Time, the only element in our live that has an uncertain and finite supply. Nobody know how many time we have on earth and we all glad to have more free time for ourselves to relax, gather with our loved one or complete some personal project.
I finished the book “4 hours work week” few weeks ago and I am hooked with the idea of “information diet” explained in the book. The idea of information diet is that we as modern human has access to overwhelming source of information, and we are capable to search millions of related information source with Google. With information overload came stress and inaction, we need to spend time and energy to filter this huge source of information and we are not taking action because we thought there will be always another better source of information floating around the web. Then we continue to surf the web for few more hours for more information before we realized the first few are enough for us. By the time we had enough of information, we are exhausted and lazy to take any action.
How to reduce your information diet? It works about the same way how we should plan our diet if we want to eat healthy.
1. Don’t starve yourself
Like how a healthy diet should be, when you start to taking care of your information diet, you don’t starve yourself from every single source of information. I don’t know about you, but that didn’t work for me. When I start to take note of what information I consume daily, I realized I spent quite a bit of time on newspaper,email and Facebook post every day. And I shut myself from all those source from second day onward. By third day I already craving for all those information I used to consume every few minute. So, reduce gradually, don’t go for the extreme the first day.
2. Avoid the junk information
Junk information not only refer to those giving you wrong fact but also those provide you no value to improve your life. Everyone has different definition what is junk information means to them. For me, I am not interested in some celebrity wear a new clothes for the new season or some star starting a new relationship with another star. I also not very interested in those “offer” available either in real world or online(think groupon).
Information that means junk to me might not apply to other people. For someone working in showbiz/magazine business, celebrity gossip could mean very different thing to them. That is their job to report every single little thing of celebrity to boost readership.
So, find out what information is junk to your life and avoid them like crazy.
3. Have a schedule
Batch processing is a good way to use your time more efficiently. I deleted my gmail and Facebook account from my smart phone to preserve my attention currency. Without Gmail or Facebook notification every few minutes, I can focus more on the things on hand and complete it in shorter time.
Nowadays I process my email at the end of the day. I normally delete those useless spam or promotional ads, archive those email that does not need my attention immediately( and unlikely need my attention too in the future). I normally keep less than 10 email in my inbox and sometime less than 5 email.