How to Do an Information Detox

You are what you pay attention to. By consuming more valuable information, you become more productive and creative.

When we deliberately consume more valuable information, we connect more valuable dots and come up with more creative ideas and solutions to problems.

Here’s how to cut back on the fluff and consume more valuable information throughout the day:

  1. Capture For one week, make a list of all the TV shows, movies, social media updates, podcasts, audiobooks, news sites, and everything else you consume—both by choice and on autopilot

  2. Eliminate/Substitute Highlight things to cut out completely—TV shows you passively watch, podcasts you listen to without questioning, and so on. Eliminate the Bottom 50%. Doing this helps carve out space for more valuable information. Alternatively, pick three low-value things to chop and consume three higher-value things in their place.

  3. Consume One Thing Actively This week, choose one thing to consume that requires active attention—like a book, magazine, or conversation with a colleague

  4. Turn Down the Noise Some of the information we consume on autopilot just adds noise to our life, such as listening to the radio during our drive home. When it’s untimely (it can’t be acted on right away), unusable, hypothetical, or it distracts us from our goals, it’s noise. Cut out one thing on your list that would qualify as noise

  5. Say No to Three Things This Week It’s just as important to protect your time and attention against new information. This week, make a conscious effort to say no to three new things you’re thinking of consuming—whether that’s something as simple as resisting an article you’re tempted to click on Facebook, or something as big as a new TV show you decide not to binge-watch

  6. Mind the Medium Some mediums are more productive than others. Consider what mediums you consume the most information from—if you’re anything like me, all of the unproductive information you consume could be coming from one or two places