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From time to time, I often remind myself to avoid low-quality information.

It’s difficult to discern what low-quality information is when engaged in the consumption of this type of information but we can rely on a few clues to help us root it out by:

  1. Asking ourselves how we feel when we consume a particular piece of information.
  2. Judging the source of a particular piece of information.
  3. Looking at the trajectory of our lives(ultimately our greatest concern).

That last bullet point — looking at the trajectory of our lives — is a hard one to pin down because in this space-time experience there is a “buffer.” That is, a built-in latency between the quality of our thoughts and what we manifest.

But since we are concerned with the quality of our thoughts, we need to be cognizant of the quality of information we input which will lead to the preferred direction of our lives. And not only the direction of our lives but also the quality of our lives.

How do we consume quality information? Well, theres a few things we can do.

Partition our time intelligently

At first it will be hard to avoid low-quality information because it’s usually “sugary” and addictive in nature.

Going cold turkey is something that many of us will be loath to do. So, we can carve out a small piece of our day to indulge in low-quality information without any constraints or judgement. But beyond that allowance, we should consciously direct our efforts to input of high-quality information, work, play, etc.

For example, you might dedicate an hour or two in the evening to mindless scrolling on social media(a particular source of low-quality information). But most of the day should be dedicated to producing quality work and consuming quality information.

“Box out” low-quality information with high-quality information

In basketball, there’s a term called “box out.” It’s when one player succeeds at overtaking another play in effort to grab a rebound from a missed shot. The same concept can be applied to consuming high-quality information.

Although high-quality information may not be outwardly appealing at first, its utility becomes apparent with consistent consumption. In fact, consumption of high-quality information has exponential benefits over time.

High-quality information makes you a better person, helps you improve your financial situation and overall improves your quality of life. With these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see how you can come to favor high-quality information over low-quality information over time.

For example, you might find that consistently reading books, a source of high-quality information, has gradually improved your quality of life and therefore, you’ve decided to consume more of this information over the low-quality variety. In this case, high-quality information as effectively “boxed out” low-quality information due to its sheer utility.

With social media and click-bait journalism seeking to overtake your mental faculties, it can be difficult to make the right decisions as to what you should consume according to your personal and professional goals.

Some information even makes you feel like you’re being educated or staying in the know when, in actuality, it’s a major time-waster.

But if you cultivate significant self-awareness, you can remain in control of what information you consume and when you choose to consume it.

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