Four Tips for Dealing with the Information Overload of Our Time
Technology and devices consume a large portion of our lives, often causing information overload – mental exhaustion brought on by having too much information or knowledge thrown at you at once.
Because the human brain does not have an endless capacity for processing information at once, having quick access to a large amount of information can cause cognitive overload. The constant struggle of the brain to digest information can damage our mood, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. (1)
Experts say that information overload can cause stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other problems with mental health. (2)
Four Ways to Deal with the Information Overload
It’s just another day at work. You’re sitting at your desk, finishing a big project, with multiple tabs and folders open on your desktop. But your email inbox is filling up by the minute, so you take a break to go through it. Shortly after, you’re calling home to check if your children are ready for school and scrolling through your social media feed.
You are more prone to develop information overload and burnout if you spend a lot of time multitasking. (3) So, here are four tips to help you deal with information overload and protect your well-being.
1. Set Technology Boundaries
Setting boundaries for how much you use technology can help you feel less stressed. Also, use social media purposefully to learn new things and connect with genuine friends. Be mindful of the content you share and limit your social media use while working or resting. Turn off your smartphone’s notifications and resist the temptation to check your screen every few minutes.
2. Clear Out Your Digital Clutter
The stuff that builds up on our devices is what we call “digital clutter.” It can cause a lot of distractions, lead to information overload, and affect our mental health.
- Declutter your phone.
- Delete any apps you don’t use and turn off most notifications.
- Manage your email.
- Delete emails from your inbox and reduce the number of your accounts.
- Keep your files and folders organized, remove the files you no longer need, and clean up your desktop once a week.
3. Spend Time Outside
Make it a habit to spend time outside and stay as connected to nature as possible. For example, think about walking in a nearby park during lunch instead of going to a nearby coffee shop.
Also, a short mindfulness exercise outside might help you relax and concentrate on the present. You may calm down and relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness by taking regular pauses to connect with nature and practice mindfulness. Spend your weekends outside, either playing sports or just hanging out.
4. Avoid Using Devices Before Going to Bed
Good sleep habits promote a positive mood, memory, problem-solving skills, and overall mental and physical health.
Before bedtime, spending time in front of an illuminated screen, whether it’s your smartphone, television, or laptop, can affect your ability to fall asleep. (4) So, stick to the books or find another relaxing routine before bed. If you have children, spend your evenings playing board games or reading together.
This can be a great way to cope with information overload, improve your sleep habits, and set a good example for your kids.
We live in a digital age where information is just a click away. Unfortunately, such accessibility can easily create information overload, leaving us stressed, anxious, and burned out.
Learning to set boundaries and make self-care a daily habit can help you deal with the information overload of our time.
Take care and keep healthy and positive,