Okay, I admit it – I am an information junkie. If somebody is offering a free webinar, audio file or eBook, I’m downloading it before I finish reading the promo. And while I love all this free stuff that people give out, I conveniently overlook the fact that rather than help me, it puts me in a state of information overload.
What’s wrong with free information?
Well in a word, nothing is wrong with free information. However, if you just gallop across the Internet downloading free stuff indiscriminately you can end up getting confused. For example, I’m always looking for new ideas on Internet marketing. God knows there are thousands of folks out there offering those services, products and advice. Unfortunately, not all of them really know what they are talking about. Or the information really is just a thinly disguised come-on to encourage you to sign up and pay for their products or services. The valuable stuff is great but it also requires you do stuff. You have to take action with the information in order to get any real usefulness out of it. But most of all, it seems everybody has a different approach, a different angle and a different attitude on the topic. So you have to decide which one is right. But there isn’t necessarily one right way to go about it. Dilemma.
The cacophony of methods and advice can be absolutely overwhelming and leave you utterly confused. And unfortunately can leave you in worse shape than you started out.
How do you make it work for you?
First things first. If you’re confused, overloaded and overwhelmed, you need to stop. Stop looking, stop downloading, and stop buying products and services. Then you need to take a breath. Several breaths actually. Maybe take a walk to look at some flowers, the sky or even other people (just to ensure you aren’t really the only person on planet Earth). Then go home and write down the answers to the following questions:
- What specific problem/issue am I trying to address?
- What information am I lacking in this specific problem/issue?
- What information do I have available to me that can help me take action right now to address the problem/issue?
Once you have those answers you can then go through all your free stuff and find any information that will specifically address your current needs. The rest of it you can choose to ignore or put away for another time or even delete it. Rest assured there will always be mountains of free stuff to choose from at a future date.
What if the problem is that I don’t know what the problem is?
Sometimes you’ll find that you are so immersed in your problem that you really can’t name it and that your thirst for information is more about just finding a starting place. In that case, choose. It doesn’t matter what you choose it matters more that you choose and then take action. Put everything else out of your mind and just apply the one method or piece of advice you’ve chosen and go for it.
Give yourself a break
Don’t feel bad about being buttered all over the place or reprimand yourself for your confusion. We’re hit with thousands of bits of data per minute, whether it is from the Internet, Social Media, television, movies or advertising. The sheer volume could stop a stampeding rhino. The value in information is in the value it gives to you.