How to Dissolve Information-Overload
Do you experience information-overload from too many daily emails, telephone calls, books, articles and reports? If your career is in the Knowledge Economy and requires updated information to stay competitive in your industry, you are suffering chronic stress from constant interruptions and disruptions to your concentration.
There are 310 million folks in the U.S. in December 2010. In the world, there are just under 7 billion people. Wait – we just hit one-billion people who use the Internet daily, so we are going digital internationally. Get this: digital information just reached One-Zetta Bytes – which is a 1 with 21 zeros after it.
In the U.S. newspapers and magazines are suffering an average readership loss of up to 15-18% and about 20% annual loss of advertising pages revenue. Folks are getting digital and getting their information from the Internet.
You have two choices – ignore and delete new information that your competitors are reading and reacting to, or change your style and tools to absorb a flood of new stuff.
Question: if you read an article, report or book, and cannot answer core questions about the knowledge contained in it, did you really read and understand the text?
In law school the professor would call on students and say, “You read this particular case, tell me sir, What does this case really stand for? What is its meaning to lawyers and judges? If you could not respond, you were told to consider becoming an accountant.
If you are in the Knowledge Economy, it is your job to keep up with – What is new? What is happening to change the future in your field of interest? Will there be a shortage of the supplies you require to fulfill your agreements? Where will your organization be next year, two-years – five?
So I ask you, how many hours daily do you spend maintain the expertise you have for your career? That includes specialty industry newspapers, business books, and updated reports about your organization’s divisions.
Our research of human resources departments concludes that the average executive is one-three months behind in keeping up with his/her required reading. Many admit to hiding reports, articles and business books in the closet – unread – since last Xmas.
There is an application on iPhone called My 6 Sense that creates an algorithm (step-by-step) of your likes and dislikes, links you click, how long you look at something, and sharing the contents. It then puts your favorite contents on top of your streams and make predictions about what you want to read.
It makes decisions based on your past behavior.
Research in December 2010 concludes, that executives are losing the ability to concentrate and pay substantial attention to what they read, losing long-term memory skills, and have no time to reflect (analysis) on the context of important new information.
Do you take any notes about interesting article, reports or books in your field? We suggest you have a journal with new ideas you discovered.
Secret: if you ask yourself these seven questions about what you have read or heard in a presentation, and record the key points in a few words, you will guarantee your personal Knowledge to expand.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? Which? How? Just answering this seven questions about your latest learning experience imprints them on your mind and for future review.
Start a journal and do a mind experiment and discover the benefit of questioning for your self. It aids your concentration, comprehension and memory.
Some interesting research by professor Brad Bushman, Ohio State University on avoiding aggressive impulses. This knowledge fits in your general fund of information that makes some of us powerful leaders.
First, energy is a product of metabolism of Glucose, blood sugar, providing the energy for the brain to operate.
Second, avoiding aggressive impulses requires self-control, and self-control needs a high expenditure (level) of energy.
Three, drinking a glass of lemonade with one spoonful of real sugar (not sugar substitute) provides instant energy for self-control. Want to control yourself from losing it? The secret is one-spoonful of sugar.
How does this play-out? Diabetes has tripled (3x) from 1980 to 2008, from 5.6 million folks in the U.S. to 18.1 million. So what? The U.S. has the highest incidence of diabetes and also has the highest rate of murder, assault, rape and robbery. Why? No energy because of diabetes to avoid aggressive impulses.
Diabetes means there is less energy available for self-control because of the inability to metabolize glucose. Worldwide 400 million people do not have the enzyme Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenises and cannot metabolize glucose. The countries with highest diabetes rate have the most violence.
World Peace requires more energy for self-control and the ability to metabolize glucose.
A elderly gentleman enters a numismatic shop (coin dealer) to sell an antique coin he owns. The dealer looks at the coin with his magnifying glass and reads the following: 106 B.C. He picks up the phone and calls the police. Why?
Answer: a) Arabic numbers (106) did not appear until the year 976 CE (Common Era). Wait. The use of the term B.C. did not occur before the birth of J.C. It first appeared 525 CE (Common Era). Something is not working, right? —
Would you have a competitive advantage if you read and remembered triple (3x) what others in your organization can learn? If you are interested we have a free (no strings attached) report on how to speed read and triple your reading and learning.
copyright 2010 H. Bernard Wechsler
Author of Speed Learning for Professionals, published by Barron’s; partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading, graduating two million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents: Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Carter.
Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and fortune Magazine for major articles.