I've enjoyed the recent posts about work and prioritizing important activities but how do you deal with information overload that may take away from work? There's so much interesting, beneficial content on the internet. Are you efficient at processing information or is it more about being good at shutting out everything but the most essential content?
I've found using RSS helps, but I still feel like I spend way too much time consuming content. Most of it is beneficial which is why I feel so conflicted dealing with it and have yet to find a satisfactory solution. I was thinking maybe doing a month long "fast" in regards to internet consumption to reset.
I'm interested if Tynan or anyone has a successful system for dealing with it?
I think the important thing is to consider whether or not you're actually likely to benefit from whatever information your receive. Part of that is the source of the information, but part of it is also your habits.
So for blogs-- ask yourself if the person you're reading is actually providing information that addresses issues that you have, and then ask yourself whether or not you're going to do what it takes to benefit from that information. For example... if you read my "every day" post and my "love work" post, but you aren't working harder or working every day, then something has to change-- either stop reading my blog, or make yourself take action based on it. Otherwise you're just wasting your time.
I follow only 2-3 blogs closely, and another 2-3 once a week or so. That's it. The ones I follow closely cause me very frequently change my attitudes and actions. The other few are either entertainment or infrequent change.
A lot of content seems beneficial, but really isn't. Most stuff on Reddit falls into that category. You also have to consider the costs-- if you read Reddit everyday, you will sometimes find useful stuff... but you will also spend hours getting there. Probably not worth the tradeoff.
Thanks for the reply.
So you use potential for change of action or attitude as a gauge for what to read. That makes sense.
I tend to consume a lot of internet content around more academic learning, so stuff like history, science, finance, etc. so I think it's easier to justify to myself, but it really doesn't have an immediate impact on my life. It's easy to think I might use it in the future though.
I guess it comes down to prioritizing and realizing that while learning is great if it doesn't align with greater goals it can be a hindrance.
I think that sort of stuff is MUCH better learned through books. Spend 1-2 hours reading every day. The advantage of books is that they're much longer and give you more "hooks" to memory, so if you're not going to use the information soon, you won't forget it as easily. Blogs are only really good for immediate action sort of stuff... think about what you read two weeks ago on blogs. Do you remember any of it?
Yeah, not too much and the returns for time investment are usually not particularly good depending on the source.
One last question for you - how well do you keep up with the news since none of it is particularly actionable?
There's been a lot of chatter on the comments recently about me not following through, most of it deserved. Throughout my life one of my struggles has been to focus on one thing and follow it through. I used to be totally incapable of it, but over the years have gotten better. There are a lot of things that I have followed through with (my diet, writing this blog, etc.) as well as plenty that I haven't.
Once in a while I feel, for whatever reason, that I've conquered it, and I announce it to the world. While I'm on the topic of admitting faults, another is that I tend to prematurely announce things sometimes. As a reader, you already know that.
I understand your frustration when you read about something I say I'm going to do, get excited about seeing it happen, and then it falls off the radar. If it's any consolation, I'm acutely aware of these things and am similarly frustrated.
As one of those so-called "content creator"-type persons in the world today I've often struggled to come to terms with how content is treated in the digital age. I've studied and practiced for years to create content that can (and I oftentimes believe should) just be given away. There's this internal conflict constantly going on between the part of me that's worked hard for years to create this valuable content and the part of me that says, "¡Viva la revolución! Make it all free!"
So I was really excited to see this video of a presentation on 'Monetizing Information' given recently by my friend Eric Neuman in New York. I've been friends with Neuman since college and besides being a brilliant programmer and entrepreneur (he's co-founder and CTO of DecisionDesk) he's an extremely insightful visual artist and theorist. He's one of those rare individuals that can analyze a problem from almost every angle, break it down into its raw parts and come up with radical, yet practical solutions--something he not only does every day in his work with DecisionDesk but also in the realms of artificial intelligence and, in this case, the future of the economy and its impacts on society.