How to deal with information overload in 3 steps
Knowledge isn’t power. Not exactly. No, this isn’t a typo. No I’m not being controversial. Let me explain.
In my youth, I hated Maths. So when I left school I felt the need to revisit Maths as a subject. I read the book Mathematics for adults by Graham Lawler (2005). In his preface he predicted that there would be an economic crisis soon. He was quite right.I wonder what he thought when 2008 brought the economic downturn with it.
In his book untitled “Brand You” (1999), Tom Peters predicted a revolution in work. Stuffy, inflexible corporations would be overtaken by smaller, agile and innovative entreprise.
I bet he loves the entrepreneurship revolution that we are now living in.
But the rest of the world is always slow on the uptake. There is so much information out there that the crucial bits are lost in the mix.
Maybe you saw these trends, and more, such as the curation of content on the web (It’s now much more organised and searchable), the increasing importance of an online presence for business, the return of the concept of bringing value as opposed to reaping unfair profits, etc…
But knowledge is just potential power. All the knowledge of the world -even the right sort- is useless without application.
Some are in the know and just ignore it. I’m thinking of people in healthcare who smoke. It always strikes me as odd. But that’s another subject for another time.
These days however, there is an increasing danger of information overload. Trying to keep up with the latest info therefore can end up in us taking less action, being confused, paralysed because of too much data to process.
So here’s a few tips to deal with that.
1) Know yourself
Forget knowing everything there is to know. Do you know yourself? What are your strengths, passions, weaknesses? What is your Unique Selling Point?
What information or skill do you really lack and therefore need to go after?
Sit down, with pen and paper and reconnect with who you are and where you want to go. What can you see yourself doing all your life for work if you knew you could turn anything into a successful business?
Is there something that you’ve enjoyed doing for as long as you can remember, maybe a hobby, a talent? Have others done it? Can you emulate them? If not, why not?
What can you do to hone your skills and benefit others by applying them to the market place ?
2) Go on an info diet.
Look at your inbox. How many newsletters do you subscribe to?
Review what you receive and what you really need.
A clue is that the emails you rarely read are from people you should probably unsubscribe to for now.
Be ruthless. ehat you read as to be congruent with where you want to go. Don’t waste your time on non essentials.
Monitor your internet usage.
How long do you spend browsing aimlessly? Stumbling accross interesting tidbit after interesting tidbit but getting further and further away from being productive?
I use an app called rescue time. It monitors how long I spend on my phone and tablet and where I go. It collates the data and gives me a weekly snapshot.
It’s an eye opener. You’d be amazed. We tend to waste much more time than we realise.
The bottom line is that time is best used getting what you need rather than what happens to pop up on your screen.
3) Reflect on the last 365 days.
If you haven’t done this yet, this is a great exercise to evaluate where you are and gain clarity on where you want to go.
The idea is that you can then be more intentional on how you use the weeks and months ahead and minimise the going round in circles tendency.
I usually reflect in that sense but Brendan Baker has helped me take the exercise to a whole new level. I am now clearer on who I am and what I want to do this year.
He’s got a programme called Launch Your Life Academy that is packed with tips, insights and exercises to help you level up. I recommend you check it out!
I’m curious, do you systematically review the past year(s)? What was your greatest achievement and what do you plan on achieving this year?
Leave a comment!
Reflect, Redefine, Rise!