Information Overload

The term “information overload” is thrown around often by college students during finals week, but it is actually a real thing. As we look across history we find this phenomena to be nothing new, but something that comes in spurts as technology advances. For a well written article about our conflicted relationship with mass information, click here.

But in the midst of an information boom, we want to encourage you to be grounded as possible, not being swept over by the mass of information available. With the inundation of information each day, you can know a little about everything but still really know nothing. Here are a few suggestions that can help you simplify your information consumption.

  1. Don’t let your email run your life

Research shows that if you have more than 100 unread emails in your inbox your productivity and quality of work will diminish. This article sheds some light on this idea. Here are some suggestions to help you along the way:

– Unless it is an important email, delete after you read it.
– Turn off your notifications for Facebook, Twitter, and other sites that send you    notifications. Do you really need to be notified by email every time someone complains about life on Facebook?
– We all get subscribed to email lists. If you don’t read it, click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom.
– Spend some time making folders or new “inboxes” to categorize your emails. Once you make them it is easy as dragging the email over to that folder to keep things organized

2. Take all things in moderation.

It is easy to get overloaded with information. Develop some discipline in your life when it comes to information consumption.

One way to do this is to cut out “multitasking” when you work. Michael Hyatt suggests a tool called Anti-Social. This program turns off various social networking during times you need to work and not be distracted. Also, consider turning off the TV or the radio while you work

3. Schedule time away from information consumption.

Some will have a 2 hour “technology fast” at the beginning of their day to maintain some semblance of peace as they enter their day. Another way to do this is to leave behind your phone or computer when you leave the house. This can help you engage in relationships while also curbing your technology connections. Also consider keeping your electronics out of the bedroom. We tend to go to sleep looking at our phones and never really settle our minds as we rest.

These are just a few suggestions. What are some ways you manage “information overload”?

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