Lately, i’ve been on a mission. To embody what I believe and who I am.
To do that I need to be creating more content than I consume.
I need to be engaging. Not pushing. Not pulling. Engaging.
And I really need to establish habits that keep my mind sharp and my body healthy.
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve been facing on this mission is my relentless hunger for information.
I’m easily distracted by interesting stories and articles I find online.
Before I know it, I’m a few blog posts, videos, ebooks, and podcasts deep. I’ve been lead down the bottomless internet rabbit hole to a place completely different than where I began.
We have free, anytime access to all the world’s knowledge. Yet we only need bits of it at any given moment.
Our cellphones and computers have become an extension of our minds. We outsource the mundane knowledge that we readily want but that doesn’t affect our ability to survive and make a living, to these devices.
We’ve recorded and stored all our collective knowledge of the past and the present in massive databases that reside in huge air conditioned warehouses. All done so that we don’t have to memorize the answer to every question that’s already been asked.
Then why do some of us still crave to know as much as possible?
Even though we’ve outsourced the storing and retrieving of information to our computers, our curiosity and hunger for information refuses to subside. Instead, we simply find different types of information to consume.
This is because Information hoarding has always been a part of what makes us human. Remembering important information about our world and the things around us has helped us become the dominant species on the planet.
The idea that the more you know, the better off you are, has also been reinforced in our schools and economic systems.
But new times demand new thinking. We live in the age of lifelong (but selective) learning. We no longer need to hoard information. We can learn things as we need them and acquire knowledge that’s going to bring direct value to the present and future. The rest can go on a device or back into the cloud of information.
When I need something I can ask my phone or Google Glass anything and it will immediately give me an answer. Like a second brain that’s accessible at a moments notice.
That’s why I’ve decided to switch gears. From information hoarding to value creating. I’ve read plenty of valuable content. Now it’s time to go write my own.
To make the switch I’m going to limit myself to casually consuming from my RSS reader, Pocket app, Podcast app, and other information sources once a day in the evening.
If I find an interesting article, whether work related or not, I’ll send it to Pocket app or Readibility for later viewing.
If I’m doing research for work I’ll have to have a bit more self control. I need to stop myself from becoming sidetracked or slipping into multitasking. If I do find myself browsing something that’s not research related then I’ll Pocket the page for later viewing during the evening.
I’ve also started using RescueTime.com to track my progress in changing focuses. Rescuetime.com tells me what applications and websites I visit. It also shows how much time I spend on each.
These tools and methods will start to help me optimize the time I spend on my computer.
Are you a fellow information hoarder? What tools do you use to cut through the noise?