This world is overloaded with information and learning to overcome such bombardment is a rare skill. Waiting for you is social media, politics, local news, celebrity chatter & even neighborhood gossip. The stream of info heading straight towards you everyday is incredulous. From the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, there is a steady stream of both nonsense & warranted information to grasp onto. Is it all necessary for a fulfilling life? Hell freggin no!
This bombardment of information can be a real drain on your focus to be your own boss!
You will need to have the discipline to work smart!
In this post, I’ll talk about how to handle information overload and how it will help you fixate on your goal of becoming financially free!
“Information is not Knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
According to Scientific American, the average brain’s memory storage capacity is approx. 2.5 petabytes. (never even HEARD that word) which is equal to 1 million gigabytes. For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage. Yikes!
Try to think of your Daily Habits:
- Checking the weather before getting dressed?
- Turning on the local news stations?
- Signing into social media accounts to get your own taste of a ‘news fix’?
- Reading the Newspaper?
- Listening to a few Radio stations on the way to work?
How much data are your deriving from these simple tasks? How much time are you wasting?
We all have the need to be-in-the-know so I get it, honestly I do. I remember when I used to wake up, get my cawfee (in my NY accent of course), turn on the news & social media accounts while I got ready for work. It was an immediate need to feel a sense of belonging, especially when my small world included Ryan, working, cooking, laundry & Kayuh. I needed to know what was going on but most important, and most ridiculous, was to be thought of as “intelligent.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to be up-to-date on local & world events but ingesting news just for the sake of having it on is pretty useless & distracting!
Social Media – The Soul Sucker
Social Media plays an important role not only in the details of the lives of our friends, family, acquaintances & complete strangers, but it has created entirely new industries, careers & communication channels. Physical distances & time zones no longer restrict communication.
You can use this as a huge benefit in your future business!
You no longer are required to start with your small circle of friends and family!
We’re now pulled into an “always available” lifestyle. Having Social Media apps readily available on your phone has changed our access to each other. Connecting with others is a breeze through either posting, commenting, or even Facebook messenger.
If your an 80’s baby, you’ll feel nostalgic when you recollect AOLs version of AIM, AOL Instant Messenger. Be still my beating heart.
It does not require our full concentration.The wonderful thing about this form of communication is that it doesn’t require your immediate or even focused attention. You can be connecting with several people all over the world at the same time while your writing your theses, researching new purchases or watching a movie.
This of course has lead to law being passed regarding texting while driving. So if we are to use these easily accessible advances (social media, texting & electronics in general) than we need to learn the appropriate times & places to utilize them.
Unfortunately there are negatives to Social Media that have detrimental effects on both our mental & physical health. As more & more people flock to social apps (1 billion at this point) we’re only now starting to learn the challenges of finding a balance between reality & living online.
The numbers of data through Social Media channels is absolutely ridiculous. It’s absurd. Check out these figures:
Even Forbes has reported on the negative side affects of Social Media. And its not only millennials, these side affects cross all generations. According to Forbes, these are the 6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health:
- It’s addictive
- It triggers more sadness, less well-being
- Comparing our life with others is mentally unhealthy
- It can lead to jealousy & a vicious cycle
- We get caught in the delusion of thinking it will help
- More friends on social media doesn’t mean you’re more social
Have you ever sat in bed scrolling, commenting & liking only to find that 2 hours have gone by & you have accomplished zero on your to-do list? Zero! You could have gotten 3 loads of laundry done. More importantly, you could have listened to that audio book, researched an Amazon training or written a blog post. You could have gotten work done for your future business but now it just seems like too much effort. The motivation you may have felt to accomplish tasks is gone. Its because your brain has turned off from reality. Slowly, social media has sucked the enthusiasm out of your soul. Soul sucker wins again!
Tips on Handling Information Overload
Create Daily Scheduled Check-Ins
Set reminders on your phone. Boom! Done!
Ok well, I guess its a bit more complicated than that. The goal of this tip is to start with a reminder everyday until your in the habit of checking in with yourself throughout the day. But start by setting up reminders on your phone every 2-3 hours to check-in with yourself & how over-loaded you may feel.
Run these thoughts through your head or come up with a few questions to ask yourself:
- Have you been scrolling around in multiple social media platforms?
- Have you posted, commented, liked & shared on a ton of information but can’t remember the details on 1 of these actions?
- Are there several tasks you have thought of but never wrote down & now are gone from your memory?
- Are there stories you’ve heard or read that add no value to your life?
- Is there video, audio, news or other sources that you listen to which go in 1 ear & out the other?
