Information overload is something that has been continually growing since the invention of the Internet. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information we have to sort through. This creates a massive problem in our lives because the more information we see, the more we want to consume it, which leads to becoming more overloaded with information. Here are four steps you can take to combat today's information overload.
1. Set Goals
If you don’t have any goals, you’ll just end up running around grabbing up as much information as possible and thinking it’s just what you’ve been looking for without any regard to the quality of information you’ve discovered. Your goals should be ones that can easily be achieved within a month and are actionable and precise. These goals should be things that you want to attract to your life, and that you already have some plan on how you're going to accomplish it.
2. Facing New Information
Once you have set your goals, you need to determine plans, strategies, and tasks that you need to achieve these goals, so you can learn what information is crucial to your success. You need to decide if the data needs to be acted on immediately and digest only the information you can use right now. This will require you to be focused and have the clear judgment to be able to determine if a piece of information is mandatory or redundant.
3. Minimal Effective Dose
Consuming information is a lot like medication, there is a minimum effective dose that can be absorbed before the positive effects become null, and the negative side effects take over. With information, this means that there is a precise amount of information that you need to achieve your goals. Anything more than this will have negative consequences, eventually stopping you from taking any action altogether.
4. Don’t Use Information to Procrastinate
One of the most common causes of information overload is due to the need to procrastinate. We think that if we just read one more article we’re continuing to work and learn something new to make us a more complete and educated person. Unfortunately, this is nothing more than procrastination at its finest. It’s better to not consume information just for the sake of consuming more data.
Information overload can be a real problem in our lives and can have a severe effect on your productivity. Following these simple rules will help you fight the issue and clear your mind so you can become more productive.