No matter if you are in the field of management, if you are an artist, an engineer, a laborer, you are working in other fields or not working at all, you get bombarded by information from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. The radio, the TV, the Internet, and the others around you are the channels through which the information gets to you.
Filtering it may be a challenge, but it is a “must” if you want to be efficient and evolve in everything that you do. Let’s find out what you can do to reduce the amount of information that gets to you and increase the quality and efficiency resulting from it.
First of all, you need to know something that Jim Rohn, the famous motivational speaker, remarkably said:
“Successful people huge libraries, while unsuccessful people have huge TV screens.”
Think of the TV as a big company that its sole purpose is to make money. I know from economics that the purpose of any business is to increase shareholders’ wealth. Consider this every time you watch TV.
They all want to get your attention, to increase their ratings so they can have higher advertising fees. That’s why they use different methods, such as: drama (all over the news), reality shows, and most of the negative information that excites our brains extensively. Little that you get from the TV is objective and informative.
1. Spend less time watching television and more time reading a book on a subject that you enjoy.
Even though the advice is to read books, finding a good book may be a challenge. The purpose is to increase your efficiency at maximum. That is why you need to read the best books in the field you are interested.
I am interested, among others, in the subjects of business development and entrepreneurship. So, here’s what I do to get the best books on these subjects:
1. Do an online research on the people behind big business and very popular brands. I narrow down the research to: 5 to 10 names.
2. Study the biographies of these people and how they are perceived by other people.
3. Read their books.
Some names that I am currently studying are: Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Jim Collins and Timothy Ferriss. Tell me in the comment section whose books you are focusing on.
The second aspect that is very important is the Internet. It’s all over the place: at home, at work, while driving, everywhere. Internet is information. Every time you are surfing the net, there is an exchange of information between you and others (people, businesses, different pages, etc).
Most of the information you are receiving is little less relevant to you. You do not really have to spend your most important resource (which is time, by the way) seeing that the friend of a friend has “checked-in” at a restaurant with his girlfriend. Or do you?
Think of all the time that you spend on Facebook as relaxation time. That’s what it basically is (if you are not a business or a person promoting products or services). On Facebook you are constantly scrolling through timelines so that your brain finds some exciting story or picture to focus on.
2. Realize when this happens! Stop the habit! Close the browser.
Social media is a big distraction. But it’s not the only one. You can get distracted while at work, while you are searching for something on the internet.
For example, you read information on a page and there are a lot of links that you can click on (links that are related to the subject). When you find something that draws your attention, you most likely click on it and you are redirected to another page.
The same thing happens on the landing page and you go from page to page, and you find yourself after 30 minutes that you are reading about something totally unrelated to what you were looking for in the very beginning.
This often happened to me in the past. However, I managed to change the bad habit because I realized that I was being inefficient in what I did. The activator of my change was my busy life itself and realizing that I have so much to do and so little time to do it.
When you are in this situation, you are challenged to improve your time management as life brings more activities to complete and responsibilities to fulfill in the same amount of time that the rest of the people have. Those who succeed are the ones called “highly effective people“.
You should realize that it is always a matter of time, and not money.
3. Most of the times you are missing the point! Do not lose focus. Stay where you are and do what you do until you finish!
What do you do when driving your car? When going to work with the subway? Or the bus? While cooking?
Many, if not, most of the people listen to radio or music.
Listening to music is a very enjoyable activity when done reasonably and not excessively. If you listen to the same songs or types of music everyday, you eventually get bored. Make of “listening to music” an extremely pleasant activity and not a routine activity.
Don’t forget that the purpose is to increase the efficiency of your time management and get less information, in less time, and of a higher quality.
If you spotted the experts in the field you are interested of, then you are on the right track. The chances that their books are available in audio versions are big enough. So, go get these audio books and listen to them while driving or while doing some activity not requiring high-levels of concentration.
Brian Tracy, the success coach, said that the average person spends more than 100 hours per year commuting to work and from work. There are also people who spend more than 500 hours doing so. Think of what would happen if you can listen to educational programs for at least 100 hours per year. You expertise level would increase tremendously and it would be like if you were following a higher education degree.
Tell me what audio book you found most interesting and when do you listen to them?
4. Turn your car into a university on wheels. Listen to educational programs while driving and while commuting from and to work.
The last “noise” element that I want to refer to is the people around you. Most of the interactions you engage in daily are not very productive, unless you are a very successful person.
There are some people you consider your friends who would tell you that you can’t do something when you express your inner most desires. These are the negative people and they are like vampires sucking all the energy and motivation inside you.
Open your eyes, be aware and beware!
There are other people who you engage in conversations just for little talk. These can happen during a coffee break, while meeting on the street with someone, while shopping, or while meeting with a friend for entertainment purposes.
If you engage in entertaining activities every day, these activities will loose all their charm. Doing them every few days or once a week would extremely boost your satisfaction level and increase your energy.
5. Engage less in meeting with people who are sucking your energy and with whom you cannot engage in creating efficient and productive activities for both of you.
Reduce coffee breaks; reduce the number of people you meet everyday with. Paradoxically, this will increase the quality of your relationship with these people.
If you got up to this point, I would like to hear what you consider as being the most time wasting activity of these days. I would also like you to tell me a book that you would consider recommending to others, no matter the subject.
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