Learn about at least five ways you can effectively cut down and minimise the negative impact of information overwhelm in your life in today’s guide (listen to it here).
Keep reading to learn more.
What can you do to overcome information overwhelm?
Last week I went over the ways in which our current state of information can (and does) cause problems in our lives. Today let’s explore how you can deal with such information overwhelm.
I’m going to go over five ways you can effectively cut down and minimise the negative impact of information overwhelm in your life.
Here they are.
- Limit the time you spend online: Limit the time you spend online, so that you aren’t online every waking second of your day. Having some downtime is essential for your health and wellbeing. For example, if you just love browsing through the new and interesting stuff on YouTube or Pinterest, set yourself a timer – that way you won’t end up spending hours and hours on those sites. You can do something like have a cutoff time, like no more internet or phone usage after 7 or 9 pm. This is ultimately good for your health too as it can promote better sleep.
- Limit technology use: This is similar to the first one I mentioned, but even technology without internet connection can contribute to information overwhelm. On that note, if you want to know what the most effective way to cut down your dose of daily information then it’s this – limit how much technology you use. Notice how I did not suggest you to completely cut off your technology use. In theory that would be the most effective way to deal with the problem of information overwhelm. That said, a drastic approach like that is not very practical. Let’s face it, technology is an important part of our lives, and going full-Amish is not the only way to deal with information overwhelm. You absolutely can get the most out of technology without getting information overwhelm, and you can do this simply by doing things like limiting how much technology you use. So use technology when you need it, but don’t use it every waking hour of your day. To get started with that you can do things like having a cutoff time (like no technology after 7 or 9 pm or some other time in the evening).
- Limit your social media time: Social media is by far the biggest source of information these days – a huge amount of content is created on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on each and every hour. The more social media you browse, the more it inundates your mind with information, and the really bad news is that a huge portion of the information you get from social media platforms like Facebook is either completely useless or fake news. So if you want to get a handle on the amount of information you are exposed to on a daily basis, as well as control the quality of the information you take in, limiting your social media exposure is one of the best ways to do it.
- Be selective about your sources of information: The quality of the information you expose your mind to has a major impact on your mental health, wellbeing and happiness level. When you expose your mind to good quality information, you are enriched and your life generally improves. On the other hand, bad quality and negative information takes a toll on your overall wellbeing. The solution is simple – be selective about what you expose your mind to. So if you read news, for instance, opt for reputable and reliable sources of news. The current pandemic is a great case study for this. For example, the WHO and Harvard are reliable and reputable sources of information when it comes to learning about the spread of disease, but sites you’ve never heard of or those with a reputation for focusing on clickbaity stuff are not solid and reliable sources of information. It is smart to be selective about your sources of information because there is a lot of incorrect, even deceptive information floating out there, and it is your responsibility at the end of the day to make sure that you feed your mind good information and stay away from the unhelpful and negative ones.
- Take technology-free breaks: Taking technology-free breaks can be another great way to get a handle on information overwhelm. It does not have be months or weeks without technology, however. The breaks can be as small and simple as scheduling ten to fifteen minutes during the day without any phone or other technology and being completely disconnected. There’s absolutely no reason why you need to be connected round the clock.
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Two more tips
There are two more things you can do to help you effectively deal with information overwhelm: practice meditation, and mindfulness. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help you become more aware of your internal state of wellbeing which in turn can help you avoid things that aren’t very good for you.
These practices can help you become more aware of the information that won’t benefit you and make you more mindful about what you are doing and so on, which can help you to limit your exposure to information, especially the information that does you more harm than good.
That’s not all. These two practices can also make it easier for you to deal with overwhelm at it core, making you more resilient and calm. As such, if information overwhelm or just overwhelm in general is something you want to deal with, have a go at practicing meditation and mindfulness.
In summary, here are the five things you can do to deal with information overwhelm:
- Limit the time you spend online
- Limit technology use
- Limit your social media time
- Be selective about your sources of information
- Take technology free breaks
Practicing meditation and mindfulness can also be really helpful.
You might also like:
- Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts
- Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
You have learned today about some useful and practical tips for dealing with the challenge of information overwhelm, which is fast becoming one of the main problems people experience these days. Technological innovations bring huge benefits for us, without a doubt, but they can also be damaging if we are not careful about how we use them. It’s like any tool really – when used well, the tool is very helpful and can benefit us, but when used badly or improperly the tool can cause us harm.
Prioritise the things in life that genuinely matter, rather than spending your valuable time and energy on browsing through social media and stuff all day long. Make use of the information superhighway, but don’t become a slave to it.
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