As technology intertwines itself into my existence, information moves at the speed of light and everyone is either offering or expecting instant solutions, I realise the necessity of taking the long view; the download of a lifetime.
It’s not often a movie title makes its way into common use to describe a phenomenon, the way “Groundhog Day” has. I can’t imagine anyone is going to feel very “Twilight” or “Avatar” and it’s been a while since I had my last “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” moment.
Danny Rubin’s idea of an endlessly repeating day has landed him a gig teaching screen writing at Harvard. Such a clever and powerful concept and so well executed, wrapped as it was inside a romantic comedy. For the sake of this column, I hope you have seen the movie. You’ve had 17 years to get around to it; don’t tell me you’ve been stuck in your own Groundhog Day that long!
Ever since I bought a ticket on the digital media express, time seems to have hit the fast forward button. I simply can’t get everything done in one day that I want to. Every gadget has a 200-page instruction manual, each software program needs a 12-month college course, while my music and book collections remain un-listened to and unread. I haven’t caught up with friends and family for years. It’s hard enough keeping the email inbox from overflowing. No wonder it feels like Groundhog Day!
Even though the movie’s title entered the vernacular to describe the hellish vortex Bill Murray’s character found himself in, the true message of the film is that he got out. It took him many years, but he did it – and it all started with a decision to live life right. It has even become a self-help book – “The Magic of Groundhog Day” by Paul Hannam. The key to getting out is the decision to make every moment count and realise that small daily steps lead to big life transformations.
I have decided to turn that corner and start getting it right. From here, now that I'm seeing everything in bite-sized chunks, everything looks so much more palatable and easy to swallow. I can gradually chew my way out of the abyss.
I'm unsubscribing from any newsletters that are not in line with my plans and subscribing to more that are. I'm using good old-fashioned RSS feeds to send me relevant news and insights. I'm subscribing to on-line video tutoring sites to learn how to use all my software. I'm using as many of Google’s tools as I can (Insights, Alerts, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Picasa, etc.), to help me get things done, filter information and manage my life. I'm bookmarking the best blogs that seek out and compile everything I am interested in, so I don’t have to. I'm spending a few minutes each day updating my Website, writing a little blog post, following up a few leads and researching powerful new productivity tools. Above all, I am eliminating all those on-line activities that, let’s face it, are doing nothing more than locking me into an eternal cycle of underachievement.
With an optimised, focused online regime, my perfect day is within reach. Maybe soon I will have more time to relax, exercise and nurture relationships. I'll throw in a bit of piano practice and before too long I’ll be rockin’ the house, just like in the movie. Tomorrow I might even wake up to a brand new day. Until then… it’s happy Groundhog Day.