Monday, January 30, 2017

Dealing with information overload -updated

A lot of  people have read Tim Feriss's best seller book, Tools of the Titans, and found practical advice from Tim's guests, which are some of the world's top class performers.

I think an important issue to those interviewed was answering the question of how to deal with the information overload, which, make no mistake, kills productivity, joy and creativity.

What is it that you can do to put a stop to the information overload ? There is an incessant, unforgiving barrage of news and information that's like a world on acid.

Do you just apply better filters to your email and social media feeds ? Are you able to self censure yourself to reading emails only twice a day ? What about those hundreds of emails left unread or unanswered every day ? There is a tremendous amount of noise that is waiting to capture your attention, emotions and pull your decision-making. Add to that the clunk and gutter that your significant other is experiencing.

If you fancy yourself a top performer, you need to:

Ruthlessly cut out 4/5th of the information overload. This is no easy job. There are no "top-of-hour" news, ","trending","fake" news or "alternative" news. There are only relevant information and relevant people some of the time. When relevant people babble in non-sense, you need to switch off. You don't need to know when your neighbor gets a cold unless you shake their hands every day. Social media giants have transformed us into social media addicts. (anyone ever heard of Trump...). This addictive behavior has resulted into short attention spans and incapacity of concentration, especially from younger users.

Every man carries about him a touchstone, if he will make use of it, to distinguish substantial gold from superficial glitterings, truth from appearances. And indeed the use and benefit of this touchstone, which is natural reason, is spoiled and lost only by assuming prejudices, overweening presumption, and narrowing our minds. - John Locke

How many apps do you have on your phone that you barely used ? How about how many that you use for 1 hour or more ? -Unless you use those for work, those are your your biggest time killers.

Updated 02/2018

Social Media is NOT Real Life

Do you believe that TV is reality ? If you answered yes, you need to question your sanity and have an Alzheimer's check up.
Very close to television is the crazy social media four-pack: FB, Twitter and Instagram, and more recently, Snap. Social media is a distortion reality magnifying glass.

I know it, because I am social media. When you look at accounts on Twitter that tweet every 20 minutes, run, don't walk. These people expose their irrelevant lives, they live for the news cycle. The news cycle is toxic. It is repetitive, almost always negative, it is the proverbial casino open 24 hours a day. People who write their opinions on Twitter 50 times a day are brownbeating themselves. For the composed person, social media can add some value if it is used sparingly and if it brings something other than news and opinions.

Looking at my Twitter account "Trends for you": I have:

  • Today's moments: ...
  • Venture capital: because you follow Intel Capital and 40 others...
  • Boating and Yachting: because you follow...
  • Art Community...
  • Popular articles...
  • Sports...
  • Live video: Bloomberg video...
This needs some serious curating, and every time you do that you spend a lot of brain power. They don't tell you that, but you do. 

  • unfollow serial Twitters trolls (those that don't do anything but tweet, as I told you)
  • unfollow news cycle pundits.
  • reduce your daily consumption of Twitter news.
  • drop those Twitter accounts that don't follow you (reciprocity principle)

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