Sunday’s Thoughts – Are You Drowning In Information?

Today’s though or contemplation is about the deluge of information we are faced with every day and comes from Timothy Ferriss’ The 4 Hour Work Week.  The quote isn’t from Ferriss himself, it’s actually from Herbert Simon, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, but I discovered it in Ferriss’ book.

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among an overabundance of information sources that might consume it.

The emphasis is mine and I am speaking to myself more than anyone else. Paring down my information intake is critical to be able to focus more on the things that are essential. I love to check stats, especially Adsense stats, but I spend way too much time doing this. All that information is not really necessary and it takes up space in my brain that I could rent out to other, more important things.

Paying attention to the essential things and being able to act on them is what matters. Is the information you are consuming contributing to your success in all areas of life or is it just taking up space?

What are you renting space in your brain to?

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8 Responses to “Sunday’s Thoughts – Are You Drowning In Information?”

  1. I think one of the weaknesses we all have as internet marketers / bloggers is a love of information. The problem is, there is just so much information on the Internet! I know I can skip from website to website, absorbing information until my poor little brain hurts (at least, that’s what it feels like). Deciding what you need to accomplish, and not letting your information addiction get in the way, is definitely important.

    All the Best,

    – Dave

  2. I’ve always been obsessive about learning things. Any thing. I know it’s a waste of time, but it’s so difficult to prioritize.

    And, any time you’re absorbing information, you feel as though you’re being productive, even when you’re really just wasting time.

  3. I actually just recently ended up getting to a like conclusion though traveling to it in a different way. This assumes a somewhat conscience choice with respect to “renting brain storage,” and often it’s really not about choice. I recently found a new radio station that plays a lot of older hits I grew up with. How many of those songs do you think I know word for word? Pretty sure that’s some brain storage I could have put to better use…LOL…Thanks for the post.


  4. Information overload is a big problem for me. I find myself reading digg.com, reddit.com, stock tips and affiliate blogs more often then actually working. This is a major problem. Lately I have been trying to dedicate certain times during the day to simply shut off all outside distractions so that I can be more productive. I turn off AIM, cellphone, etc. This seems to work well. Keep up the great work.


  5. Great way to put it, I have recently reduced the stream of information that I consume every day down to a more selected assortment.

    There is just too much out there that will eat up your attention and energy if you let it.

  6. I tend to get slightly overwhelmed by info when I try to go in too many directions at the same time. Which happens on an almost daily basis.

  7. I’m drowning in a sea of information alright – I have 24 draft posts on my main site and ideas for about 20 more. Each one is a 1-3 hour posts. I have only maybe 10-12 sites online out of 40-odd domains I own and out of those about half desperate need attention and content. I don’t need the 4 hour workweek – I need the 444 hour workweek!

  8. John – If those 24 draft posts are complete or close to complete you could probably afford to take a break there. Sounds like you have a lot going on. Don’t quite have that many domains. I’m running about 25-30 at the present time.

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