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3 TRICKS TO STOP STRUGGLING WITH INFORMATION OVERLOAD

It comes as no surprise that people generally feel stressed these days. Between maintaining social relationships, pressure from work, fake news, real news, and the bottomless political drama unfolding by the minute, most of us probably can’t remember the last time we spent a day without a care in the world. The bad news is that stress happens to be an unavoidable part of life. The good news however is that stress is manageable. Habits such as balanced diet, exercise, hobbies, spiritual meditation and good rest, can help people cope tremendously. In spite of our best efforts to manage stress however, there happens to be one trigger that unfortunately goes neglected by many. That is, how much we filter the information we consume.

Living in the information age has empowered us with access to an unlimited supply of knowledge and raw data. Google alone seems to have the answers to every conceivable question. By the end of the day each one of us is certain to have read or watched at least one hour of media that isn’t entertainment. For all the benefits this knowledge delivers, there are actually negative emotional consequences associated with exposure to high volumes of information. Researchers define these negative emotional effects as information overload. Analyzing and internalizing excessive quantities of information actually induces anxiety and frustration which interferes with our decision-making process and general peace of mind. If you are conscientious enough to proactively manage stress in your life, being systematic about the information you receive, and how you ! process it, can help eliminate this hidden source of aggravation. Here are three simple tips to either prevent or gain control of information overload:

Accept that It Never Ends:

Human beings have a natural instinct to desire closure. Throughout life’s many experiences, we feel the most satisfaction when events comprise a distinct beginning, middle, and end. This characteristic within us creates an irony when it comes to consuming information because there will never be an end to the flow of data being transmitted in society. The news will never have a series finale. There will always be a new smart device, or app, or social network to adopt and figure out. There will always be new music to listen to, or new movies to watch, or new media that demands our concentration. Approaching infinite information with a desire for closure brings about a sense of drowning. It makes us feel overwhelmed at being unable to reconcile anything open-ended that we encounter. On the other hand, accepting that information is infinite conditions our minds not to lament over issues which ! have no resolution. Embracing such an attitude motivates optimism.

Manage Your Time:

One of the most common downfalls of trying to deal with information overload is poor allocation of time. This sounds like a technical issue, but we’ve all been there. We all know what it feels like deciding to watch one episode on Netflix only to end up streaming an entire season instead. We all know what it feels like to look up at the clock and suddenly realize we’ve been on Facebook for more than an hour. If you’ve ever lost track of time when involving yourself in a source of information, that’s a sign that you aren’t fully aware of how you distribute time towards activities. Instead of blindly taking on the day hoping to accomplish an unknown number of goals, learn to schedule how and when you access information with a timer – especially when accessing information recreationally. Using timers eliminates distraction that eats into overall productivity unnecessarily.

Prioritize:

All information isn’t created equal. A lot of what people become absorbed in on a daily basis is actually trivial and gratuitous. Do we really need live updates on Hollywood divorces for instance? Should reading up on Which “Friends” Character you are, Based on Your Sign feature at the top of your to-do list? To make matters worse, we habitually sacrifice time that could have been spent being productive, preoccupied with unnecessary information. If you’ve ever found yourself procrastinating, chances are this is exactly what you were doing with your time. Replacing or postponing something important, with irrelevant consuming activity. Actively develop the discipline to identify information that doesn’t add value to your life. This is vital to overcoming information overload. If you’ve already heard about a news story in the morning, it! makes no sense to check up on it a hundred times over. If you know you have an important deadline to meet, stop putting it off with endless “breaks” on social media. Putting first things first is the only way to avoid losing track of your responsibilities.

Ultimately, it all comes down to effort. If you aren’t trying to continuously address the problem, it will end up boiling over into an insurmountable obstacle. Considering the fact that stress has the capacity to impact health, any opportunity to manage it should never be ignored. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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