Last Modified 18/01/18

How to avoid the information paradox and enhance your productivity

by Elizabeth Van Den Bergh

Too much or too little information?

We are bombarded with information of all kinds since the beginning of the digital revolution. We are overwhelmed with news, facts, data, infotainment, pictures, music, advertisement, and so on. Hence, the ability to select useful information has become a very important skill.

What is the information paradox?

There is a paradox here. The mere fact of having more information at hand does not make us smarter. On the contrary, search engines and advertising strategies will confirm us in our previous choices on Internet and confirm them, hence narrowing the information coming towards us.

If you are only interested in cute puppy pictures, that will be all you will find on the Internet. You will never learn about cats.

Instead of passively consuming the information load that is dropped upon us. Facebook is for example very good at dropping luring bits of info on us. It is very tempting to get distracted. Instead we should consciously and actively decide what information we want to be receiving.

How to filter information and double your productivity

  1. ·      On what topics to you want to stay attuned?
  2. ·      Decide what information you are looking for.
  3. ·      Set RSS feeds or use Feedly (http://feedly.com/) to channel the information of your selection towards you
  4. ·      Create shortcuts to websites, fora and blogs of interest
  5. ·      Set a limited amount of time you want to spend every day on processing the new information you selected

Why is this important?

We all have a limited amount of time available. Efficiency is more important than ever. And we want to make a difference at work, right? It is those who know how to curate well who will stand out.  Hello focus, goodbye distraction is the adagio.

(Photo: Cambodia4kids.org)