A month in crypto can feel like a year everywhere else.
Such is the pace of change and the abundance of opportunity that it’s easy for people working in the space to become overwhelmed.
Whether it’s endlessly scrolling Twitter, habitually checking Discord all day, or just trying to consume all of the latest news and views, it can begin to feel both futile, and come at a detriment to other aspects of our lives.
41,000 articles referencing ‘web3’ were published in the month of March, according to BuzzSumo, and this doesn’t even account for articles that might not reference web3, but reference NFTs, DAOs, crypto, or the metaverse.
Freedom of and access to information is empowering, but too much of anything tends to backfire, and so it is with too much information.
Instead of empowering us, it can debilitate us, our cognitive faculties, and our mental health.
But here’s the thing.
We should be trying to level up, not keep up.
We should be consuming information in a strategic way to get us closer to our goals, not get between us and our goals.
To do that, I propose the following.
Find the Signal in the Noise
Step 1: Define Your Objectives
Without a clear target to move towards, we will forever wander aimlessly.
And while there is benefit to at first exploring unchartered territories before deciding which territories we want to exploit, we should be careful not to confuse exploration with actually doing the work.
Once we’ve got a reasonable idea of the lay of the land, we need to define our goals and work towards them.
Possible goal triggers
Learning how to break into web3?
Building a DAO?
Launching an NFT collection?
Define your goals
Once you’ve got a general idea of your goals or objectives, you should also make them SMART - specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound.
“I want to raise $1M for my DeFi protocol from venture capitalists by June of 2022” is an example of this.
Step 2: Identify Believable People and Projects
If it’s financial success, shortlist a number of people that have attained the kind of wealth that you too are aspiring to.
Was their success based on the quality of their decisions or were they just lucky?
If it’s success building a DeFi protocol, or investing in crypto, or launching an NFT collection, again, don’t seek counsel from every man, woman, and their dog, but find five to ten believable people or projects you can learn from.
Step 3: What Do They All Recommend?
It’s a simple fact that what worked for A won’t necessarily work for B. Every project is unique in its own way, and has myriad extenuating circumstances affecting whether it’s successful or not. For example, an NFT collection launched during a bull market is more likely to be successful than one launched during a bear market.
But there might be underlying and guiding principles that always hold true.
A quick search for ‘Warren Buffet’s favorite finance books’ leads us to Benjamin Graham’s classic The Intelligent Investor, a book Buffet picked up when was just 19.
Tim Ferriss and Bill Gates are also huge fans of Graham’s book. Patterns say a lot more than isolated events.
What do all of your believable people or projects agree on? What steps should you take or content should you read?
Step 4: Consume Content or Take Steps Recommended by All
If it becomes apparent that the material doesn’t apply to your unique circumstances, discard it.
If it’s a book, try the ‘100 minus your age’ rule. If I’m 36, then that’s 64 pages I should read before deciding to hold ‘em or fold ‘em.
Step 5: Batch Your Activity
So you’ve got some actionable steps to take, or resources to consume. But instead of doing this sporadically throughout your day, try batching it - doing it at set intervals. For example, my believable people might tell me to do X, and so I allocate 30 minutes to 60 minute windows where I do that, instead of mindlessly checking Discord, Twitter, and so on repeatedly throughout the day.
You also might want to consider whether you really need Discord or Twitter on your phone, and instead choose to leverage these tools while you’re at your desktop.
Step 6: Test & Learn
Extract key insights, test them in your own life, learn, and act accordingly.
The faster you do this, the faster you can home in on what works, and the faster you reach your goals, and do so in a way that’s sustainable, gets the best out of your cognitive capacities, and doesn’t compromise your mental health.