Information can get you even before you come to your office or start working at home. It is available once you wake up and influences you during the time you are active. Informational channels are overloaded: music, news, films, email box, smartphone – they all have their effect. This all leads to the informational overload in your brain.
What to do with that? When does there appear too much information in your life? How can you control it and, without allowing it to control your life? We prepared some strategies that will help you sort the information out and then to control a part that you actually need.
Strategies for Reading
You can master a skill of searching for the info you need fast while reading.
Here are some strategies to do that:
- Increase your fast-reading skills. It will help you not only to read quickly, but to separate important info from the “water” instantly. Fast reading improves your memory abilities as well.
- Determine what you need to know. Know what you actually need once you find a source of information. This advice looks obvious, but in fact most people absorb information as sponges, they don’t even try to sort it out. If you can’t find the answer why you need to read news or any articles, then maybe you don’t need that.
- Determine how much you need to know. If you have a clear, well-determined reason to read something, how much information do you need? Do you read to gain general knowledge and to stay abreast? Will this info allow you to make the right decision? Do you need to read the article carefully or it will be enough just to look through it?
- See the least important parts. There are apps that allow users to underline important parts of texts, so use this option. If you read a printed version of a book, underline these paragraphs with a pencil. If the info is exceptionally important for you, copy key moments into your notebook.
Distinguishing Bad and Good Info
This is not an easy task, that is why you need some practical experience. Use these recommendations to find reliable and useful information in the Internet:
- Make sure the resource is reliable. There are websites caring about their reputation, and the information they publish is reliable enough. At the same time, blogs, for instance, can present unreliable and unchecked info.
- See the date. If you are not sure of the website’s reliability, check the date of its last refreshment. Maybe, the info published there is too old already.
- Determine the author. If they write about complicated scientific topics, do they have enough education for that?
- Check working links. Some articles reference to the info outside the resource. Check if those outside sources exist. If yes, proceed to the new page and read the info by yourself. Maybe, the author from the first website understood the info wrongly.
If you receive tens of emails daily, it is time to deal with this seriously:
- Check your mail no more than two times a day. Of course, you don’t need to keep up to this rule every day, but when it is possible, check it two times or less. This is how you’ll become more organized and concentrated. Turn off reminding notifications and concentrate on important tasks, not on the waiting process.
- Delete letters. Don’t let your mailbox become a junkyard: if there is a spam or unnecessary letter, delete it at once and don’t waste your energy. Many electronic mailing services provide users with the option of placing the deleted letter into a cart, so you’ll be able to bring them back if you need them.
- Answer shortly but effectively. At the beginning of the letter remind a person about what they asked you to do and then answer that precisely. For instance: “Jeff, you asked me to send you a report till today’s evening. Unfortunately, I’ll be able to complete this task only tomorrow”. You’ve done everything right: you made your apology and said when the request would be fulfilled.
- You don’t have to answer everyone. You should not feel any pressure in cases when you don’t want to respond some email letters. There are people who compose and send tens of letters that nobody needs every day. Make them understand that they will not receive answers for such emails.
- Have days without email checks. There are people who find that impossible. But if you find a correct approach, you will not suffer from that. For instance, if it is Friday, let everyone know that you do not check your mailbox on Fridays. Do this politely and say that it is done for you to work without distractions.
Limit the Quantity of Info
If you are subscribed to 50 RSS-channels, it is silly to complain about stress and irritation. Some people can additionally subscribe to podcasts, switch on the sound notification function about new letters and react to every single detail.
There is no other way: you need to consciously analyze last few days for informational overload. Remind yourself about all the accidents when you consumed any information and you’ll find tens of them during only 24 hours. Even if you just visit an online store to check if there is something new, you fill your informational channels.
People receive information from the moment they wake up till the moment they fall asleep, so it is time to fight that. Do not touch your smartphone at least during the first 30 minutes after you wake up and 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Create days with no information. Go for a walk, rest in a forest, think, draw. Even a book will fit here: it allows you to concentrate on one thing and influences your brain and psychic in a positive way only.
Cut down the quantity of daily tasks. For instance, if did a hundred of them yesterday (even visiting a website is a task here), then shorten this number three times tomorrow. You’ll see the results in a few days: your concentration will rise up, while tiredness and stress will be reduced significantly.