How To Avoid Being Overwhelmed By Information

How To Avoid Being Overwhelmed By Information

You are likely to be exposed to more than 15 hours of media each day, and you can see dozens of different sources of information transmitted via video, print, audio, and more. It is becoming increasingly difficult to prevent all this information from leading to a constant feeling of overwhelm. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important to take steps to limit the amount of information you are allowed, to keep your virtual and physical workspaces free of debris, and take care of yourself to keep information overload in check.

Take a technical break. 

If you feel that your information is drowning, the best way to get your feet back on solid ground is to turn off the tap. Get away from your phone and computer for an hour or two every day. To many people, this simple task seems almost unthinkable. The harder it seems, the greater the chance that you will benefit from taking a breather. 

  • Just as amazing and handy as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, these are also the vessels through which you are exposed to far more information than you can handle.
  • It can be very difficult to avoid social media, especially if you have a lot of free time on your hands. Try to be more mindful of it by taking a few deep breaths before signing up. If you can, try to think of something else you can do that will make you feel like going outside for a few minutes.
  • Also try to limit how much you read or watch the news, as it can contribute to a feeling of overwhelm.

Limit the information your devices ask you to consume. 

The large collection of available information will only continue to increase. However, you can choose to limit the amount of information you are busy with. Specify a time frame in particular to outline the task of each email list you no longer wish to receive. Also, change the settings on your phone to allow only a few apps to distract you with alerts. 

  • Depending on the types of email and other applications you use on your online devices, the specific process to limit your exposure will vary.
  • In essence: eliminate the distractions that expose you to unnecessary information that contributes to mental discomfort, whether you realize it or not.

Set boundaries and stick to them. 

With our increased connection to other people and unlimited sources of information, it can easily seem like you are always exposed to more and more things to think about, react to, or address otherwise. This can easily lead to information overload. There are all sorts of limits you can set to reduce the amount of information that comes to your attention. 

  • A classic example is setting some strict boundaries for work and privacy. That said, the increasing use of people on social media platforms means you not only get off to work in front of a deluge of emails but also for an endless stream of updates, promotions, invitations, and emoticons.
  • You need to realize that you simply need to commit to leaving your work computer at work, or you should not allow it to use social media platforms outside of the scheduled time slots.

Reduce the clutter in your physical workspace.

No matter how important it is to keep your virtual inboxes clean of unnecessary sources of information, you should also keep your physical workspace organized.  In particular, keep the surface of your desk free of clutter.

  • A handy rule of thumb: if you do not use it every day, place it somewhere out of the way, preferably even out of sight.

Keep a paper grid. 

While electronic schedules can potentially increase the ease with which you stay abreast of multiple commitments, they can also easily end up with unimportant events or be unable to import different types of events from all of your different communication platforms. Paper schedules offer the benefits of having everything important in front of you, titled, labeled, and otherwise organized in a way that you have to determine entirely.

Make lists and prioritize responsibilities. 

Make a list of everything you need to be done, and organize it according to different types of tasks or the time frame in which it should be complete. The most important thing, however, is that you indicate tasks of greater importance so that you are reminded to eliminate them first.

  • To help with this, consider using different colors of ink when drawing up your lists and schedules to visualize your responsibilities and what is important to keep in mind.

Acquire your specific responsibilities. 

If your responsibilities at work have become cumbersome or if you have imposed more than your task, you need to communicate with your boss or supervisor. In particular, ask for an explanation of what is specifically expected of you. 

  • If you are constantly asked to perform tasks that are not part of your job description, you need to bring it to your attention.
  • Set the conversation as motivation by your desire to better understand what is required of you. Say something directly and respectfully, such as, “I hope to clarify the specific tasks for which I am individually responsible.”

Do not be afraid to say no. 

You may be adopting more than is healthy or productive. While it may seem like you are struggling to balance or process large amounts of information, you may have committed to more tasks than can be reasonably addressed at the same time. 

  • Do not allow co-workers to take advantage of your willingness to take on additional tasks. Think about what your peers and your superiors are asking of you, and be honest if you can not or do not want to do what you are asked to do.
  • Another rule to follow: Say yes only if you mean it. Maybe there is a simple task that you or a colleague can perform. Do not agree to tackle it unless it bothers you.

Avoid multitasking if possible. 

While multitasking may seem to help you be more productive, it can overwhelm your brain with too much information and make it difficult to focus. It also hinders your ability to filter out irrelevant information. Stick to one task at a time and only proceed when it is completed.

Work to improve your productivity one by one. 

It can be counterproductive to change the way you do different things at the same time. If you identify several steps you intend to take to increase your productivity, you need to implement them one by one. Wait with the implementation of a new step until you fully incorporate a positive change in your life and stop thinking about it.

Build short breaks into your workday. 

Especially if you sit at a computer all day, you will be more productive and feel less overwhelmed by constant information if you take quick breaks every few hours. Aside from giving your brain the chance to recalibrate without new information coming in, your perspective on everything you do will likely improve with the chance to step back and clear your mind. 

