Five Tips to Avoid Information Overload

If you spend a lot of time surfing the web and using social networks, you may be at risk of experiencing information overload. When this happens, you may have difficulty focusing or retaining information you would otherwise consider vital. In some cases, it can feel as if you’re reading a book too fast and are only able to grasp bits and pieces. This can decrease productivity which may lead to a cycle of having to do even more in order to catch up. Here are five tips to avoid information overload:

Make Time to Unplug
For some, taking time to unplug from the web on a regular basis can be very beneficial. This gives you time to gather your thoughts, reduces eye strain and fatigue, and can give you a new perspective on whatever it is you’re working on when you return. If you’re a blogger experiencing writer’s block, go to the store or get some chores done. It might be the trick to clearing the cobwebs and getting you back on track. Vacations are a great opportunity to unplug and unwind.

Limit the Amount of Things You Can Focus On at One Time
Having fifty tabs open and trying to get too much done at once can lead to you ultimately getting nothing done in the end. Obtaining and retaining information is easier when it isn’t mixed in with unrelated content. Having music on can help drown out the distractions around you and improve your focus, though playing videos, checking your friends status updates, and checking the news all while trying to get work done can be overwhelming and counterproductive.

Utilize Otherwise Wasted Time Differently
How many times can you listen to the same five songs on the radio during your commute? Use this time to listen to an audiobook or think about your plans for the day. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted, just remember that you can replace unproductive activity with something more substantial.

Plan Ahead
Make a plan for your day. Even though some people have unavoidably chaotic schedules, finding the time to predict when you have downtime is a good start towards a more organized daily routine. Plan out times for web surfing, work, sleep, and play. This may sound silly at first, but once you understand where your time is being spent currently, you can better work out a less stressful schedule.

Try Not to Take On Too Much
One of the biggest causes of information overload is simply taking on more than you can handle. You may find yourself stressed about potentially failing to get everything done in a sec period of time. Taking on too much can lead to seemingly endless multitasking that wears on someone over time and can ultimately lead to a shut down in productivity. Keep everything you agree to do scheduled and try your hardest not to double-book yourself too often.