Information overload, infobesity, infoxication, or information anxiety happens almost without you knowing until you find yourself wasting hours each week. What matters in your work and personal lives and your critical roles in others’ lives diminish.
What is Information Overload, and How Much Information Comes to Us Daily?
If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m a fan of dictionary.com and look to them for clarification on words and phrases. Information overload is “an excess of incoming information, as might confront a pedestrian on a crowded city street, that forces one to be selective in the information received and retained.” According to Fast Company, we encounter 34 gigabytes of information daily through all sources, including social media, email, digital news, and digital and print ads.
How Does it Affect You?
According to estimates, the human brain can hold 2. 5 petabytes of information, equivalent to one million gigs. Also, The human brain can process 11 million bits of information every second. But our conscious minds can handle only 40 to 50 bits of information a second. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review mentioned that information overload could affect not only personal well-being but also decision-making, innovation, and productivity. Information overload will lead to missed family events, missed project deadlines, and a feeling of overwhelm.
How To Prevent Information Overload
The first step is knowing what your priorities are in your life. What your critical roles are, and what truly matters? Working through core values and work-life balance assessments is a great starting point. These tools create an anchor for all activities you take on going forward. Next is having a rock-solid process for interacting with email and information. These routines will keep you on track and eliminate distractions saving you hours weekly. My six-week course on total effectiveness goes into detail about setting up these tools. Finally, creating a weekly plan and scheduling daily review keeps you anchored to the essential areas of your work and personal lives and on track with your values-based goals.
Kickstart your productivity with the Total Effectiveness System. This six-lesson online course will show you how to organize your life around what matters and your critical roles.