7 WAYS TO DEAL WITH INFORMATION OVERLOAD

In our modern age, Information Overload is a big problem. There is so much information coming at us from every angle throughout the day, we just do not have the time or energy to process it all.

What is Information Overload? Wikipedia describes it as “The state of having too much information to make a decision or remain informed about a topic.”

TV, radio, email, newsletters, articles and ebooks all add to the clutter in our minds and almost bring us to the point of paralysis. How do we deal with it?

Here are seven tips, using the example of a building project.

  • FOCUS.
  • PLAN.
  • PREPARE.
  • DECLUTTER.
  • ELIMINATE.
  • ACTION.
  • COMPLETION.

Make a decision concerning what you want to accomplish, how you want to do it and when you when you plan to complete the project. Brainstorm ideas and select one course of action. Do not become distracted with other ideas, methods, tactics and information. Focus on your strategy and follow through until it is successful and you are free to do something new.

Imagine you are about to build a new home. Decide what kind of home you want, what it should look like, how big or small it should be. See it complete. Build it in your mind and then step back and start planning.Considering a holiday cottage and an obstacle course that will prepare you to participate in Ninja Warriors will only distract you and that will be the end of your preferred project.

Carefully plan the stages of your project. Break it down into bite-sized portions and work through them one at a time. Don’t worry about the holiday cottage – that can be a later project. For now focus on your house and plan the details. There’s no point starting until you know how many rooms you want, what kind of roof you need, how much money you require and who can help you build.

With any project, fine planning is the key to success. Think It (focus) and Ink It (plan on paper). Make a To Do List and prioritize tasks. Do not even consider starting something new until this project is complete. Authors are especially prone to having a drawer full of unfinished manuscripts. I think Internet Marketers are probably in the same boat. Create a workable strategy.

Builders have to prepare the ground before they can begin. They also have to source materials and reject anything on the building site that is not essential to the task on hand.

Collect the materials, notes, graphics and everything else you need for your project and keep them in a handy file on your desk or your computer.

Decide your “working hours” and your “working space” and stick to your route.

Research and prepare well.

Clutter blocks up your mind and destroys your focus. If your inbox, desk and room are clutter, so will be your mind. Scratching through piles of paper to find essential information is detrimental to the task on hand. Get organized. Be ruthless in clearing the clutter so you can concentrate.

This is an important part of pursuing your goal.

  • Stop collecting and buying more information.
  • Eliminate distractions – guard your productive “working” time.
  • Switch your telephone to message mode.
  • Turn your cellphone on to silent mode.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters.
  • Switch off Skype and IM message services during your working time.
  • Limit your online time.
  • Plan your family and social life around your productive time.
  • Check email early in the morning and late at night.
  • Separate business from personal email and answer important one right away.

THE FOUR D’s

Do It

Delegate It

Defer It

Dump It

Just Do It. Begin and do not allow yourself to be distracted until the project is complete. If ideas for other projects or new ideas for this project come to mind, write them down and future action. The important thing is to get it done. Aim for excellence and not perfection. Once the project is complete, you can spend time tweaking it before you begin your next project.

Keep referring to your note. Underline important points and write action ideas in the margin. Work offline whenever possible and avoid procrastination like the plague.

Here’s the key to a successful outcome:

Do What You Should Do, When You Should Do it,
Whether Or Not You Feel Like It.

A good tip is to do routine items when your energy levels are low and your mind is tired. Use the early part of your day to do your creative thinking and work. Most people like to start the day with emails. Don’t get trapped in your inbox. Check them early, deal with urgent matters and leave the inbox to the end of your working day when you can give it undivided attention.

Remember that you do not need to do everything yourself. Do not be afraid to delegate tasks where possible – especially routine, time-consuming tasks and items that need expertise you do not have as yet.

A special note for computer junkies. Set a working time and then stop! Make time for your family, friends and your own personal needs. All work and no play definitely makes Jack a dull boy.

Finish the project. Keep an eye on your schedule and projected end date. Promise yourself a reward when it is up and going. Do not get distracted or fall into the habit of procrastination. The end result will be worth it all.

“You Don’t Have To Get It Right.
You Just Have To Get It Going.”
-- Mike Litman

Val

Val Waldeck
Global Publishing Academy