Do you sometimes feel information overload?

Information overload is when you attempt to collect information at a rate faster than your mind is able to assimilate and process. I must admit it happens often to me because I sometimes feel as though the information age is running a marathon race and I am at the back of the pack.

I must admit that some areas of information are necessary and valuable to have on a daily basis but then, I have also discovered that other technical data and information is simply available to distract us from accomplishing tasks. Too much of a good thing can be exhausting and stressful all at the same time. The more information that I gather, the more I need to read to understand or at least have my questions answered as I am trying to make a decision. It is getting more and more difficult to set time aside to gain knowledge and better understand the process the way I want to; and I even find that my desk is more cluttered with bits and pieces of information that I haven't had time to read, yet want to in the future. So in other words, I am backlogged with inspiring information that somehow overwhelms me.

Have you ever felt that way? I have come to realize that when I feel that way, overloaded with information, I need to take a step back and slow down. Regroup my thinking and put a system in motion that helps me prioritizes tasks in the order of importance. For example, I get hundreds of Emails each day - some of which are important and many others are solicitations and irrelevant to me. If someone I do not know sends me an Email with an attachment, I hit delete. I also try to avoid placing orders through online stores but pick up the phone instead and call the contact number. I have found I can avoid unwarranted emails from unwanted sources whom seem to acquire my address after I have placed an online order--that to me is most annoying.

In this day of instant accessibility through technology, we will always receive far more

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information than we are able to read and digest, that is why we need to put a system in place that will help us reduce information overload. I know over the years that I have collected more information than I am able to read and act upon. That is when the delete button comes in handy. Whether it is files or articles that I have collected or data that

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is taking up unnecessary space on my system, it truly does pay to periodically call time out and clean out my life.

I have found that that process is freeing physically, emotionally and mentally. When I de-clutter life, I invite new energy and ideas to come into my thought processes. I think it is all about simplifying life one step at a time. I remember walking into a friends home many years ago and there piled up high were stacks and stacks of magazines and the New York times magazine section that this person wanted to read but never found the time. His home became a storage facility for outdated information and the sad part is that I know he died before he was able to make a dent in the piles of published material.

There is a rapid flow of information coming at us from all directions and for me, I have found that it sometimes overwhelms me and makes me anxious. Our accessibility to information today is far greater than at any other time in the history of this planet.

There is one thing that is certain, in this age of instant messaging, text messaging and iPhones attached to our ears, we are setting ourselves up to fall into the trap of information overload. Because we are social animals who are curious and need to be informed, we probably will not slow down our daily routine but I would like to suggest to you to be selective to what you allow to come into your information funnel. Put boundaries in place and adhere to them because if you don't you will be the one to pay the price by feeding into increased stress, anxiety, exhaustion and most of all disconnect from those you love.

Joan Marie Ambrose

Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker

Services and products by Joan Marie Ambrose

Blog Date: 
Friday, January 18, 2013