Research Fast, Understand the Gist, Apply, Iterate, and Move Forward
Photo by prottoy hassan on Unsplash
Information is clutter. Applying information is power.
The more applicable information you can find, the more you can apply them and make better decisions.
Why information should be applied?
Information if not applied is meaningless unless it is your profession to find and document new information.
By applying information faster, you will solve your problems faster or at-least move towards solving your problems faster.
The information that is not applied will be forgotten.
You don’t always have time to sit and learn/consume something end to end. There is a high need for having on site learning mindset. Because it is the most optimal in terms of learning, applying and time.
Just in Case vs Just in Time
We fall into trap of consuming “just in case” information which we believe will be useful someday. Unless we are learning for fun, we should ideally focus on “just in time” information.
For example: While job searching, it is better to prepare while actively giving interviews than by waiting months before starting applying for jobs. The probability that you’ll have to relearn everything is high.
Catchup when need be 1
It’s better to wait for a good amount of information to accumulate before consuming it rather than consume a constant stream of data.
A good way to follow this is to avoid all feeds and recommender systems.
Rather than consuming breaking news every few minutes, it’s better to let things accumulate for a day or so before consumption. Most breaking news is often low quality and is rarely important longterm.
Finding applicable information
There are many ways to find applicable information, these are a few that come to mind.
A plan may or may not be used, but planning is useful because it uncovers many aspects of the problem. Also, it is easier to discovers paths to avoid.
Frame your questions accurately.
Know the right people who can answer your question. Internet also allows us to connect to “experts” who are happy to answer you.
Specially having friends and colleagues you can rely on helps in avoiding pitfalls.
Googling the right way is also a key skill.
Some non-fiction books are made in a way where you can skip chapters liberally. Do so, close the book and live your life.
For other non-fiction books, you can do the same if you understand the topic enough. If you don’t, don’t skip because you’ll risk learning false information.
Aspects from one discipline apply to other. Learn something random and you’ll find you apply the same principle in other field.
It see,s better to learn by categorizing. Like: A music instrument, a physical activity, a social activity, etc.
Mental Models and Heuristics
These can help you find out more information about a topic faster by making good guesses.
Some of my favorite mental models are:
- Inversion (Most Useful)
- Occam’s razor
- Map is not a territory
- Confirmation Bias
- Circle of Competence
- Pareto Principle
Make Time and Think
Thinking means you’ll question things from the first principles. To see if they are valid or not.
Then you scrutinize it. By thinking you find the solutions yourself and rely less on other sources.
- 2022 Oct 14: You don’t consume something that’s not a problem.
- 2022 Oct 14: You find and fix problems and or goals. Mind has limited space.
Tim Ferriss ↩