How to Get More From All the Information You Consume

June 5, 2018

Professional development  = new, effective information in * the percent we can apply effectively.

Since we consume five times more information every day than we did in 1986, you would think that we would be developing at an unprecedented rate. However, the data suggests that we are getting much less from all this information.

We’re consuming more information but not learning more. In short, we have become less productive learners.

We explain three societal trends that are at least partially to blame for this decline in the rate of our development in, “The Societal Trends Undermining Your Professional Development.” To reverse these effects and become more productive learners, we can apply these four practices:

  1. Focus the majority of your information consumption on a single topic for several months.
  2. Put what you’re learning into frameworks.
  3. Regularly synthesize what you have learned.
  4. Cycle between information feasting and information fasting.

We are in a better position now than at any other point in history to learn and develop efficiently. To seize this opportunity, we must take an intentional and research-informed approach to our learning and development.

This is an excerpt of the article “Become a More Productive Learner” we published in Harvard Business Review.