Do you ever feel overwhelmed by content?

There's just so much stuff out there to learn, we want to grab it all, don't we?

An idea from here, a strategy from there... All aimed at pushing our businesses to the next level or growth-hacking our lives. But with so many books to read, podcasts to listen to and TedX talks to watch, actually finding the time to apply anything is all but impossible.

The daily bombard is increasing, and it shows no signs of slowing. So what do we do? How do we cope when there is simply too much information to process?

Too much information, not enough knowledge

Here are some tips to help you stop drowning in content. They will help you to slow down, de-clutter your brain and (hopefully) focus on what is going to give you real value.

1. Consume your content slowly. I got into the habit of trying to read like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit (see video below). I was obsessed with 'getting to the gold' as quickly as possible, finding the ONE BIG IDEA and moving onto the next one. But if you read slowly and try to really understand what is being written, you'll get far more from the experience than when you rush.

2. Study one concept at a time so that you can have the same ideas reinforced from multiple sources. If you want to learn about networking, for example, read books on it, listen to podcasts and read blogs... Hearing the same idea explained in different ways cements it into our brains.

3. Write about what you're learning. Making notes is awesome... but actually writing blog posts or newsletter pieces to share what you've learned will give you a new level of understanding. 

4. When you've read a book or found a gem of information from somewhere, make a pledge to apply what you have learned. Set yourself up a Trello board with lessons you have learned or habits you want to develop. Seeing these regularly will prompt you to take action.

5. Deep thinking time... Whether you meditate, soak in the bath or go for a walk... Having dedicated time set aside with zero stimulation is essential. It gives your subconscious space to process everything that it's had to interpret during the day and make connections between random ideas in your mind.

Remember, information is only potential when it isn't applied.

Put what you learn into practice and you'll transform it into knowledge...  And then maybe people will pay you to teach them!