My New Year’s Resolution: Go on a diet…an information diet, that is!


   By Pon Angara, VisionReady storyteller

According to Ben Angel, bestselling author of Unstoppable and Australia’s leading marketing authority, “the number one most bankable skill you must have in 2023 to succeed is a skill that the average adult spends two hours and 27 minutes each day sabotaging.” But when you master it, life becomes easier. You edge out your competitors and increase your earning potential. That skill is FOCUS.

Focus has a very real monetary value. Technology researcher Jonathan Spira estimates the interruptions and information overload cost the US economy one trillion dollars per year. Entrepreneurs and world champions go to extreme lengths to sharpen this skill.

The biggest cause of all is, of course, social media. Information has become the new drug of choice to distract us from our lives—and it’s just as addictive. It rewires your brain to keep scrolling. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s not surprising our ancestors were more likely to survive the more information they had. We seek it out to increase our chances of success, be part of a tribe, get a dopamine hit, and escape the stress of everyday life.

Ask yourself, “Is information addiction costing me success and derailing my focus?” The overexposure and over stimulation to information uses up mental bandwidth that could be better applied to learning a new skill, implementing a new business plan, or de-stressing. But how do you manage the onslaught of information that is altering the way you think, act, and feel? It could be time to go on an information diet.

A mindful approach to information consumption is not just about quantity; it’s about quality. Just as we have the food pyramid, we can use an information pyramid to help us refine what we’re exposed to. For example, if you’re in business and your goal is to increase your sales, your information pyramid might have Entertainment at the top which is where you’ll spend your least amount of time. Second, you’ll have Creativity and Leadership, followed by Problem Solving and Sales, while Marketing being the most important depending on your priorities.

You can personalize this pyramid by identifying your highest priority goals and challenges you must overcome to achieve them. From there you define where your focus needs to be placed. You can quickly retrain the social media algorithms to provide you with content you want to see simply by searching for the topics in your information pyramid, so you’re exposed to content that will actively help you achieve your goals.

The next step is to schedule your content consumption. Just as you should avoid caffeine in the morning, you should avoid social media as both can negatively spike a key hormone. In anticipation of wake time, your circadian clock sets off a torrent of hormonal activity that increases your stress hormone cortisol. Past the early morning spike, your cortisol levels gradually decline as the day goes on. If you’re prone to morning anxiety, coffee and social media will amplify it setting up your day for failure. Instead wait until after 9am to have that first cup and take your information offline by having a book on your nightstand. This is like switching from cigarettes to sunlight for your brain. This will also help you to reserve your mental bandwidth for the goals that will move the needle in the right direction for you.

The next step is the most powerful of all and that is to actively train your brain to focus and be more productive. According to research, around 80 percent of our thoughts are negative. Social media’s echo chamber helps to confirm negative biases we have of ourselves. Escaping the echo chamber and reprogramming your negative thoughts require seeing yourself in a different light. Visualizing your future and the steps you must take to achieve it helps to narrow your focus from a floodlight to a laser. It also helps to reduce multitasking that can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent while increasing stress and decreasing your IQ.

Overall, having a clear intention from the beginning is important to be more focused. Figure out what tools and techniques help to filter out the noise and distractions. Only then can you find your groove, get in the zone, and be at your best.

If you’re struggling with being intentional with your goals and focusing on what’s important in order to succeed in your business, contact us by emailing or calling (305) 791-2610.

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