It's time to stop learning and start doing. This isn't to say that I am suggesting you stop seeking information that will make you smarter. What I am saying is you need to stop consuming so much information without acting upon it, even if it's completely unputdownable.
In school, we read countless textbooks and participated in classes and guest lectures. We wrote reports and took tests on what was covered. These reports and tests were given to help us retain the information because it would force us to write about the topics.
When we repeat the information, we remember what we learned. In fact, writing the information down can greatly improve how we preserve it in our heads. As Anthony Robbins says, "Repetition is the mother of skill."
We live hectic lives. We are constantly inundated with content online and across traditional media like; television, radio, books, newspapers, and magazines. The trouble is we consume so much, but we seldom stop to reflect upon what we have learned and how to apply it to our lives.
Stop Learning and Start Doing
I was guilty of this. I would read an e-book and highlight sections I enjoyed, only to finish the book and move on to the next one. I would listen to informative podcasts when I drove, but when I reached my destination, the information had disappeared like the fuel in my engine. I would read many articles and blog posts on business topics, but they were history once I flipped to the next one. It finally struck me that I needed to use this information before it was gone forever. Taking notes and writing is key.
In early December, I started a new blog at DaveDelaney.me. I am blogging each day about the things I am reading, listening to, and lessons I have learned in my business and life. I did this as a way to force myself to take notes as I read and to return to those notes to compose the blog posts. I am doing the same as I listen to podcasts. I'm sharing the takeaways to help me remember the information. Plus, I get bonus points for helping (or, at least entertaining) my readers too.
You don't have to start a blog. You can start a journal instead. Take notes on what you are reading, watching, and listening to. You will be amazed how you retain the information and start using it for your business and career.
This post originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.