Choosing Data To Remember — The Sherlock Holmes Method

We have more data at our fingertips than ever before in history, but what’s happening? People are getting more stupid. We live in the age of information — too much information. Because of the internet, people have the ability to stuff their minds with useless garbage… and that’s exactly what they’re doing. I’m sure Sherlock Holmes would be very depressed if he saw us today.

You know who Sherlock Holmes is. He’s the fictional detective you were probably forced to read about in high school. Although he’s fictional himself, his methods for organizing information are very real indeed. If you want, you can even apply his same methods in your own life.

Here’s one tip from the great detective: Learn what’s useful and forget the rest!

In one of his mysteries, the Five Orange Pips, Holmes said the following:

“A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.”

Information should be practical and relate to your life in some meaningful way. If it doesn’t, then put it away and get it when you need it. It’s that simple. However, don’t let its simplicity mislead you. It’s hard to ignore things, however practical doing so might be. It requires a lot of discipline.

It doesn’t matter if you find it interesting. It doesn’t matter if you’re expected to think it’s significant. All that matters is that the data you collect and choose to remember is useful to you.

Note: Post might have errors due to time written.

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