Information overload is killing your productivity. Understand how infobesity works and what you need to do to stay in control.
Information overload is killing your productivity.
It can be hard to believe it at first but look around you.
Think of your day so far and answer the following questions:
- How many websites have you already visited?
- Do you know the number of articles you have read or at least scanned?
- Did you watch the TV news?
- What did they say on the radio this morning?
- Has anyone emailed you “the latest”?
- How many times have you already checked the feed of your favorite social media platform?
These are just some of the many ways we can access information nowadays.
It’s almost impossible to escape the harassment of infobesity.
And the worst part is that we aren’t even trying.
Some of us may have even become addicted to keeping ourselves updated.
Besides, we also feel the pressure from our social or professional environment. We must be able to follow all the subjects thrown at them.
While it seems to be harmless, your attempt to stay relevant may be putting you into trouble.
Too much of a good thing
I don’t even want to try imagining life when letters were the only way to connect people who were far from each other.
It’s true that people didn’t have the same urgency we have today. Yet, can you even picture hearing some “news” long after the facts?
Whether it’s about work, a hobby, or our favorite star, we want to be the ones who hear it first.
To make it possible, we become sponges absorbing information from various sorts of media non-stop.
But what’s wrong with it?
The answer is everything!
When you experience information overload you:
- Find it hard to make decisions.
- Make mistakes.
- Overlook details.
- Waste time.
- Create clutter.
- Develop stress.
- Increase the chances of burnout.
And the worst part is that most of this data we keep on collecting like crazy is useless.
Not only we’re overwhelmed with stuff that’s hurting our productivity; we won’t be doing anything with it.
It’s nothing but mental clutter we don’t need.
Practical tips to manage information overload
What do we do with things we don’t need anymore?
We let them go.
That’s precisely what you need to do with all the incredible amount of data of you’re holding dear for no reason at all.
To get started, apply these 10 practical steps to stay away from the dangers of infobesity:
- Don’t keep emails in your inbox just for the sake of having them.
- Use platforms such as Evernote to store and share information avoiding duplication.
- Keep TV time under control.
- Only subscribe to services you’re genuinely interested in and that provide you value.
- Even if you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t need all social media platforms, mainly if you work on your own.
- Track time of your meetings, consultations, and calls to maximize your efficiency.
- Avoid deviating from plans just for the sake of trying something new.
- Add Internet-free breaks to your productivity resets.
- Practice meditation regularly to reset and calm your thoughts.
- Create and implement your own information filtering systems based on your needs and possibilities.
Become aware of how you spend your time and with what.
Use Mindfulness practices to help you spot the effects of infobesity in your life.
Killing the information overload habit
We all know very well when things go too far.
Even though triggers and reactions vary from person to person, we all reach a point when “enough is enough.”
However, it’s as easy to get caught up with information overload as it with multitasking.
Both have become like second nature to us even though it should be the other way around.
If you find it hard to deal with infobesity on your own or if you’d like to exchange ideas with a support system, make sure you join the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You today!
Before you go
Can you answer the following question in the comments below, please?
How many sources of information do you consult on a regular basis?
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