Managing Information Overload

Do you ever feel like there’s so much information out there that your head’s going to burst?

After all, there’s:

  • email
  • smartphone
  • blogs and RSS feeds
  • social media
  • television and radio
  • ipad/tablet
  • even seeing all the billboards as you drive

not to mention all the free teleseminars, telesummits, webinars, webcasts, live streams, events and other trainings.

How do you manage the information overload?

  • Do you use better, smarter, faster technology? (This question makes me think of the Six Million Dollar Man television series.)
  • Do you unplug and risk “missing” something?
  • Or something in between?

An Intel study found that 1/3 of all emails were unnecessary — honestly, I think the percentage is even higher for those in an online-based business.

A XEROX paper recommended that we “adapt” our learning and thinking style — of course they did invent the photocopier, one of the first contributors to mass information overload.

Truth is, we need to find a balance between the incoming tsunami of emails, texts, RSS feeds, social media, etc. and our desire to go in search of even more information.

 Here are some strategies I use to manage information overload:

  1. Knowing that others face the same overwhelm I do, I consolidate whenever possible and communicate less (I have a notebook with a page for each person I communicate with on a regular basis and list stuff out so when we speak, email, Skype, etc. I can run down the list).
  2. Only send emails I believe will contribute to your business/life.  Ask the “Are there usable resources/info for the reader?” question for everything I send out.
  3. When emailing my team and asking them to “do” something, put TASK REQUEST as the first two words of the subject line with a few words and the date I’d like it done by (we’ve found this system works better than trying to manage yet another system).
  4. Use Dropbox (it’s free) for files my team may need access to (photos, logos, etc.) so they have it if they need it and know where it is without cluttering up their email/harddrives.
  5. Download teleseminars, trainings (such as NAMS7 audios or the Chocolate Covered Marketing Sale), etc. to my iPod and listen to them while doing dishes, folding laundry, etc.  Or sometimes when walking the dog (other times I prefer to listen to nature).
  6. Take things offline.  Knowing that we’re bombarded (it really does feel that way) with online communications, I enjoy mailing things so that you can see it in the comfort of your home when you’re relaxed and away from technology.
  7. And a newer one. . .using Pinterest as a place to bookmark URLs and pages I want to go back to and check things out.  Love that I can group by categories (my boards) and get a quick “pick-me-up” by browsing “online magazines” (how I view much of it) or spending time on my “Nourishing to my Soul” board.

What do you do to manage your information overload?  I’d love to hear below.