The information diet is a concept that has been introduced to me in the book The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. The chapter is called “The Low-Information Diet – Cultivating selective ignorance“. I will refer to it as “the information diet” in this article.
*Disclaimer: This is just me presenting a concept that I have read about and resonated with. I am not trying to “convert” anyone, or make anyone do anything. :)*
Also, if you’re reading this, it means it’s time for you to take a 3-minute breathing break.
What does the information diet mean?
In short, the original concept presented by Tim Ferriss consists in consuming less social media and news in order to be more productive, as too much random information distracts you from what is actually important to you.
I am using this concept as a way of freeing my mind from useless thoughts. Because I want to have more room for things that make me happy and help me grow. In other words, I am trying to reduce mental clutter by keeping my mind as clear as an empty room all painted in white. Might edit this dull comparison later.
How to do it?
I have written down some of the things that I (am trying to) do in order to achieve better mental clarity. These are my tips:
Let go of useless feelings
Starting with a rather unusual sub-theme: feelings. Mental clutter is also caused by emotions that don’t bring anything useful into your life. I am (definitely, obviously) not talking about feelings such as excitement, drive or joy. I am talking about grief, hate and self-pity. Because these feelings don’t add anything to your life except for useless, toxic thoughts. And they can also affect the way your body feels.
You had a fight with a friend or a colleague. So what? Go there, solve the issue and move on! Don’t waste time and energy on bad feelings about that person. Same thing applies if you have made a mistake which had caused unpleasant consequences. Can you go back in time and change it? No. Then take the status quo as the starting point and build up from there, doing the best you can to mitigate or repair the damage. If there’s nothing to repair, let go and move on.
– Stop dwelling on the past.
We have all missed certain opportunities. All of us had a passion or business idea that we haven’t followed in the past, and now it’s too late. Can you do something about it now? If yes, then go for it! If not, then go for it! Start working on something else and forget about what cannot be brought back from the dead. The future is today. The day of human salvation is today.
Clear out social media and news feeds
You don’t have to delete your Instagram account. Just make sure that the pages you do follow have a good impact on yourself. Because, if they don’t, why are you following them?
I’m all about finding new things. But I also believe you should keep your eyes in one direction instead of covering every angle like a beacon. It is ok to be a painter who wants to find our more about space travel – go ahead and research space travel. But if the painter goes to the news feed and sees 10 other news about cute dolphins, Kardashian children and the newest Gucci bag, chances are he’ll totally forget what he was looking for in the first place.
Stop watching TV
Yesss, I do not watch television. I do not have a TV at home because I feel like there’s nothing important for me to watch. I know this may be a bit extreme, but this is just a personal preference. Everybody is 100% free to do their thing. But allow me to express my thoughts about watching television in the lines that follow.
There are way too many scandals. And scandals are definitely not something I want to invest even a single second into. Same goes for tragedies about which there’s nothing I can do (somebody killed somebody else). Australian fires do not go in this category, since there is something I can do about it – donate money, spread awareness etc. Everything else is just random information thrown at you to fill your brain (mostly with junk). But then again, what is junk for me may not be junk for you. So just keep watching whatever you enjoy and feel like it enriches your spirit.
I know there’s not only scandals and commercials on TV. I know there are also cool channels with documentaries and interesting information. But I prefer ingesting this type of information in a more purposeful manner. Which means specifically looking for it and watching it when I feel like it, not whenever it is displayed on TV without me being necessarily in the mood to watch it. I repeat, personal preference. Feel free to do your thing, I’ll do just the same.
The information diet – Conclusion
This is just a concept that I find interesting and try to adopt into my life. I am mot trying to convert anyone to anything, and by no means am I saying that this or that is the best way of living. Everybody is free to choose how they live their lives. If anybody resonated with the concept that I have presented in this article, then I hope my tips will help you better get rid of mental clutter. Also, if you have any tips of your own, do not hesitate to let us know. I would love to hear them and maybe even share it with the community of this blog. If you found this article useful, you can share it with a friend. Who knows what impact it will have on another person? Looking forward to your feedback, cheers! 🙂