We know we are constantly bombarded with online content - this should come as no surprised. But do you know the actual numbers? Every single day we are exposed to:
4.4 million blog posts
720,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube
5,519 podcast episodes
As human beings, it's impossible to enter a flow state and maintain focus with this level of distraction. So how can we counter this information overload and create a healthy information diet that promotes productivity and mental well-being?
Here are five tips to help you take control of the content you consume:
Delete social media apps from your phone
Think of social media apps like processed food - they can be enjoyable in small doses, but it's essential to use them with intention rather than mindlessly scrolling through your feed. By deleting these apps from your phone, you reduce the temptation to check them every few minutes and can focus on more meaningful tasks. If you still want to use social media, consider accessing it through your web browser, so it becomes a more deliberate action.
If you need some help with this, you can use your phone to limit screentime to certain apps or a category of apps (like all of your social media apps.) This can help you build a better habit over time until you no longer rely on the limitations to use your phone without the temptation of going into social media and potentially get sucked into a rabbit hole you weren't expecting.
Schedule time for content consumption
Rather than constantly grazing on online content throughout the day, set aside specific times for reading or content consumption. This can be at the beginning, middle, or end of your day. Consider this similar to having small nutritious meals instead of continuous snacking. By allocating time for content consumption, you can better focus on other tasks during the day without constant interruptions.
If you're struggling with this - remember it can take up to 66 days to build a healthy habit, so be kind to yourself. Ease into it slowly: start with 5 minutes every day and build on it as you go until it no longer feels like a chore.
💡 Top Tip
Did you know Mindstone can help you build better habits over time? Just set a goal for the amount of reading you want to do everyday - we'll make sure you remain motivated to achieve your goals!
Diversify your news sources
Just like a healthy diet requires a variety of fruits and vegetables to nourish our bodies, our minds also need a diverse range of information sources to foster critical thinking and maintain a balanced perspective. By consuming news from various outlets, you can expose yourself to different viewpoints and ideas, which can help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of the world around you.
If you ever find something that feels slightly questionable, research it further. There are great sites like Snopes that specifically dedicate their time to fact checking, ensuring that you're not accidentally picking up on a modern-day urban legend.
Triage and organize your information
To make the most of your content consumption, it's essential to have a system in place to triage and organize the information you encounter. Platforms like Mindstone, Pocket, or other similar apps can help you collect, sort, and categorize content in one place for easy access later. Think of it like having your own personal library. By integrating these tools into your daily routine, you can streamline your information consumption and focus on the content that truly matters to you.
Be selective and cut the clutter
Before diving into any piece of content, ask yourself if it will help you achieve your goals or enrich your mind. If the answer is no to both, consider it ultra-processed food and delete it. By being more selective about the content you consume, you can prioritize quality over quantity and make better use of your time.
Don't worry - nobody is going to judge you for having a bit of mindless scrolling time. We all have a little McDonald's craving every now and again, it's normal. Instead, try to replace some of that time with useful content, and as you build your habit for healthier content, slowly cut off what you don't need.
Building a healthy information diet is essential for maintaining focus and productivity in our increasingly connected world. By following these five tips, you can take control of your content consumption and ensure that the information you consume is meaningful and beneficial. Remember, it's not about completely cutting yourself off from online content, but rather about making more intentional choices and establishing a balanced relationship with the information that surrounds us. With a healthy information diet in place, you'll be better equipped to navigate the constant stream of information and thrive in our digital age.