How Tim Ferriss Helped Me Enjoy the Super Bowl

My wife doesn’t understand why I want to watch a couple of hours of Super Bowl pre-game shows today.

“But you don’t follow football.”


She’s right – I don’t follow football. I enjoy it, though, when I do watch it, and I enjoy it more when I watch it “in context”.

It’s yet another example of one of my favorite sayings: “Context creates meaning.”

Knowing 10 things to keep an eye on in Super Bowl XLIV will make the game more interesting to me. I want to know how the Saints are planning to go after Manning. What impact will the Colts’ big-game experience have, compared to the Saints, who have never been to the Super Bowl?

I will have a deeper appreciation of the game if I have that context. But I don’t have the time, energy or inclination to follow football all season.

It’s also an application of a principle I learned from Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek (by the way, an expanded and updated version came out in December): low-information diet.

The idea of a low-information diet is simple: you don’t have to follow a constant stream of information on a topic in order to make informed decisions. Just find sources that you trust to provide you just enough information when you need it. That may be a friend who has similar views to yours, a favorite blogger, or a traditional media source.

Point is, we can’t all keep up with everything. You can’t be an expert on every single thing that interests you, and you certainly can’t try to keep up with the constant stream of information that may, ultimately some day, impact a decision you have to make.

You don’t have to know everything – you just have to know where and how to find out everything when you need it. In short, it’s perhaps more important these days to have a diverse network and good research and information management skills than it is to try to be smart in a lot of different areas.

Knowledge on demand, when you need it…definitely the wave of the future.


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