Information Overload

Martin Whatson    — The Connection

Martin Whatson — The Connection

Information is a shiny object. It used to be scarce. It used to mean power. So we sought it. And we hoarded it. We exchanged it with care and discrimination. We offered it with purpose.

Today we are drowning in information. But that doesn’t make it less titillating. So we keep consuming it. We keep trying to drink from the firehose. We think we’ll make sense of it later. We take, we read, we watch, we share, we click. But the flood is actually endless.

These have been an exciting few weeks for our work. We are devoting lots of time to contribute to the flood. “Content, content, content” has become our mantra. We will soon invite you to check out our first video series. This one is on learning how to evolve. We are recording podcasts. We have awesome episodes on the docket. And of course, we keep on writing.

But is there a contradiction here?

Wasn’t I just saying that there is way too much out there? Wasn't I saying that there is way more “content” calling our attention than we could possibly consume in one lifetime?

There is magic in this contradiction. It allows us to focus ever more specifically on what we are here to create. On what we want to do together.

Seth Godin speaks of it as the power of seeking your minimum viable audience. He invites us to:

Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it’s the simplest way to matter.

When you have your eyes firmly focused on the minimum viable audience, you will double down on all the changes you seek to make. Your quality, your story and your impact will all get better.

And then, ironically enough, the word will spread.

So our goal here is to find the few. The few of you who find resonance with this idea of an evolutionary leap. We want to find the few. The few who want to become active participants in the evolution of consciousness and culture.

In my own effort to balance my drive to consume more and more culture, to listen to more podcasts, read more books and blogs, catch more and more cool courses, I have come up with a hypothesis for success in these times. I propose that each one of us has to get ever more clear one what we are here to do. On the very purpose of our lives. On what we want to create. Once that is clear, here is the discipline:

  • Limit how much content you take in each day. Set boundaries to your time online.

  • Process all the content that you do take in. Take notes. And let your mind wonder without input.

  • Produce content every day. Your voice matters. Add more value.

  • Share. Find your people. And Connect.

This is easier said than done. I’m not there yet. But I commit to trying.

Do you?