Effectively Self-Educating Online

I recently gave a presentation on working efficiently in the office. One of the topics I covered was feeding your mind to contribute to creativity. This includes both knowledge, facts, and information, as well as inspiration and new ideas. The problem therein is that the vast amount of these things available online makes it difficult to pick exactly what among it all that you’re feeding your mind.

Some steps I remember to take in order to filter through the noise are to consciously decide what I want (or need) to learn about before venturing into the web. Typically, it’s easy for us to hop online, go to a favorite website (or RSS reader) and start browsing until something catches our eye and we read an article or two.

While this is typically alright, if you’re really trying to improve your skill set in a certain area, it’s better to focus your efforts on that topic. RSS readers make things even worse (I can personally attest to this) by bringing in articles of even more variety all onto one page for you. They serve by providing blips of information here and there, but not enough concentrated information on a given subject.

This is also where books come into play, seeing as that’s exactly what they are: huge sources of information on a single subject, allowing you to mass up on knowledge. It’s good to have a wide skill set, but being a jack of all trades and a master of none can have it’s downfalls. It’s good to have a specialty too, and to keep this particular skill at it’s absolute best.

By learning to tame the wild beast that is the internet to get the information we need, instead of what is currently suggested by our readers, we can get even more out of the vast amounts of knowledge available there. Self-educating is important in this industry, and doing so effectively can mean serious personal gains.

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