imagery. Clamoring to satisfy my addiction to stimulation.
A journey deep into myself has shown me this, one that began with me completely powering my digital leash off and engaging in hours of meditation. Not speaking, not tweeting, not drowning myself in data. Information starvation has helped me to re-discover my self, and to strive for a definition other than what my external environment dictates. I hope that I will be able to regain my focus towards what really matters in life, even if it means giving up some understanding of the world and universe that is too complex for my tiny mind to comprehend.