Ingesting Info

With more grey hair and a little wisdom, I stopped hoarding information and frantically categorising them into buckets that keeps constantly changing. I even stopped buying books in 2024 🤓

All things I want to know is freely available. It is in the form of books, blogs , podcasts, videos and more. Every great idea worth spreading is already spread. No one is ever going to present a completely novel generic big idea. The real magic is how you use them when you need them. 

Here is a little playbook I use for myself. Steal it if you suffer FOMO, hoard information and worry about not having enough time in a day. 

1/ Don’t ingest random information. I mean it. If you want to ingest, then find a purpose to ingest. 

I got this neat trick from my coffee de-addiction. I learnt about the dehydration, coffee intake causes. On day one I didn’t say no to coffee but I put a simple rule to drink 5 glasses of water before enjoying one cup of coffee. I could never finish 5 glasses of water for one cup of coffee. Coffee was slowly vanishing from my life. Now I almost stopped coffee because I am never hydrated enough for coffee. But when I have it after 5 glasses of water, I thoroughly enjoy a cup of coffee. Similarly, without a project/purpose don’t ingest information. Create a project. Make a plan. Have a date to finish and then find relevant information. You will learn the information better. 

2/ Don’t ingest information without completing priming.

Let me explain- priming is a way of getting your brain ready to absorb the information. The easiest way to prime is to ask a question. The second easiest way is to give a deadline. Suddenly your brain gets super focused and starts working towards the goal. 

I use a simple technique called a questionathon - a marathon of questions about a topic to collect all my curiosities in one place. Then I try and answer every question by searching internally and externally. This helps you find information in a focused manner. 

3/ I make a project and set the OOO (Objective, output and outcome). When there is an aim and you know what you want to produce at the end, the focus is sharpened. In my view project is the best way to seek and ingest information. 

I make it into a two week sprint so that I am anchored by timelines as well. Worse I go and promise someone something and to save my face I will do it. 

I say yes to master classes or speaking engagement or workshop or keynote and then will prepare for the whole thing. 

By doing all the above, random ingestion is totally eliminated from my life. This is my secret of not doom scrolling. My only weakness is stand up comedy and the rest I can resist from scrolling 😝

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