On Bit Literacy – part 4 – Letting Go

palm-947511170_dea998692f.jpgAnother one of the key ideas in Bit Literacy is that “letting bits go” is a critical frame of mind to maintain.

Letting bits go simply means that a user of an email system is better off deleting freely, early and often, rather than keeping stuff around just in case it’s needed later.  Mark Hurst, the author, makes the case that it’s the only way to get to empty.

It’s not too hard to predict that in    the future we can expect more and more bits to come our way.  The key is to develop an approach to deal with the increase.

The one thing that we do experience a shortage of is the energy and attention to engage all these bits, or pieces of information.

In 2Time terms, I’d say that we need to take control of our time management systems, and be prepared to upgrade the underlying practices once we understand that the current system is unable to cope.  As the upgrades take place, we must train ourselves to let go of more and more information, as it’s not too hard to predict that the amount of information coming at us is only going to increase.

Without any hard evidence, I’d go a step further and predict that the amount of data coming at us is increasing faster than our ability to use it.  In other words, if today we are using 10% of what comes at us, tomorrow we’ll be using 9.

This notion uses one of the principles that Bit Literacy rightly focuses on — that any approach we use must be “scalable.”  In other words, our approach to time management must be flexible enough to grow, evolve and adapt to changing volumes, technology and circumstances.

In addition to feeling comfortable letting go of bits, I would add that we must feel comfortable with the idea of abandoning old habits for new ones, in favor of upgrading our time management systems.

I think it’s pretty obvious that the time management system of a 13 year old is not suitable for a 30 year old.

Also, a time management system built for 1991 is probably not “bit-ready” for 2010.

Overall, it’s an easy concept to grasp, but in the midst of a warm comfort-zone, it’s difficult to give up the tried and true for the promise of something new.