How to Eliminate Information Overload (and Get On with Your Day)
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We’re absolutely overwhelmed with information.
We have countless programming on our TV.
There are millions upon millions of websites for us to browse.
We’re connected with just about everyone we’ve ever met through social media.
The problem is that we’re over stimulated. We’re getting distracted.
We can’t focus. We’re not getting work done. We’re simply … overloaded.
This is how you can deal with some of the culprits of information overload:
1. Eliminate the Junk Mail
That freebie you wanted that came with your subscription to an email list was great at the time but now you’re receiving the newsletters and they’re almost always going straight to the trash. Even when you do look through the email you aren’t that interested in digging deeper into the topic.
It seems like you’ve moved on.
It only takes a few seconds to delete the emails but why even go through the hassle? Why even have that notification come through and cause a disrupt?
Type in “Unsubscribe” into your inbox search bar, look through the newsletters you’re on, and start removing them.
2. Eliminate the Constant Notifications
You know the story of Pavlov’s dog, right? Every time he dinged a bell he would feed the dog a treat. Eventually he was able to condition the dog so every time he rung that bell it would become attentive.
That’s what all these notifications, digs, and push messages are doing to us. We hear them and we perk up, scrambling to figure out what came through.
Problem? They’re creating a massive distraction. They’re disrupting our train of thought and our ability to stay focused. They need to be eliminated when you have things to do. If you train yourself to jump at these notifications you’re going to constantly overload your head with information (most of it useless).
Turn off the volume of your phone. Keep email tabs closed. Don’t leave social media tools running in the background. When you’re working make it just you and the task at hand – no other distractions.
3. Eliminate the Temptation
News, social media, chats, events, giveaways, countdowns, live blogging, and all that stuff. It’s all very tempting to keep tabs on these items because they’re fun especially when compared to work.
Take a cue from the notification item (above) and start eliminating these distractions when you’re busy. Block the websites that you frequent during work.
We’re all incredibly addicted to technology. Who wouldn’t be? You have endless amount of information and entertainment. But … just because it’s there doesn’t mean you need it constantly. Cut back on the temptation to info splurge and binge entertainment.
Take a digital vacation. Get away from all this technology for a while and let your mind slow its chatter. The longer you’re away the more you realize you don’t really need certain items in your life (like obsessively checking a social site every five minutes). You’ll find patience, too.
4. Eliminate Your Attention Deficit
All that information and entertainment floating around out there in the Cloud.
It’s amazing, isn’t it?
There’s so much of it that you often don’t know what to do once you’re presented with the choice. It takes you an hour to find a movie to watch on Netflix to which you fall asleep to after the first thirty minutes. Am I right?
We’re all too eager to skim. We can’t seem to sit through a video longer than 30 seconds. If a site takes more than a second to load we’re already clicking back. What we need is to get over our attention deficit and slow down.
When you start something … finish it. It could be reading an article, completely. Watching a video, completely. Working on a task, completely. Get into the habit of following through. When you start something try to commit until it’s complete. In time you’ll train yourself so you’re not always bouncing around.
5. Eliminate the Project Stress
Having the ability to create websites and launch online businesses is a truly amazing set of skills to possess but it gets problematic when you start tacking on more and more projects to your list.
It’s very easy to get caught up with “the shiny object” because it’s fresh. It gives you something new to work on. The beginning steps are easy so it feels like you’re going at a great momentum. Then you get half way through and *boom* you’re scaling down and it just feels like work.
Add a dozen of these projects onto your list of things to do and it starts eating at ya. You feel obligated to work on all of them but you obviously don’t have the time to do so. Then you feel guilty for not doing work on them and it keeps building up and up.
Trim the fat. Sit down and really think it over. Ask if that project you started is one you want to complete. If it doesn’t make the list then send it to the chopping block. Write off the time you spent on it. Know that you’re getting rid of the stress. Now you should be able to focus on the main projects that matter without the guilt of letting others fall to the wayside.