Navigating Daily Tasks and the Information Stream

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Captains of our Mental Ships

I’m rounding the corner on my third year of full-time teaching, as well as my third quarter of doctoral studies. One of the most surprising things to me about both pursuits is the copious amount of information I’m consistently exposed to. There’s a constant stream of information about advances in my given field(s) of study, andragogy, higher ed landscape shifts, and in developments in the lives of peers and students. What’s more, I’m also supposed to engage with the information in meaningful ways – synthesizing it, teaching it, and integrating it into my life. That’s a lot. That’s not even counting my primary obligations to my faith and loved ones!


Even though I’m an attorney and am therefore conditioned to navigate rivers of information and adapt to where it leads, I often feel like I’m falling behind. I’m sure if you’re reading this you feel the same way!

I’ll even go as far as to say that if you’re an achiever or a go-getter, you probably sometimes feel like an imposter or fraud. You feel like you’re in a position that’s either beyond what you can do, or that if show your full potential you’ll be stuck with even more responsibility and jobs. In The Now Habit, military veteran and psychologist Neil Fiore names those tendencies and more. He explains that we can become mentally paralyzed and will procrastinate not because we’re lazy, but because we want to do well and we’re not sure what to do next. Procrastination is temporary relief from those burdens and an assertion or our own free will and power. It’s not a fun cycle, though. We all know that.

Plotting a Course

Fortunately, professional tinkerers have designed mental frameworks and productivity tools to help people like us not only stay with the current of information, tasks, meetings, etc. but to navigate it all with panache.

The purpose of this post is to share what I’ve learned about navigating the stream of information and work, but also to solicit from you ideas about other mental frameworks or tools that can be helpful to me and others.

I’ve generated the Panopto session below to explain my personal philosophy of productivity and how it’s guided by my faith, how I manage projects and tasks, and how I keep up with the ever-flowing information stream. Here’s is a PDF list of resources discussed in the video.

Additional Resources

ISTE Standard for Student #3: Knowledge Constructor
Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

  1. Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
  2. Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
  3. Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
  4. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Jarret, C. (2020, May 14). Why procrastination is about managing emotions, not time. BBC. Why procrastination is about managing emotions, not time – BBC Worklife

Kane, B. Eat the frog. Todoist.

What do you do?

Please share your resources in the comments and I’ll periodically update my lists of links and resources!

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