Spring Clean Your Media Diet

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Subject Matter Innovation Agent

· Productivity

Happy Saturday,

Today's blog post is about

How to spring-clean your media diet - the key to becoming a subject matter Innovation Agent in your job!

Why it matters: Being a successful professional means staying on top of your game and knowing all about your client's industries. But let's face it, in the age of information overload; it can be challenging to find the good stuff amidst all the noise. Just like a good spring cleaning can declutter and refresh your living space, maintaining a balanced media diet is crucial for maintaining focus and gaining new perspectives.

The challenge: Finding the motivation to sort through the junk and nourish your mind with nutritional information is just like sticking to a healthy diet or decluttering your home - it takes effort, but the results are worth it!

So, let's lighten up and tackle this challenge head-on because being well-informed and ahead of the curve in your industry is a surefire recipe for success.

Here is my proven step-by-step guide to help you spring-clean your media diet:

  1. Track your media diet and see what you're consuming (⏱️ 1 hour)
  2. Analyze your media habits and find what topics resonate with you (⏱️ 30 minutes)
  3. Use the Richard Feynman method to define your 12 favorite problems (⏱️ 30 minutes)
  4. Spring-clean your media diet by eliminating sources that don't align with your 12 favorite problems and start following inspiring people and organizations (⏱️ 5 minutes/day)
  5. Rinse & repeat (📆 at least once a year)

By following these steps, you'll be intentional about what information you consume, resulting in a more focused and balanced media diet.

So let's dive deeper into each step:

Step 1: Track your media diet

Record what you've read, be it books, articles, or newsletters.

Snap a photo of your bookshelf, like my friend Jenna, did, or capture a screenshot of your e-book library.

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Or, you can take advantage of technology by using a free read-later app, such as Readwise, Instapaper, or Pocket, to save and organize everything that resonates with you in one place, including articles, newsletters, and other information found on the internet.

Download the app's web clip and "clip" the web pages you want to track - they'll be ready for you to read later in the app.

Clip anything that triggers a reaction inspires, surprises, or provokes you without overthinking it.

I use the beta version of Readwise, which works like a charm.

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Step 2: Analyze your media behavior

  1. Examine your media intake and categorize the topics based on the questions that drive your curiosity and learning, such as "Tech-Trends" "Metaverse & Web 3," or "Women Leadership."
  2. Analyze how you consume information - through digital or physical means, podcasts, or articles - and evaluate your content consumption process to see if there are any changes you can make to optimize your media diet. I'm not a big podcast listener but I read tons of newsletters.
  3. Use your smartphone's media tracker to understand your media habits better. Upps my screen time this week is out of control!

Step 3: Define your 12 favorite problems

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This step is based on Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Freyman's unique approach to problem-solving, which helps to focus your efforts.

He believed in keeping a list of his 12 favorite problems at the forefront of his mind and testing new concepts or solutions against these problems to see if they could help find answers.

What questions will drive my curiosity and learning over the next 12 months based on my media consumption? 

These questions should be open-ended and guide your knowledge and research. Avoid questions that are either too broad or too narrow. Instead, focus on questions that interest you and help you grow.

Take your time to reflect and define your 12 favorite problems.To learn more about the 12 favorite problems method, follow the "Building a Second Brain" expert Tiago Forte's fantastic blog series.

I use Canva as my design tool to create visuals for my 12 favorite problems. I categorize my problems into four essential areas of my professional and personal life.

Here is an example of four of my favorite problems right now:

1. People (Family, Work & Community)

How can I improve my active listening skills to build stronger, more authentic relationships with my family and clients?

2. Health (Physical, Emotional, Financial)

How can I attune myself to my body's signals and use data tracking to understand better and prepare for the changes associated with hormonal change?

3. Culture (Home, Work, Adventure)

How can I effectively utilize virtual and physical spaces to create immersive learning experiences that promote meaningful human connections and deepen student engagement?

4. Growth (Personal, Career, Creativity)

How can I adopt a playful and adventurous mindset, embrace experimentation, overcome my fear of failure, and challenge the limits of what's achievable, turning the process into a fun game?

Step 4: Spring Clean

Now, it's time to take action based on your media diet analysis results.

Here's what you can do to make your media consumption more focused and aligned with your 12 favorite problems:

  • Clean up your subscriptions by deleting newsletters and social media accounts that don't relate to your 12 favorite problems.
  • Find inspiration by following inspiring people and organizations that align with your interests and goals.
  • Create a routine by scheduling a weekly self-review to digest your media consumption.

Here are some of my actions:

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Step 5: Rinse & Repeat

Review regularly by repeating these steps at least once a year to ensure that your media diet supports your 12 favorite problems of your job and personal life (or adopt your problems).

Pro Tip: schedule at least one hour each week in your calendar to "digest" your media consumption content and turn it into actionable ideas.

👎🏼 Now it's your turn to reflect on your learnings from this exercise.

If you'd like, share with me your learnings in the comment below.

Love from Venice Beach,