Information Gathering – Work Or Entertainment?

The Golden Age Of Information

So, we all live in this wonderful time called the “Information Age”. Honestly, it’s incredible to have access to so much…

Anything you want to learn is no more than a few clicks away… Want to learn the difference between a lunar day and a solar day; go to google. Want to learn how to play guitar; sign up to somebody’s blog and get a series of video lessons. Want to learn how to shear sheep; pop on over to youtube. Come to think of it, pretty much anything you might be interested in knowing is out there, waiting to be found (no matter how bizarre the request).

The fact is, we’re surrounded by more options than we can possibly pursue in a lifetime. We read, we skim, we scan, we download, we watch videos, we listen to podcasts, we sign up for webinars, we attend conferences… We learn more and more and more. Here’s the problem, though… as this happens we can tend to do less and less and less.

The Problem With More Options

Don’t get me wrong… there’s nothing wrong with having options. Options are good. The problem is that as options increase we tend to take less action. We dive down the rabbit hole of research and run the risk of getting lost in the sea of possibilities. Distraction finds us easy prey and the next thing you know you come up for air from a youtube deep dive having forgotten what your original search subject even was.

We’ve gone from having few choices to trying to manage an overwhelming number of options.

New ideas are added to the pile every day and it gets hard to figure out if we are getting ahead or if we are simply getting further behind.

The Solution

So how can we tell if some shiny piece of knowledge is worth pursing? Whether it will make a difference in our life and business or if it will end up being filed under “merely interesting”?

The answer lies in whether it adds value to your life / business and that depends on whether it will change how you do something. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to learn new and interesting stuff. As a bit of a nerd there’s nothing I enjoy more. The reality, though, is that most of these bits of data don’t help me to offer more service and don’t help me to build my business. That being said, they are not work… They are entertainment.

Clearing up the confusion

Now don’t get me wrong… There’s nothing wrong with entertainment; it’s just not the same as work. Work is when we spend time doing something so that we can cause progress. Progress takes work. Appropriate tools and smart strategies can leverage the work (action) but it takes work nonetheless.

Confusion can set in when we entertain ourselves with work-related material. Watching videos on this method or that method that we never act on. Reading posts and forums that we never act on. Even buying products that we never act on… Entertainment. I hope you enjoyed the show…

Not that there’s anything wrong with entertainment. It’s fine. It just does us well to keep this in mind:

Entertainment doesn’t pay… It costs.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field