I recently started realizing that out of the infinitely long list of things that are pending to read – there is no way I can read so much, even if I had all the time in this world. I started experiencing a sense of unrest and uneasiness. I started looking of a way out until I bumped across the famous Einstein’s energy equation.
The essence of this formula is – “energy is never lost, it’s always exchanged”. Applying this to the idea of consuming low information diet – the information (input) we take should have a proportionate output in some form – it could be actual implementation of idea in life, a real improvements, sharing with others or creation of new knowledge.
If there is an imbalance between input and output – we are certainly going to experience uneasiness – because energy is never lost, it’s always exchanged.
Here are some simple conclusions I came up with after applying Einstein’s’ energy formula to knowledge work:
- Read only so much which you can absorb
- Read only to the extent to which you can utilize the knowledge somewhere (implement)
- Your Input (reading) should be directly proportional to your producing (getting output or result of that reading)
What’s the way out?
The way I figured out is “Learning to Ignore”. Just the way it’s important to say ‘No’ to your commitments (something I learned after implementing GTD), I realized that learning to “Ignore” seemingly useful information is also equally important.
Here is how you can begin to Ignore information:
- Define your purpose – The kind of knowledge you want to get depends on how you want to live your life and type of things you want to do. For example, if your short term goal is weight loss, you can subscribe to weight loss related content. But if your short-term goal is starting a business, then you can unsubscribe to content related weight loss until you are ready to start again.
- Narrow down your focus – Keeping a broad spectrum of things in your role or responsibility or having too many goals will make you run after all related information. Narrowed focus will allow you to be master in your field and bring a sense of ease.
- Direct your curiosity towards discovering from within – Be curious about what comes from within. Try to introspect, synthesize and structure your ideas. You will be amazed at the kind of knowledge that lies within you. It’s just a matter of discovering and taking it out.
These ideas are certainly not a silver bullet but they have worked for me. I am still learning from the experiences.
What are your productivity hacks to consume a low information diet?