I wish I could draw well.
I’d like to have started with a map showing a ziggy zaggy, looping progression from Input to Output.
It would have been easy if I was Austin Kleon. He’s ‘a writer who draws’ – clearly I’m ‘a writer who should give up trying to draw’.
I wanted to draw the journey from input to output.
Because, yes, the input does determine the output but there’s a lot between the two.
If we want to improve output (quality, quantity, both) we need to pay more attention to our input.
We can’t just keep cramming in more and more because we just end up with a mess of ideas going nowhere.
We need to look at our input and ask, What goes?
The ‘What goes’ filter works for what we’re doing already – what can we push away to make space?
It also works for what tempts us.
This week I was tempted to subscribe to a newsletter (Farnam Street – ‘decision making, thinking and living’) but using the filter, I had to decide what to unsubscribe.
It ended up being Todd Henry (productivity and creativity) whose great emails have been part of my inbox for years. Time to change it up.
Asking, ‘What goes?’ doesn’t always mean discarding.
We can decide it’s not worth taking on something new – or we could decide to squeeze in both.
The power is in being intentional.
And my drawing? Have to find something very big to let go so I can make space to learn from Austin K – love his work!