Just got out of the water after the morning surfing session at Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. Pretty tired, but otherwise it feels great.
The sun is up, but it’s not burning down. Not yet, it’s only 9am.
I usually surf well into the winter while back home in NY, but this year I stopped the season early in November due to the shoulder injury.
Even though I usually do about a hundred pushups every morning, I sucked at the lineup today.
There is no substitution for the real thing, no matter how fit you are. It helps of course, but you have to practice specific activity to train your muscle in the real environment, not the sandbox.
Anyway, at the moment I’m sitting on the porch outside of our little villa and breathing in fresh salty air.
A nice mouthwatering smell is coming out of the open door, which means the breakfast is almost done. So hungry!
My son is watching his cartoons on the Ipad in the other room, that’s why it’s so quiet and peaceful.
It gives me enough time to write up this post for you guys (hopefully).
Ok, let’s get to it.
Today I’d like to share my thoughts about content overload. Here is why.
Everywhere I go I see people glued to their phones consuming someone else’s lives and it’s kind of scary and sad at the same time.
I’m not 100% immune from this a well. Every time I post a picture or video on Instagram I check it every 5 minutes to see how many likes it gets.
Silly I know, but it’s so hard to resist the temptation…
Worst of all it creates constant interruptions.
Those involved in software development know how bad the interruption actually is. It takes up to 30 minutes (sometimes more) to get back in “the zone”.
When the interruption happens every 5-10 minutes, there is just no way to find the flow.
What happens, is at the end of the day you have nothing to show for.
It’s very likely you only cross little things off your to-do list and move bigger (much more important!) items for the next day. Then the process repeats itself and we wonder why in the world we can’t accomplish anything significant…
Sound familiar? Right.
There are two kinds of content consumption I came up with:
1. The worst (also known as Clicking Around) – is when you simply browse Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram or Inbox hoping to find something “interesting”.
There is zero value in this activity. Actually, hold on a sec, there is value – this type of content consumption it’s extremely good at killing time, so if that’s what you need to do, then, by all means, keep doing it.
Just be mindful of what you do and keep a timer or something like that so it could pull you out of the Matrix, otherwise, you are risking wasting hours and hours of precious time.
Remember, in real life, we can’t stop time from ticking and we can’t get it back no matter what. Once it’s gone is gone forever…
2. Sneaky (aka Learning Monkey). This one is a bit tricky. Let me explain.
Lately, I’ve been following a bunch of very smart people from different areas of life (Marketing, Leadership, Health, Wealth, Technology).
I feel like in one short year I learned more useful stuff than I did in my whole life.
Here is the catch though – the content never stops. You learn and learn and learn, but there is very little value in it unless you start doing.
If we don’t apply what we learned we simply forget… That’s the sad reality.
Knowledge is extremely important in today’s world, no questions about that, but the whole idea is to use this new knowledge to get closer to achieving our goals.
I called this particular type of content consumption Sneaky for a reason.
Why? Well, because it’s extremely easy to justify watching 3-4hr video “literally loaded with value” and mentally put it under “learning” bracket, instead of “time waster”.
Most likely you will even feel good/proud afterward.
That’s exactly how it was for me for quite some time. I would come in at the office in the morning ready to rock and roll, then I would check my email, my social apps, hackernews, Reddit, feeds and guess what, I would most definitely find something new to learn.
I would start watching/reading/listening and in between doing some other tasks. Constant context switching that would last for entire days and even weeks sometimes. Very unproductive.
That’s why I started paying close attention to how I spend my most productive time.
Once I “stopped learning” I reclaimed my time!
Now I don’t have excuses anymore. The only thing that is left is to deliver results. Pretty powerful.
I highly recommend you to do the same – ditch the content if you have some to-do items on your list. It will be hard, extremely hard but that’s how we move closer to our goals.
What’s more interesting is that most of the time we know what needs to be done to get to the next level and yet we are still searching for magical tricks and shortcuts.
Persistence. Dedication. Work.
Here, I just gave you everything you need to achieve your goals!
Trust me, the content will still be here when you come back, but I have a better idea – what if you start producing your own?
Let’s flip the table – create instead of consume.
Who is with me?