If you happen to be answering YES to a lot of these questions, start setting your own limits! Set timers or even take a mini-vacation from social media apps by not only signing out but by uninstalling the apps for a day! You will survive, I promise. It’s an easy way to help you create a bit of space between yourself & the ever scrolling addiction of these apps.
Have an addiction to news, radio, audio books or videos? Use these check-ins to see how relevant any of this is to your life. Before starting a task, ask yourself “Is there a clear benefit? Has there been an improvement in my life through these means? Will this assist me in my path to financial freedom?
If not, than find a way to use these channels to advance your happiness! You can learn to overcome information overload!
If you’ve even wanted to laugh more, learn something new, solve a problem & general better yourself, than instead of changing your habits dramatically, just adjust to fit WHO & WHERE you want to be. Change the information you consume to something useful that will benefit your long term business plans.
As you start to feel as though your getting control over your information input, then decrease your reminder setting to perhaps every 6 hours, once a day then once a week!
TIP: Listen to radio to zone out on your commute? Check out Audible for downloads & use this time to learn. I’ve noticed a distinct difference in my brain function after switching from radio stations of music & celebrity gossip in the morning to audio books teaching real-world skills that I’ve already been able to put to use.
Build a Reward System
We need to learn to reward ourselves in healthy ways when we succeed. All too often our accomplishments go un-noticed & unappreciated, especially for women. We hustle all day long & even if the world doesn’t recognize our efforts & achievements, we should ourselves. So give yourself a damn bonus, treat, or perk when you deserve it!
In order to fully be present in this Reward System you want to take it seriously. One of the best ways I’ve seen this is through creating a contract with yourself.
Yup, make it official!
Set dates, goals, what you expect of yourself, & how you will reward yourself. You can even be creative & include what your duties will be if you DON’T full-fill the contract! I personally would add that if I don’t hit my writing goals for the month, than I have to move everything from the garage to the shed for Ryan. Ew.
Shelby of Little Coffee Fox has created the most amazing Contract in water colors that I need to learn immediately!
Goals & Rewards. You’ll want to figure out some details for your goals & rewards including how often you are to complete these tasks or how long you will give yourself to complete them and what are the rewards.
Be specific. Set due dates & times. Be definite in them & provide yourself a realistic approach. Don’t push yourself into failure by setting impractical due dates. You’ll also want to be firm in the quality of a task. I can certainly paint the hallway on Wednesday night to score a bag of Sour Patch Kids but being exhausted from work, it’ll look like crap. Doesn’t count. Try to be definite in your contract details. It’s important to be specific in all aspects of your Reward System!
Be consistent. Stick to your goals and follow-through with your rewards! You’ve earned em! By creating a system to hold yourself accountable & then allotting yourself a benefit, you’ll find yourself able to stick to your guns!
Have an Accountability Buddy
Usually no one will hold you responsible for overcoming information overload in your daily life so its important you make a strong commitment to yourself, reward yourself AND find an ‘Accountability Buddy.’
This is a great way to make sure you have someone to strongly support you, especially when you may feel weak in your decisions. If you feel like signing onto Pinterest to find a new color lipstick, text your Accountability Buddy instead so they can help you tweek your decision to fit what you need to be doing for your business.
Changes to your daily habits like this have a greater chance of success when you can not only share it with someone but also feel like you’ve got a teammate beside you through it! I highly advise that you grab an Accountability Buddy & strongly commit to encourage each other.
No matter what.
And find someone strong, you don’t want a buddy that you know will be wishy-washy or lackadaisical. First step will be to let them know what your planning. Be 100% honest with your Accountability Buddy so they know your true plans. Let them know what your challenges are and what your goals are.
My girl Alli is an amazing Accountability Buddy, much better than I am to her (although now I’m making a conscience effort to be there for her). She is always messaging me to see if I’m following through with my planned meditations, what challenges I was facing in my Pure Romance business & especially how she can help my life be better.
Learning to Handle the Information Overload
By limiting your access to otherwise useless information you can give yourself a clear mind & greater focus, allowing the extra space in your brain to concentrate on the things that you truly find important. Financial Freedom. Still putting off digging into Youtube video reviews of a training you’d love to learn? Force yourself to find the time, even if in small increments.
Don’t let all the data out there leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Remember what kids say: “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you says bounces off me & sticks to you!?” Keep that in mind when you begin to feel beaten down with details, stories & other nonsense. Just ask yourself if what your giving attention to is actually adding to the quality of your life. Is it beefing up your happiness? Will it help you be your own boss?
Know someone who is overloaded with information everyday? Why not Share!?