How to combat information overload » The Daily Remote

How to combat information overload

4 min read

Markus Spiske

We’re all guilty of it.

It has become such a part of our lives that our daily routines don’t feel complete unless we’ve checked Facebook, email, RSS feeds, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bash consuming content.

On the contrary, the information age has empowered us more than ever. But, it has also hindered us more than ever.

I like to feel connected to what’s going on in the world. But, there are times when falling into information holes can prevent you from taking action in your life.

I was having a conversation with my partner one night about how I felt stuck in regards to this blog. I told her that I wanted to provide some value to people who read it, but that I didn’t want to talk about what I do for a living.

In essence, she said that reading my self-help books, following the entrepreneurs I follow and reading all of the articles I was reading about digital nomads was not going to get me any closer to learning more about myself and accomplishing my goals.

Right to the chest. And she’s right.

Recognize When You Are Allowing Distraction

It can be motivating when you first make a goal for yourself to follow things that will encourage you to accomplish your goals.

But, if you don’t stop to take action, you’re just going to be a sponge for information and regurgitate and retweet and re-share all this wisdom with no action behind it.

In one of Mark Manson’s eBooks regarding self-knowledge, he mentions the two minds: The Thinking Mind and The Observing Mind.

In this scenario, your thinking mind is your emotions and your observing mind is your awareness of those emotions and thoughts. Your thinking mind is in a constant state of “go” and can often silence your observing mind.

I’ve been told I am a student of my profession–constantly learning and soaking up new information. While it is good to stay humble about your knowledge of things, it should never hinder you from recognizing when it is consuming and keeping you from taking action on newfound knowledge.

Act On Knowledge Attained

Wisdom is action on knowledge acquired!

If you have a goal you want to accomplish, but also enjoy following influencers or reading blogs on the subject, try this:

  • Set aside a specific time in your day with a time limit to consume information. Whether that be reading your favorite blogs, catching up on Twitter, or scrolling through Pinterest.
  • Set a timer for yourself. Then when time is up, act on the information! Not only will you feel more accomplished, but you will also have actually put your newfound information to practice which only helps to further solidify the knowledge in your brain.
  • Pick specific days or dates. If you can’t go through or read all of the blogs you follow, try picking a few out for different days.
  • Use Apple’s built-in Screen Time feature. In your General Settings just below “Do Not Disturb” you can find “Screen Time”. From there, you can specific time limits on apps or categories of apps, set a downtime, choose apps that are always allowed, and view metrics on how much you use your phone. I find that having this kind of data about your phone use can be a wake-up call to how you spend your time digitally.
  • Download Moment from the App Store. This is another great app I’ve used for tracking my phone time.
  • Create action to do items and schedule them for the next day. After you learn something new, put time on your calendar immediately to take action on it! You will soak in the newfound information more if you put it into practice.

All of the influencers and blogs you follow started somewhere. At some point, they had to stop and take action. I’m one of those people!

I’m entirely guilty of information overload. I’ve literally filled an Evernote account with articles in different categories to “read later” and it never happened.

When you get honest about your shortcomings, you stop giving them power over you.

Are you guilty of over-consumption of information? How did you combat it? Leave a comment below!

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