Information overload. For many, the abundance of information available today via the internet is overwhelming. We use the internet for, well, everything. But the number of hours that get sucked out of our lives because of the sheer amount of rabbit holes out there today is mind-blowing.
A 2017 University of Southern California report, Surveying The Digital Future (full publication can be read here) looked at the impact of digital technologies on internet users (and non-users) in the United States over a 15 year period. As part of that report, we are informed that the average (US) American spends 24 hours a week online.
That’s an entire day! Every week! Staring at our screens! Wow!
We spend a lot of that time “passing the time,” while some of that time is used productively. But the challenge in spending that much time online is that it is really easy to get lost because of the overwhelming abundance of information crossing our paths every time we log on.
That overwhelm not only steals time from our lives, but can also induce anxiety and stress.
If you have ever felt like there’s just “too much out there,” read on. This quick analogy may change your perspective in an instant, take the fear out of information overwhelm, and help you find hours of extra time every week.
Have you ever walked into a library and been so overwhelmed by the amount of information and resources surrounding you that you froze, turned around, and walked out?
Think about this for a moment.
Typing words into Google and opening an old card-catalog are exactly the same things. (Side note, if you are under 40 years of age, Google “library card catalog” for more clarity.) With the card-catalog, you pass thousands of other cards (all with information on them) while searching for the one card you actually want.
AHA (as we say in personal development)!
If you know what it is you are searching for (i.e. you have clarity before you go looking for it), you can easily find it without getting distracted by the excessive information you are passing along the way.
The next time you find that you are“overwhelmed with information,” simply ask yourself this question: “what am I looking for?” Then, go find it.
This one habit shift will save you countless hours of wandering aimlessly through “the stacks” and create an in-control type of calm that you may never have experienced online before.
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