Leadership, Life

Information Overload

When you’re about to become a dad, one fact becomes clear very quickly:

With parenting, there is WAY too much information to absorb at once.

I can’t physically take in the amount of data that’s smacking me upside the head at every turn — opinions about baby nutrition; ideas about strollers; opinions about whether we should have a crib,  a co-sleeper, or a bassinet (which, until very recently, I thought was a lesser-known member of the woodwind family); ideas about infant sleeping patterns; on and on and on.

But this isn’t just the world of a father-to-be, is it?

This is the way life is becoming everywhere.

No matter what we’re talking about — if we want to make a good decision at work or learn when the next iPhone is coming out or change our career or find an new recipe for dinner — the entire world is full to the brim on information about it. If we want, there are petabytes of information available on our subject, usually providing any and every contrasting viewpoint on said topic.

(Sometimes even if we don’t want the info it comes anyway, as my wife will tell you about the incessant “mommy book” recommendations she’s getting these days.)

It’s no secret that each of us have instant access to more information than ever before in all of human history — usually from a device that fits in our pocket. I’m quite sure this fact isn’t surprising to you at all. I think, though, if we can start to observe this notion neither as a hassle nor a blessing, but as a megatrend it will help us understand something important — especially if you, like me, are a person who attempts to teach other people something.

Humans are amazingly varied, but in this we are all very similar: we don’t have the capacity to absorb the constant barrage of data pelting us on an ongoing basis. We simply can’t keep up. It’s not even physically possible to notice it all, much less process it in a way that allows us to make sense of things.

This is why our learning experiences must start adopting more “Just In Time” learning methods — giving people the information they need when they need it, and not before or after.

If you are in the “learning/teaching” business, the information deluge megatrend is going to completely re-write the way we work, and why we get paid.

I know a “just in time” method is how my wife and I have decided to approach parenting — frankly, we’ll drown in data if we don’t.

Is it any different for the people you are teaching/training?


One Reply to “Impending Daddyhood & Just In Time Learning”

  1. Great insight and very entertaining read Josh! You’re so right.

    With everything changing at the pace it currently is, the best we can do is learn how to learn fast, when necessary and not a minute sooner. It’s what saves my sanity and also keeps the day-to-day more engaging and interesting.

    When working with and training people, the opportunities to learn and adapt, fly by the seat of your pants and test how your rubber hits the road is where we really prove our value.

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