Everyone on earth has the same amount of time in a day – 24 hours.
We differ in what we focus on.
Years ago – 1981 – to be precise, while studying computer programming, I learnt about a computer science principle called GIGO – this stood for Garbage In, Garbage Out. If we wrote crappy computer code the result would be poor output if any.
I realised then that GIGO applies to any field of life. It’s just that today I have a greater understanding of this. Knowing something important is one thing, however having an in-depth grasp and lived assimilation of the issue is far better.
One way that we can significantly improve the ‘quality of our output’ (thinking and understanding) is to improve the quality of our reading.
Improving the quality of our reading includes:
- Identifying resources which produce consistently high quality information in an easy to understand writing style. It’s no good if we get bogged down in the verbal equivalents of constipation or diarrhea – our understanding will be limited or lost and we will soon get bored.
- Identifying ways to ‘get the information coming to us’ – one aspect of this is not having to hunt and peck for the information we need.
- Dropping time-wasting activities and people. You know you need to.
- Realising that listening to information – while useful at times (including when unable to read); such as listening to podcasts or the right sort of radio broadcasts/visual media – is a slower way of absorbing information. This is primarily because the human voice (and the associated audio processing by the brain) is a slow information delivery system. The voice does of course convey tone, energy and atmosphere.
- ‘Delegating’ research and thinking. When you read a good piece of material you can benefit from the smarts of the writer/s and in some cases, team, behind it. You are increasing your smarts faster with leverage.
- Using technology to increase reading pleasure and functionality. Examples include apps for smart phones, tablets and computers. I like to read in bed at times and never liked the physical struggle with books – today I use the Amazon Kindle app on my smart phone which is so easy to manipulate and to get the lighting just right. If we remove physical barriers/difficulties to beneficial things in life then we will be more likely to take part in them – flowing with ‘natural law‘.
There are other ways we can improve the quality of our reading – perhaps you can let us know how you have done it in the comments below.
Here are some of my favorite reading resources:
- The Economist – authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
- Daily Mail Online – a mixed bag, including the frivolous, however I ‘mine’ it for the key valuable nuggets, of which there are many. I have to be careful about not being seduced by some of the eye candy though! Over the years I have uncovered lots of fantastic information about health, business, psychology, nutrition, relationships and much more.
- New Scientist – high quality information on a surprising range of subjects, including technology, space, physics, health, earth, humans, life.
- Scientific American – award-winning authoritative source for the science discoveries and technology innovations that matter.
- Mind – Scientific American – behavior & society, cognition, mental health, neurological health, neuroscience
Here is an example of what I mean by: “Read (Focus On) The Right Stuff And You Will Understand The World More Clearly”…
Evolution of the internet | Growing up | How the internet lost its free spirit – an article in The Economist.
The Internet is not what many people think. A somewhat disturbing read which includes: “When people know they are being watched, they are likely to self-censor and to change their behaviour in response.”
Spend a few minutes reading and absorbing the above article and you will have a better idea of what is really going on.
Much better than reading about the latest Kardashian Krap – don’t you think?
Well…I hope so anyway.