The first thing to realize is that, since we all have too much information, information itself is no longer valued. Instead, our attention creates value for that information. The fact that so many people put their attention on the information at Oprah.com means that the information here has more value than at a website with a fraction of the traffic. In the Information Age, it was about information; in the Shift Age, it is about attention.
Another way of saying this is that we have more power as we control the information we let into our lives. Consumers of information have the power, not the creators. Everyone is competing for our attention all the time. That is the reason for feeling overloaded.
Well, your attention is not only the value of today—it is yours to control. You control what you put your attention on, what you let into your lives. It is your choice.
What I strongly suggest is that you develop a filter. Decide what is important to you as a person, as a parent, as someone who has a career, as a part of a group of friends, as some with interests. Look for and find sources of information that you trust, that make you smarter and that add value to your life.
Sure, we all have guilty pleasures, and that is fine. Just remember that both your time and your attention are the most valuable things you have in this regard. Don't squander them! Be open. Be receptive. Be inquisitive. If you feel overwhelmed, then you need to take back your attention and redirect it to what creates value in your life.
Do you struggle to keep your attention on what really matters? Share your methods in the comments area.
David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve.
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