May 05 2009

How to Overcome Information Overload 1

Between the television news, email, the radio, the print media and internet blogs, chat rooms, news feeds and social media not to mention text messages and good old fashioned phone calls, it’s amazing we ever get anything accomplished these days.

In fact, the average person spends about nine hours a day using some sort of media, according to a study conducted by Ball State University.  That’s a lot of information!

Technology is supposed to be saving us time and hassle, but it can actually be increasing the work load, and our stress levels too.

So here are a few tips to overcome information overload.

#1  Set priorities.  Gleaning information from multiple sources is a good idea if you’re writing a report or a book. However, if you’re simply looking to access the local weather and traffic report, one medium can surely provide that information.  Set your information priorities, and then determine the single one or two sources to acquire that information each day.

#2  Choose the right tools and resources to fit your priorities.  There are wonderful tools available today to help you gain quick access to the information you need.  For example, a DVR will let you record predetermined television shows.  An RSS reader will let you pull feeds from blogs and websites you subscribe to. Google will let you label your email messages so you know which ones are important, and which ones can wait until later. Google and Yahoo will also let you set a desktop dashboard to aggregate news, blogs, weather, and so on, all on one start up screen on your computer.