Monday, 26 April 2010

Could selective ignorance be a route to better concentration?

Selective ignorance – or, the low-information diet – is a term coined by Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week – and could be a helpful strategy in improving concentration levels.

It’s a simple concept: reduce the amount of time you spend grazing on information – online, TV, radio, newspapers, Tweets, you name it you've probably done it – because you won’t benefit from it, and it may even be completely counter-productive to what you are trying to achieve.

“Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and outside of your influence,” says Ferriss. “I challenge you to look at whatever you read or watched today and tell me that is wasn’t at least two of the four.”

Culturally, we have become information junkies. It’s akin to that adolescent fear of not being “in the know” whatever the “know” might be. We find it hard to say, “Oh, I didn’t know that” for fear of being seen as outside the loop, so we try and input everything and anything that may put us ahead of the game.

But the aim, says Ferriss, is to focus on output, not input, and it is this that leads to success. He talks about attention management being as important as time management, and says, “The only option is selective ignorance – one of the few common traits among top performers.”

Certainly something worth considering - but please read this blog first!

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