Stop the Information Overload: 3 Ways to Transform Your Learning

by Syrup | Jun 8, 2016

I was recently slapped in the face with a flaw in my lifestyle. You see, I am a constant consumer of information. On average, I read at least one book per week and listen to at least two hours of podcasts. This doesn’t include blog posts, white papers, and the like. Information, information, information.

This lifestyle is in line with how a lot of you think about marketing your business. “Let’s implement this article with the 5 best social media tactics.” “My friend told me about a CRM his company is using which has increased their conversion rate by 20%, we have to move to it.” “My mentor group is reading a book about building a sales culture, I’m thinking about firing my marketing department.”

We’re information overloaded and it’s causing two things:

  1. Paralysis by analysis: All of the options make it where we don’t do anything because we don’t know what’s best.
  2. Dilution by distraction: We’re moving from one thing to another so quickly, nothing has time to work.

Does this mean you should stop learning? HELL NO.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

Harry Truman said that and I image him pushing glasses up his nose as he did. Information has extraordinary power… WHEN used wisely. So how do we do it?

I’m no expert, but here are three things that can transform how you use information today:

  1. Use Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Matrix to prioritize information. It’s explained in depth here, so if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read up before moving on. I use highlights on my kindle, and when I finish a book I can easily add any of those take aways to a prioritized to-do list. This makes sure: 1. I review the information after the fact. 2. I determine if it’s actually important. 3. I actually get it into the flow of life.
  2. Have people in your life to tell you NO. If you’re a business owner, you should have a leadership team around you who will tell you when it’s time to focus or let something settle. As a partner for many businesses, our team prides themselves on being able to decide when something is worth a distraction and when a client needs to hear no (and why!).
  3. JUST DO SOMETHING. Seriously, I can’t think of a more important “thing” than just taking what you’ve learned or been inspired by and just doing it. Set a reminder or block time on your calendar and just make it happen!

How do you make sure you’re doing something with what you’re learning? Do you think you need to slow down on your information intake to rev up your information use?

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