With the meteoric rise of easy to use, self publishing tools such as Blogger, WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Quora and this platform, more people have more to say about more topics than ever before. Over the past six months I have been inundated with more content than I have over the past six years online, and I am starting to filter the good from the bad.

Below are five strategies that I have successfully employed in my daily life to make the most of this information, I hope you will find value in them:

1. Know Yourself

The more you know yourself and what your goals are, the better you will be able to use the time that you spend online (and offline), and the more responsive you will be to the content you consume. Make sure the content serves your agenda and not the other way around.

I employ a filtering strategy proposed by Tim Ferriss in his book ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ whereby I don’t watch or listen to news. I get my news by asking my friends what is going on in the world. This works well for me.

2. Know The Source

The best content that is shared to me is not decided by an algorithm, but is forwarded to me by a person in the form of a friend, client or colleague. This is the same way the best jobs, houses and properties are distributed and sold before they are advertised. The same can be said for the best content. The stronger your relationship with the author and source, the more impact it will have on you.

3. Have an Opinion

Take the good, ignore the bad. For some reason, humans’ DNA has been encoded to be very influenced by what they read. Having the ability to read, understand and apply knowledge from a multiple of content sources is a skill that is becoming more and more valuable as we transition from consumption behaviour to creative behaviour. Share your opinion, even if you are an introvert. The internet is a great starting point for building confidence. The quality of your opinion is determined by the quality of your questions.

4. Take Action

Our actions are a direct output to our thoughts. Have a strategy to use the filtered content into creating something of value. It could be a graphical depiction of the facts, a video, a presentation, an article, even a book or project. Be Creative, be Original, just be Something.

5. Be Open

I am a big believer in being open to so-called ‘random’ opportunities. We have all experienced it at one time or another. If we are thinking about a particular subject, when we open up a browser, turn on the television or speak to a client or friend, that topic is what is brought to our attention. Be open to serendipity. Think about the things that you would like to read and they will come to you. Think of it as your own ‘Content Algorithm’.

I hope these five strategies help you thrive. The value of your time and attention cannot be underestimated. It ultimately has an influence on how good you feel and the quality of what you create on a daily basis.

Wishing you an abundant day full of opportunities to thrive.

Onwards & Upwards,

Will (@willjngreen)

Originally published at medium.com