Knowledge Hoarders

You might be a knowledge hoarder if you…

  • always have thousands of tabs open
  • have a hard time remembering facts
  • download tons and tons of ebooks and maybe skim through just one
  • you “favorite” without abandon and never look through your bookmarks

If any of the above sounds familiar, then we’re pretty similar. As convenient as it is to search & find information these days, I believe Google has done something bad to my brain. I believe it’s rewired me to see information just as another product to be consumed – and most of the time consumed in order as a shortcut solution to a problem.

Let me demonstrate to you an extreme example of this:

1) Decide that I want to learn Google Analytics

2) Search through Amazon to see what the top Google Analytics books are, by reviews

3) Find book. Search for book again to find it for free on torrents/share websites

4) Download without abandon

5) Repeat until I have 10 Google Analytics books. I group them in a folder on my computer.

6) Forget about the Google Analytics books or skim through one of them briefly. Files collect digital dust.

The pattern here demonstrates a mindset in which simply getting the information in a packaged way eases me to think that because I have the information, I also know the information. I procure that piece of information as a way to mentally assure myself that there is a solution to the problem (not knowing Google analytics).

It’s not hard to surmise that this behavior leads knowledge hoarders to be unfocused and deficit of attention. The way out? Stop collecting and start doing. Refrain from searching for an ebook or downloadable good and first write out the problem you want to solve. Explore the problem in your head fully, and think of ONE resource that may help you elevate your understanding of it. Then completely devour that one resource through and through, and find ways to apply that newly gained knowledge to solve your problem. That is a holistic approach to problem solving – instead of collecting digital assets that shoot empty blanks, arm your mind with the real ammunition of practiced knowledge.

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