Time to write on a topic that’s dear to my heart: craziness when it comes to knowing what to read and how to read. Maybe you’re looking to read about the latest advances in law, like second life law firms. Perhaps you’re interested in finding out about the most recent law school rankings.
Internet Information Overload
If you have an active internet lifestyle, then you know that there is a wealth of information at the click of your mouse. There are just literally thousands and thousands of information and articles on any given topic and it’s sometimes it can be very hard to choose which one to read and which ones are worth your attention. Like me, you may also be guilty of jumping from one article to another, skimming the page a few seconds and moving on to another one that also catches your attention. I usually open multi-tabs in my browser in the hope of saving and making the most of my internet time.
The problem for me at least is that I don’t seem to get the maximum information I feel is possible when I use this method. I end up feeling tired of going from one page to another and my eyes begin to strain, and I haven’t finished even one article. It’s a HUGE time-waster I must admit, and hinders my overall productivity. For a long time I never really put much thought about this inconvenience, until the stack of books and articles accumulated that I’ve never gotten around to read reached astronomical levels!
A Method to the Information Overload Madness
It’s not really the information overload that makes our online reading ineffective, but it’s the way or the method in which we do our online reading. Our inability to focus in choosing articles or information that is worth reading makes us a victim of our own curiosity and thereby we waste a lot of our time in the process. Curiosity of course should always be present; it stimulates our learning and broadens our horizons, but what we should do is learn to choose the right information in order to maximize our learning.
So it’s time for a new to focus in on our reading. How? It’s fairly simply really. The first part is put together a list of what you actually want to read. At this stage you don’t have to be selective, and whatever caught your interest is good enough to be bookmarked, however you should fight your tendency to start reading in this stage. It’s best to schedule a specific time for you to do this – so you can perform online searches, skim your RSS feeds, follow interesting links and so on. When you’re done bookmarking, you can save them into different folders in your bookmarks, making it easier for you to get back to them.
Next you’re going to want to decide what you will read. You must schedule a time to do the actual reading of the things you’ve accumulated. When you schedule, decide what you will read on that particular time. This way, your reading will be more focused and your productivity level will greatly improve. Instead of reading five or more articles on the same topic on different days, you can read them in one session providing you more ideas and inspiration. Focused attention brings clarity.
Lastly, you’re going to want to trash whatever you feel won’t be useful for you to read. This is plain and simple and is self explanatory. Schedule a time when you’ll check your folders for any items that you feel are no longer useful and delete them. When in doubt, throw it out. If it’s really important, there’s an almost 100% chance someone else will have a copy or will bring it to your attention.