A couple of months ago I came across an interesting tweet by Twitter user @AlexAndBooks_. It was a list of three books he recommends to build a great life. They looked interesting, so I bookmarked the tweet. Well, I’ve since gotten around to reading all three books. I think they’re great and I’ve learned a valuable lesson about positive and negative input…

Negative input

One of the above-mentioned books is Darren Hardy’s bestselling book, The Compound Effect. In the book, Darren shares his idea to keep your mind performing at its peak. He claims that controlling your mind’s input has a direct and measurable impact on your productivity and outcomes. He calls this concept “Garbage in, garbage out.”

In computer science, garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is the concept that flawed, or nonsense (garbage) input data produces nonsense output. Our brains work in a similar way. If you spend most of your time reading sensational news, binging series, or just doing unproductive things in general, you are feeding your mind negative input. This garbage fills your mind and ends up leading your thought process.

Positive input

We need to stand guard and take precautions to limit the amount of garbage we feed our minds. Instead, you need to feed your mind positive and helpful information. At first, I didn’t believe that this makes as much of a difference as it does. During these last few months, I have learned just how invaluable it is to change the quality of information I take in.

I was never a big reader, but since last year I’ve made it a point to read more books. The first book I read this year was “Make Your Bed” by retired US Navy Admiral, William H. McRaven. Every day since then, I’ve made my bed first thing in the morning. Conquering a task first thing in the day sets the tone for the rest of the day. At that point, that day is no longer a zero-day and you’re inspired to achieve more. The next book I read was “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The lessons I learnt from that book have been at the heart of every financial decision I’ve made since. My personal financial situation has improved drastically since only a year ago and I attribute it entirely to the book.

I can think of many more examples, but you probably get the point. The useful information I have fed my mind is helping me to change my behaviour for the better. Nowadays, my daily routine starts off with me making my bed and then reading something positive for about 30 minutes. After I’m done reading, I carry on with my day inspired and energised, without fail. I’ve found it doesn’t just lead to me achieving more, but it improves my mood as well.


It really doesn’t take much to make the change. Start small, maybe cut out the drive time radio when you go to work. Instead, put on a podcast or audiobook you might be interested in. Or you could limit the amount of television you watch and spend some time reading an inspirational book instead. Take in less garbage and more quality today and you should expect a direct and measurable improvement in your personal productivity.