4 Ways to Navigate Information Overload

My attention flittered from my children asking me questions to my wife sharing her day to my phone sending me buzzing notifications of incoming information. I felt overwhelmed and unable to cope.

This is a common circumstance that many of us experience everyday. We all have things that are vying for our attention. How do we navigate the vast sea of information, learn what we need to, invest in the people we want and grow? 

I have narrowed it down to just four things. These four things are a way to find euphoric information management paradise, so I suggest you take notes (wink). Of course these are just my musings, but they do come from reading a lot about aligning actions and beliefs.

  1. Identify where you are. If you can acurately describe your current circumstance and not fool yourself into thinking that you are better or more knowledgeable than you really are, that is a fantastic start. It is painful to be honest with ourselves and not get into self-pity and shame. It’s ok to feel guilty, inadequate, underdeveloped, and convicted. Those realizations are not condemning, they are not final. You have a path forward. You have weaknesses. You have obstacles. You are not who you want to be, but you can become who you want to be. You can only become something more if you start with where you are.
  2. Choose what you want. If you don’t know what you want out of life, you are bound to be sucked into the trap of seeing every piece of information as the piece that is missing in you.  It’s not though. The only thing about you that is missing is focus. You know what you want. Your inner voices are just discouraging you, giving you the impression you can’t know. You don’t wait to find your passion. You go after what you want. You go after your priorities. A simple way to identify your priorities?
    1. Watch this clip from Fight Club
    2. If you have gotten off-track, it’s okay. You are one decision away from getting back on track. You probably already really know what you want, you just need to silence the inner doubt keeping you from moving on it.
  3. List your options. You have many ways to get what you want in life. Which option offers the most promise to help you get there? When you list all the options -even the ones that are outrageous and crazy- you will see more clearly that what is standing in your way is not really outside your control. There may be options that you haven’t considered. You may want to have conversations about your options with people that are wise and don’t have a stake in the outcome because they will often have ideas you may not have considered.
  4. Seek only info that has utility. Notice I used the word seek. You are not a passive recipient and you do not need to flit from one piece of information to the next. You are a creator and what you create from your life will be determined by your level of effort, the effectiveness of your strategies and the talent with which you’ve been endowed. So be merciless, rude and shun information that does not serve your goals.

We live in a day of abundance and we should leverage that to our advantage. With all the information readily available,  we must also avoid feeding at the trough of information that gets our attention, but doesn’t help us get to where we want to go.
If you want more strategies be sure to follow me on social media and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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