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Education

Information Overload

There is a deluge of knowledge today. On platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn, there are so many thought leaders who could be followed for great insights. But how do you absorb, retain and apply this knowledge? This has become the real challenge.

My 2 part system for knowledge management

1.Store and Index. No, I am not building a knowledge base, database, or even write things done (which I should!). I tend to commit things to memory. What is important is to be able to recall on demand.

Like in databases, where index point to the actual content making it easy to lookup, similarly, attaching the new knowledge to existing knowledge make it easy to retrieve. This is where mental models come in. These are ways you form a big picture about a subject and then link the new knowledge to it or refine the model itself.

This allows me to consume the knowledge and make it my own. I will not be able to quote anyone verbatim but my worldview is a distillation of the knowledge from gurus in their fields.

2.Read, Index, and Discard. Sometimes it is better to discard the info instead of trying to retain it. If something catches my fancy I tend to remember just the metadata and discard the actual info. When the time comes where this information is needed, I can look up the information based on the metadata I remembered like author, context, channel, keywords, etc. With the world’s information available at fingertips just knowing what to search for, is a win.

How do you deal with information overload?