Improve Your Attitude – Avoid Information Overload

Fashion
We live in a world where we can find out almost anything in under sixty seconds. Quiet is a thing of the past, and multi-tasking is no longer considered optional.

Psychologically – information overload relates to an overabundance of incoming information into the senses. (Dictionary.com)

The human mind is organized like a filing cabinet . . . careful organization makes information recall easier. Too much data received too quickly makes it difficult to efficiently sort and file effectively, and that makes future recall more difficult.

Are you a multi-tasker?

Me too.

I will often watch television, check my email, play a game, talk to Rev, and write lists in my mind all at the same time. True, nothing has my complete attention, but ADD makes me foolishly believe it’s at least possible.

It’s common for me to say something to Rev only to have him reply, “I said that to you just a couple of moments ago.” Ugh.

When was the last time:

  • you felt better after watching the news or reality TV? The best we can hope for is an “at least my life’s not that bad” experience.
  • you sat and talked to your spouse or children without distractions – no TV, music, phone, etc?
  • you had an hour of complete silence?
  • you went somewhere without your phone?

This is a huge problem for me. I wonder, is it a problem for you too?

I also wonder if information overload is robbing me of peace and happiness.

Today’s Activity:

1. Commit to taking a multi-tasking free day – a day where you will only do one thing at a time. Give it a try to see if it makes a difference in your stress level and mood.

2. Take weekends off from the news – grab a weather report online and realize the world will go on without you. You may even worry less if you’re less informed.

3. Go for a walk and leave your phone at home – just walk . . . use it as a time for prayer and praise.

4. Turn off the TV and refuse to answer the phone during dinner – make it 30 minutes of interruption free conversation.

5. Be ready to say “no” – to yourself, your family, and ___________. Expect everyone to challenge your decision. It’s okay. Tell them you’re trying this to see if it makes a difference. Try it for the next few weeks and see how you feel.

You don’t have to do them all. Start with one or two. I’m going to start with numbers 3 and 4. Which ones are you going to try?

Indeed, You are great, a worker of miracles. You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O Lord, so that I may live in Your truth. Focus my heart on fearing You. Psalm 86: 10-11

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6 comments

  1. Barbie
    Twitter:
    says:

    It’s so important that we break away for stillness and quiet time. I don’t tend to get too distracted by the news. I don’t watch to often (I just read it online when I feel I need/want to). But I too can do one too many things at once – blog, email, watch tv, eat popcorn, text. It can get so bad sometimes my brain hurts! Have a blessed week.

    • Deb
      Twitter:
      says:

      Barbie, I’m trying to get more disciplined about doing only one thing at a time. Since I’m so easily distracted multi-tasking usually means I don’t do anything as well as I would like. Trying to set aside a time of intentional quiet, too.

  2. Mitch Greer says:

    We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

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