I believe the World Wide Web is not the most appropriate name for the internet. Yes, it’s true, the world wide web is justly named because one website links to another, then another, and another – just like one strand links to another strand in a spider web. And it become a productivity trap.
But perhaps, it’s not the most appropriate name…
Perhaps you’ve had those days when the world wide web is more like one large rabbit’s hole that connects to another rabbit’s hole, and perhaps, like me, you find yourself just like Alice in Wonderland chasing rabbits down rabbit’s holes and discovering a whole new world, at the cost of your personal productivity.
Yes, it’s true the world wide web can open a whole new world, or should I say under-world. And it begins like this…
You open an email from a friend, and read: “You should go check out this site.” Naturally (if you are a curious person like me, and someone who hates the fact that someone else might know something you don’t know) you click to check it out. Productivity declines.
While you’re there you read something you didn’t know before, something that peaked your interest, but…
That web-site just provided a glimpse and not a full answer. So you do the sensible thing and person who values learning does…
You open up your browser, go to Google.com and type in your question. There is is! 184,796 web pages that just may have the information you need.
So you open up the door to rabbit hole number one and down you go.
That rabbit hole wasn’t quite what you were looking for!
So you open another door and go down rabbit hole number two. Productivity once again declines.
Perfect, you were lucky this time. Right there in rabbit hole number two is everything you ever wanted to know about rabbits and rabbit holes.
You read it, but then you begin to worry…
Maybe, just maybe, you may not really know everything there is to know about rabbits. So, just to be safe, you decide to check out a few more websites (rabbit holes) just to make sure. And down goes your productivity further.
There you are on that fifth website, and you learn that rabbits prefer one kind of plant A over another type of plant B. Good thing you decided to check out those few extra websites!
But naturally, you’ve never heard of that plant B. Do they grow in my area you wonder? So you go back to Google.com to do another search for plant B. And yes, to chase another rabbit down another rabbit hole.
At that site, the expert says “subscribe to by newsletter” and learn everything you ever wanted to know about rabbit holes, plants, and raising baby rabbits. So you decide to subscribe.
What a relief…
Now you’ve don’t have to follow those rabbits down the rabbit holes. They’ll come straight to you. Right into your home and set-up house on your computer.
With a sigh of relief, you decide that you finally have enough info on rabbit holes, plant B, and how to raise baby rabbits that you can stop searching. After all, the information will now come straight to you, and it will be right there safely tucked away in the cage when you need it.
So you go back to your inbox, open another email, and read another email.
“Hey, Leisa, what do you know about XYZ?” So off you go, down another rabbit hole…
It’s true, what they say. Rabbits do multiply fast.
Suddenly, you look at the clock and exclaim that famous line from the book: “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date.”
Thanks to Rich Schefren who provided the inspiration for this post. His post talks how to eliminate information on rabbit-hole journeys. Rich has some valuable insight into why you should stop the madness. I like Rich’s advice.
“Remember: You cannot conquer uncertainty by burying it with more information.
Wisdom comes not from devouring information, but by filtering it through personal experience and taking action on it. It’s the action or reaction, not the information itself, that makes us wise.” ~ Rich Schefren
Here are few valuable questions to ask yourself when you fight yourself caught up in rabbit hole after rabbit hole:
- Are you attempting to become business wise by following rabbit’s down hole after hole, and getting lost in the journey?
- Are you spending to much time down rabbit holes and missing out on the stuff that is right there on the surface?
- Or are you the type of person who can quickly filter the information, and then act on what needs to be done?
- Are you taking advantage of the knowledge you have, putting it to work right now in your life?
- Do you have a systematic plan to put into action the things your learn?
- Do you have a dedicated time set aside each week for education? Keep a list of the topics you really want to learn about and ignore the rest of the rabbit holes.
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do!
If you don’t, then perhaps you’ll wake up just as Alice in Wonderland did and discover you’ve dreamed your life away.