One of the questions I have been asked most over the past few weeks is “How do you filter the information coming at you in ever increasing volumes?”
In a word “ruthlessness”. Inevitably sources of information increase all the time and it is easy not to notice until you are feeling overwhelmed and under pressure to keep up. Every once in a while I have a purge, stripping things back ruthlessly to sources that I trust to provide more signal than noise and that are diverse enough to give me confidence that I will hear about things that matter to me.
The biggest casualty of this process is mainstream news. I find little value on the list of scary things that I can do little about that seem to be their main product these days so I never watch TV news, never listen to the radio, and never browse any news sources. What I do is make sure that my network includes a range of people with different perspectives and if a news article has been sufficiently relevant and interesting to share it I will pick up on their links.
Second biggest casualty currently is social media. I have really reduced the amount of time I spend in Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. I am really enjoying not being subject to the indignation engines and focus on a very small subset of all of the people in those networks. As I said earlier the challenge is to reduce that number to as small as possible without losing signal as well as noise or ending up in an echo chamber.
So I mostly pay attention to my trusty old RSS feeds of certain journalists, bloggers, and experts in my network. I focus on writing posts on my blog and sharing photos via Flicks. Going back to first principles is working for me, it might for you.