A Solution To Information Overload…
It’s hard to imagine but in 1969 people were struggling with what to do about ‘information overload’.
So much so, the Washington D.C. think-tank group, the Brookings institute asked a famous polymath, Herbert Simon:
“What should we do about all this information overload?”
“Surely”, they said, “there is TOO MUCH information!”
“We need some solutions!”
How about you, do you ever feel overloaded with too much information?
Then read on…
At the start of the 1900s, the amount of time it took for all the knowledge that mankind had accumulated to double was estimated to be every 50 years.
By 1969 it was circa every decade.
Today, according to IBM, it’s now every 11-12 hours!
So when Herbert refused to write a paper on Information Overload back in 1969 when the trend was clear, the Think Tank group were stunned.
Why did he refuse?
Because he realized that the actual problem isn’t information overload, rather he recognised that:
“We can do a lot with all this information IF we can create better ways to deal with it, and that will allow us to accomplish a really important social goal.”
Same applies to you and me.
Design a better filter on the inside and you will create an order of magnitude difference in performance and results you can create in the world.
So Herbert got to work coming up with solutions for an “an information-rich world.”
The key quote from his paper is this:
“With a wealth of information comes a POVERTY of attention and the need to allocate that attention efficiently.”
This year, you will be faced with an incredible amount of distractions, interruptions and an abundance of information flowing at you from everywhere that isn’t slowing down, but actually speeding up.
The knowledge you have is literally being outdated and expiring by the minute…
And the amount of time you have to do whatever you want to achieve isn’t growing.
It’s finite and fixed.
Bottom line: if you want success on your goals (whether you wrote any down or not), you need to have a system to keep you FOCUSED.
You need to create or acquire ‘better ways to deal with’ the abundance of information and control how you allocate your attention.
Those who don’t will fall behind.
One way you can begin to do that is to borrow one of the design principles that Herbert proposed in his pioneering work.
Hint: It’s the same principle that Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are designing into their AI products today.
And those who learn to harness this - will accomplish so much more in the next decade.
If you’d like to learn what this is…
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