3 Steps to Conquering Information Overload and Taking Action

08.26.21 | David DeCelle | 0 Scale post img

SUMMARY: Consuming content isn’t inherently harmful, but many advisors fall into the time-wasting trap of consuming content just for the sake of doing it. The solution is to develop a plan for maximizing the value each piece of content offers you — and taking action on the information you learn.

Society produces more content than we can ever hope to consume. According to Worldometer, over three million new blog posts are published every day. That doesn’t include videos, infographics, or podcast episodes. So as far as content is concerned, there is no reaching the end of the Internet at this pace.

However, despite all the modern technology, humans still only have 24 hours in a day — and most of that time is spoken for. Most advisors have family, friends, hobbies, and many other obligations to attend to. Add in the hours you need to complete your day’s work and sleep, and your available time shrinks even further.

Therefore, you can’t consume content just to consume it anymore.

Your time is valuable, so you must ensure that the content you consume offers you some value in exchange for the time spent. With that in mind, I wrote this guide to taking action on the content you consume, whether it’s a book, a blog post, a podcast, a video, a whitepaper, or something else.

How to make sure your content consumption time pays off

Before you can implement good ideas in your life and in your business, you have to find good ideas. And while that task should be easy in this tidal wave of content, good ideas aren’t exactly everywhere. So, step one is to become selective about what you read or listen to.

Step two is actively listening for good ideas and opportunities to do things differently, which changes the way you approach content consumption.

Here is the process I recommend.

1. Clarify the purpose of the content consumption

There’s nothing wrong with consuming content for personal pleasure. There is no mandate to try and find lessons from your favorite fiction audiobook or hobby podcast to apply to your personal life. If you do it just for the fun of it, enjoy it as a source of entertainment and discovery.

However, you must clearly distinguish between personal and professional content consumption. Every minute you spend on your business is money, so any content you consume for professional purposes must offer some value or return on investment. You don’t have to know exactly what that valuable nugget will be for any given podcast episode or book, but it’s a good idea to look for trends of “good sources” and “poor sources” of value.

2. Build a system to capture good ideas

Once you draw a line between personal and professional content, create a system for capturing ideas. You could use Evernote, Google Docs, or even a simple pen and paper. Your idea-capturing system doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as you use it consistently and define how you’ll apply each idea you draw from the content you consume.

Additionally, make sure you carve out some time in your daily routine to look back at your idea list regularly. If you don’t, you’ll never get around to applying your knowledge to move forward.

3. Find ways to amplify content consumption ROI

Consuming a piece of content and applying its lessons alone will help you grow professionally. However, there are other ways to squeeze even more value out of each content piece.

For example, imagine you just read a fantastic business book full of actionable lessons. If you have a blog, you could write a quick book review recapping some of the key points that resonated with you and how you intend to apply them to your business. Then, you can share the post to your social channels.

This offers value to others in your network, whether they’re prospects, COIs, or other advisors. Plus, it positions you as someone who’s always pursuing knowledge and improvement — a good image to have.

Taking action: The most important thing

Consuming content has a way of making you feel productive. Absorbing all that knowledge feels great — but it doesn’t improve your life until you put it into action.

Here’s my simple four-step model for using that knowledge to improve your business.

  1. Take action: The moment you learn something actionable, apply it to your professional life. Don’t hesitate or get stuck in analysis paralysis. Just try to bake it into your current day and see how it goes.
  2. Review/analyze: Evaluate the results of what you implemented. Did it help or hurt your business, and why?
  3. Adjust: Use what you learned to course-correct.
  4. Move forward: Keep using your newfound knowledge if it benefits you.

Don’t let the pursuit of perfection be the enemy of action

The abundance of content makes it easy to get distracted and consume it mindlessly. You have to be strict about applying each piece of content you consume by taking action, analyzing and reviewing the result, and moving forward. So, create a system to maximize the value you derive from content you consume. Find ways to increase the ROI on your content consumption time. You will find that you become more intentional, focused, and proactive about what you read, listen to, and watch. If you are looking for ways to make your content consumption more mindful, intentional, and productive, schedule a call with me today. Here’s the link to book your call:

David DeCelle

David DeCelle has been helping financial advisors take their business to the next level for 9 years. A financial advisor since 2011, David is committed to providing cutting-edge training, development, and accountability to growth-oriented advisors. When he’s not helping advisors grow their businesses, you can catch him working on his own development through podcasts, audiobooks, and working out. David loves being of service to others whether it’s professionally, lending a helping hand, or simply being an ear to listen to those around him.