  • Choose the frequency and duration of the interruptions based on your work and what seems to be working for you. Some people prefer a break every five hours or half an hour for a few hours.

Sleeps a lot. 

The amount of rest you get may not seem immediate with your ability to resist the feeling of an overload of information, but getting enough sleep is essential to your ability to process information efficiently. If you get enough rest, it reduces the likelihood that you will experience the feeling of overwhelm, no matter what your day holds. 

  • The perfect amount of sleep varies for different people. If possible, go to bed while allowing eight hours of sleep before getting up. If you wake up repeatedly after six or seven hours of sleep, this amount of time is probably sufficient.
  • Help yourself in bed by developing healthy sleeping habits, including using screens in the evening, and avoiding caffeine later in the day.

Avoid intense discussions just before you go to bed. 

Important personal discussions that will engage you emotionally, and that may upset, surprise or sadden you, should be avoided before going to bed. While it’s important to have these types of conversations if you or someone you love needs it, try to avoid having important conversations in the bedroom. 

  • This can be a challenge because many people’s best chance of talking to their partners often occurs before bed.
  • To prevent new, potentially important problems from arising in the evening, you need to establish a policy with whom you spend every night not to start potentially serious conversations.
  • If you and you can not help talking excitedly with each other, consider ending a quiet period before you go to bed. This may sound like a lot, but policies like these can significantly improve the quality of your rest.

Start the day on a positive spiritual note. 

If you are relaxed and ready to start the day, it will significantly improve your ability to deal with stress, including the stress associated with the inevitable onslaught of information that is endemic in today’s life. For example, meditation exercises, journal books, or gentle physical exercises are healthy and empowering ways to greet the day. 

  • Spend five minutes in bed and imagine how you get up, prepare for the day, and step out into the world, ready to deal with anything you encounter. If problems arise in your mind, you can immediately think that you are dealing with them, without thinking about the details.

Keep a journal. 

Writing down your thoughts and feelings on paper can have a significant positive effect on your ability to focus and clear your mind. Your mind will not only be organized anymore but also a tangible existence in your diary, which will enable you to stop visiting it in your mind again. 

  • Furthermore, the writing will help you remove some of the mental damage that is drifting in your mind by helping you focus on the things that are worth addressing further as you push the rest away.

Walk to work. 

Simply put: a little exercise – including a moderate walk – will help your mind and resist you from being overwhelmed for the rest of the day. As you walk, you take in all sorts of information – sights, smells, temperature changes – but these are pieces of information that your body desires. More tangible, the increase in blood circulation will help to get your body physically involved and ready to tackle the daily tasks. 

  • Exercise harder after work if you’ve had a particularly overwhelming day. Exercise reduces stress immediately by improving your breathing, reducing the physical symptoms of overeating, and increasing the supply of relaxing neurotransmitters to your brain.

Get support from friends and family.

 Resist the tendency to hole up when you feel overwhelmed. Especially your friends and family can provide an incredible source of support by just giving their ears. The opportunity to simply express your thoughts and feelings will help you process the information and sentiments you are struggling with. 

  • Know that you are more likely to humiliate friends and family members by your willingness to talk to them than to feel embarrassed. Do not hesitate to open it.

Get professional help if needed.

 If you continue to struggle with the feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of information you encounter in your daily life, get help from a mental health professional. Professional psychologists can help you avoid and address stress, not to mention adapt your lifestyle to one that may make you feel overwhelmed less often. 

Relax with a controlled breathing exercise.

 Meditation and awareness are extremely effective ways to address the feeling of overwhelm, not to mention reduce your beauty and stress. Respond to any overwhelming sentiments as soon as they arise, take a moment to take a deep breath, and focus on your breath as you do so. 

  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath as you slowly count to four. Exhale just as slowly, counting to four again.
  • Repeat this process several times, thinking only of your breath as you enter or leave your body, filling and emptying your chest.

Focus on a simple activity. 

If your mind tends to wander if you want to focus on your breath, you must first focus on a specific action. For example, start fast and focus on your footsteps. Do not judge your footprints, rather feel that they appear thoughtful, without giving judgment. Your ability to focus on the purpose of clearing your mind will improve the more you perform simple mental exercises like these. 

  • Look for opportunities to focus on something simple during your day, as it will keep your mind more focused in general.
  • If you can, then try outside – nature can help you calm down if you feel overwhelmed. If you can not go outside, you can look calmly through your window or even look at pictures of nature.
  • Another great opportunity to be mindful is during a meal. The next time you sit down to eat, choose somewhere quiet and just try to think of every bite – including how it feels and tastes while you chew – and nothing more.

Actively address issues that are bothering you. 

If something weighs in on you, it can probably contribute to the feeling that there is too much going on in your life, even if you mostly think about other things. Be proactive about tackling stressors in your life, as it will likely contribute to the feeling of overwhelming if you are not addressed. 

Avoid planning too many activities. 

Many people spend a lot of time being busy unnecessarily. Make a list of your daily activities and find out what you can eliminate, delegate or simplify. Then set up your day so that you will not be overwhelmed.


  • How To Avoid Being Overwhelmed By Information

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