Information Overload

by Shaun R Smith on November 30, 2010

Post image for Information Overload

Are you drowning in e-mails, blog posts, magazines, newspapers, books, trade publications, bookmarked websites, and other sources of must read or must view information?  Three years ago, best-selling author of The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris, suggested on his blog and then in his book that we go on a low information diet.  This week, Seth Godin suggested skipping phone, meetings, and e-mail for a day.

Information Without Execution Is Pointless

Information processing creates a trap.  It makes us feel like we’re actually doing something.  Most of us spend too much time processing and taking in information and not enough time executing.  The next time you’re reading a blog post, or a magazine article, or an e-mail, ask yourself is this just fun or am I considering this work?  If you think you’re working, be diligent about asking, “What is my next step from this information?”  If you don’t have one, either create one or move on.

Photo by: Indi Samarajiva


Roberta K December 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for reminding us about this excellent advice – we all fall into the “information” trap eventually. It is not only a time waster – it is exhausting..

Andi A. December 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Interesting post on being mindful of how one’s spending his/her time. I’d love to hear more about how to define whether something is truly “work” and/or what your thoughts are on whether talking can be equally as wasteful.

Shaun R Smith December 9, 2010 at 6:34 am

There is a time for creative brainstorming. Where a result might come from a non-linear process, and time to stew might be vital. However, most of the time – activity should lead to progress and growth. That means if you are taking in information or conducting meetings or talking to colleagues, next steps should be identified. If you are talking or listening and nothing is coming from that, you’re wasting your time. And that’s a completely non-renewable resource!

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