The NEW Information Diet, part 1

Hi, I’m Jeremy and I am an information addict.

(HI JEREMY!)

It’s been 6 years since I have watched a traditional news program, 5 years since I’ve watched an entertainment gossip show, 4 year since I’ve watched live television and nearly 3 weeks since I have read over 50 blogs a week, listened to all of the 25+ podcasts I was subscribed too, unsubscribed to the 30+ email newsletters, and stopped consuming info like it was going out of style. I have truly been more effective and more happy since this massive info dump.

I wrote the original Info Diet, part 1 post 3 years ago, and I thought it was time for an update and a process you can use to stop information overwhelm.

The original cause for this info dump was ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferriss. That book has been the second most influential book I have ever read, the first being the "6 Pillar of Self Esteem" by Nathanial Branden.

The 4 Hour Work Week’ helped me with a lot of mindset shifts, but one of them was how important my time was.  I was working 12 hours per day, minimum, 7 days a week and I started to check on why that was.  I found that the info diet cut that down considerably!  I had been an info addict my entire life, until about 3 years ago.  I talk more about that in the original Info Diet post, but here I wanted to talk about the upsides of that diet.

For the last 3 years I stayed to that info diet pretty much completely.  From time to time I would go crazy with the podcasts or the internet marketing courses I didn’t need yet, but I actually stuck to it on the whole.  What has come from it has been amazing.

Unclogging the Action drain

Before having a specific info diet process, I would:

  1. Start a topic
  2. Somehow get distracted by 3 or 10 or 23 other topics
  3. Never finish the first topic.

Being so distracted lead to complete lack of focus and of action, which was very frustrating.  Processing information that way was also very overwhelming as the info would just keep coming and coming and I didn’t have any way to process how I was going to take that info in!

Once I decided to cut out the massive clog of information, I was able to make a process for bring in information.  I was able to pick a few topics and completely focus on them from start to finish.

The Process

In the next part of this series I’m going to show you the exact process I go through to find and act on any info I’m looking for.  My hope is that you will be able to use this process to cut down on the overwhelm of information flowing into your mind and then focus on the correct info that can be acted on.

Go to The NEW Information Diet, part 2

Question: Do you find yourself constantly rushing for one bit of knowledge to another without taking action?  How have you found ways to stop that cycle?

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Comments

  1. I totally agree with you.
    For the last 4 years I’ve hardly seen any TV (and that’s been great!!) Then i had a lot more time to spend reading blogs, books, listening to podcasts…until i became pretty comfortable with all this internet marketing business.

    But now i’m still hanging to this info overload and i need to cut out time there in order to be more productive.

    Looking forward to your next posts about the topic.
    Cheers
    Carlos

  2. I’m still using.. I’ll stay clean for a day, sometimes two at the most but the information feels so good and seems so important. But the realization that I’ve just spent hours reading (skimming) and am none the wiser.. It’s a tough cycle. Oh.. and thanks for the fix ;)

  3. Ha ha I need an intervention. I think if I had a good system in place that made decent money, I could cut out the extra blogs and newsletters. Luckily for me, I’m not spending a whole lot of money consuming the info.

    Looking forward to the next post from you.

    Mark

  4. I’ve been laser-focusing on one task at a time and ignoring all else, but I allow small amounts of archiving of info I come across.

    For example, I focused on setting up my AWeber stuff for a week and didn’t do anything else until it was all done. Now I’m doing my newsletter content and that’s it. Then I’ll keep going down my prioritized mindmapped list to get my site launched. Much of this I learned from IBM.

  5. I think what I have learned, and continue to learn is that it doesn’t matter how much information I absorb, if I’m not doing anything with it then there is no value. Life should be about value. Value in what we offer others and value for ourselves.

    The formula that I keep infront of me is Identify/Measure (identify what it is I need to learn more about, measure that skill – if you have the right tools), Learn (learn the skill, using targeted resources, mentors, books, etc), Practice (start integrating what I learned in to what I’m doing), Apply (make it live, part of how I operate.). When I’m tempted by new opportunities, new information, etc, I ask myself if I’m using the resources I have. If I’m not, what is the point of getting the new stuff?

    Applying the things that IBM teaches also helps navigate success. My biggest challenge has been identifying niche. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, what does it matter what you learn?

    So, go Identify, Learn, Practice, and Apply, then decide if you need something else.

  6. I am totally ready for this information– I get like 100 emails per day and I feel like a dog watching squirrels in my ability to stay focused. THANK YOU!!! cant wait to hear exactly what you do and start implementing it…

  7. Well, that couldn’t have come at a better time… Actually, I’ve found lately that I spend too much time reading or listening about how-to rather than just plain doing! Thanks, Sterling!

  8. You guys are one of the few emails I get that I pretty much ALWAYS read.

    Your post hits home…

    I get probably 200 emails daily, and most just get checked and “marked as read”. .. so why even get them? It’s like having stacks of newspapers that are obviously way too much to ever go back and read…and if we know one thing about internet marketers, they email often, so there is a snowballs chance in hell that we’d ever really “miss” any info.

    I will be reading your old post, I’ve been feeling the need to cleanse lately, as I run my restaurant and plan my internet assault, I can’t continue to drown in useless emails!

    Lastly, I think the number one “issue” with newer internet marketers is twofold…(a) actually believing that it’s possible to live the lifestyle you speak of…and (b) TAKING ACTION.

    I know I’m not alone in the world of continual information gathering, planning, website tweaking and such…never really just picking one project and riding it out until the end..

    2 cents, I’m done.. :)

  9. Good timing! Last week, I wrote a post on my blog about how online distractions can keep us from focusing on what’s important. I’ve struggled with how many times I check email in a day. Now I’m focusing on email 3-4 times a day. And I just unsubscribed from a bunch of lists I was on. I realized that if I’m not reading them but am storing them for some day, that “some day” may never come.

  10. I’m looking forward to hearing your take on overwhelm. It’s where I’ve been now for 2 years. Having great ideas for business is nothing until you actually create something people can consume.

    HELP!

    thanks guys, seriously

    Kevin

  11. Hey guys, this is a tough one. I love to learn new things and my short attention span hinders me when those bright sparkly objects get my attention.

    I do find myself watching videos, then stopping myself saying “I don’t need this information right now” and then turning it off.

    Having a system i.e. a mind map for flow chart has really started to help me stay focused, as I now know what the next part of the syatem needs to be implememnted. Instead of jumping 5-10 steps ahead.

    Love your work guys.

    Darren

  12. Jeff Kanarish says:

    There’s a certain irony to this post. If I took your advice to heart, I should unsubscribe to IBM immediately.

    • The only way that I can see that this isn’t useful is if you are already TOTALLY fine with your information processes, even if you think that you are pretty good, reading this and part 2 can still be useful if you find more clarity and/or find another useful way to to use the info right now.

    • The nice thing about Internet Business Masetery (the show) is that it can be consumed in “down time” and not distract you from otherwise taking action.

      We strive to offer only information that is:

      A. Important
      B. Relevant
      C. Actionable

      Our hope is that we provide enough ongoing inspiration, motivation and actionable tips to make the time dedicated to consuming our content worthwhile.

      That said, if we have a post or episode that is not immediately beneficial to you, then our advice would seem dictate to that you would skip it, yes.

      But hopefully we hit the mark enough to justify at least glanving at what we publish to see if that particular post or episode IS relevant to your current circumstances.

  13. Hey Sterling,

    Great advice for information junkies.
    Now just if I can apply this in real life.
    Don’t worry will be doing that after going through your blog.

    Thanks,
    Rahul.

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