So I’ve made the decision to go on a new diet. This one is less about my physical appearance and more about my mental health. I’m going on an Information Diet.
It’s probably more radical today than the Atkins but over the next couple of weeks I’m unplugging. If theres a topic I haven’t blogged about before but have been meaning to its about information overload. The term I really like is signal to noisebecause thats what it manifests itself inside my mind. There is so much information coming in that its becoming more and more difficult to really distinguish the signal (the information that is actually important or interesting) from the noise (all the crap and pseudo-information out there).
Like an analogue radio with the dial forever in motion, there are glimpses of crystal clear glorious tones, but they are quickly consumed by the endless hiss. It’s becoming to hard to filter out the noise because it’s increased in volume. Right now it feels like 100 radios scrolling through the frequencies so that even when you hit a signal it gets diluted and washed away by the overwhelming noise.
So what’s the Diet look like.
- First of all reduce the noise. This is basically removing the radios, stripping them down to only what’s necessary. So I’ll be getting rid of networks, features, updates and subscriptions.
- Change my consumption habits. Like any good diet it really comes down to changing habits – getting rid of negative ones and replacing them with healthy ones.
- No more snacks. Snacks tend to have little nutritional value and are often lots of sugar coated air. They disrupt your natural timelines and leave you feeling very unsatisfied and often guilty. On my information diet I’ll be getting rid of snack information – so most of what fills your most common newspapers, websites and TV. I’ll be leaving the snack to concentrate on only the main meals – documentaries, feature articles and essays – so I can get a more balanced and filling meal
I’m doing this with the hope of seeing results in the following areas:
- Greater focus on the tasks at hand and reduce distraction and procrastination.
- To spend more time doing things that I like, rather than simply filling in time.
- Reading more and spending less time scanning and adding things to my “read it later” pile.
- Create a space to ‘do more’. I often fall into the trap of thinking, saying and listing – but fail at the act of doing! By reducing the information I’ll create time, time to do! This includes chores around the house, creative projects and family time.
- Create silence. I think the effect of all this noise is an inability to really achieve clarity. I think clarity comes through reflection, through thought – through silence. Switching off and being able to achieve silence will bring with it a way and a space to achieve clarity.
So Blog… You will be be a record of attempts, successes and failures.