How to Consume Content: A tool for your growth

The internet is full of content that can help you enrich your career and take you forward in your personal and professional life. From blogs and books to podcasts and videos - there is a huge number of people that are sharing their knowledge with the rest of the world for free - but it's not as simple as just consuming the content.

Think about it - you consume content every day on social media (often for hours) but do you remember everything you watched after a while? This is the problem that most of us face when it comes to consuming content online - we're passive observers.

Being a passive observer to great content is like ordering a really good burger but only eating the sesame seeds stuck to the bun. Here are some more examples of passively observing content:

- Watching a great Ted Talk on leveling up your social skills, but not applying any of the strategies given

- Reading a great book on being more productive, but not making any changes in your current workflows

Passive observation is a problem - it takes up time and attention, but does not give you proportionate value in return.

Here's how you can be a better consumer of content.

Choose the right content

Your body is only as healthy as the food you feed it, so your mind is only as healthy as the content you show it. Choosing the right content is thus massively important.

Take into consideration the following points while choosing what to consume:

- Is this relevant to my goals?

- Is this the best way to consume content on this subject?

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Active Listening/Reading

Just listening to what the person is saying is not enough. You need to understand the essence of what they're saying and how you can take those lessons and apply them to your own life and situation. This requires critical thinking and planning skills, you need to assess, modify and apply information in a systematic manner to your own situation in order for great content to change your life.

Taking Notes

In our personal experience, we tend to forget the stuff we read or hear within a few days, no matter how blown away we are by the content, and with so much great content available out there to consume, re-consuming the same content multiple times is not an effective strategy - instead we should be taking notes.

Taking notes is the easiest way to record your insights so that you can apply them to problems later - this can greatly boost your problem-solving skills later on because now you can leverage the experience and knowledge of really smart people to your own problems.

Engaging with the community

At the end of the day, the acquired information is not learned until you have the opportunity to use it, learn from the experience and then modify it for yourself. A great way to do this is by engaging with the community connected to the content that is published - this could look like the comment section of a YouTube video or the discord server of a popular creator, however, these online interactions aren't as effective as they could be because of the following reasons:

- Online discourse can often get messy and ugly and thus draining

- It's hard to guarantee personal attention in large communities

- People with vastly different experiences have equal say in large communities

Implementing these 4 activities will greatly increase the benefit you get from consuming content online, over time your notes will accumulate and participating in good communities will help you build your network too.

Mauka is working to help Indian students get ready for the workforce by developing their soft skills. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Planning, and others are soft skills that will help you bridge the gap between your knowledge and its effective usage in the workplace to help you excel.

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