I’ve been sitting at my desk for about an hour now doing what I normally do first thing every day, check my web stats, email, Facebook notifications, etc., and it just dawned on me I’ve checked out over 15 different sites and fan pages in that little span of time. I ran across some really great information to help me with my business, but, man, I’m on information overload.
So, as soon as I realized I was doing this, I immediately ceased all the surfing, page liking, and signing up for free e-courses. I got myself back on course, and came over to my website to write my daily post. You see, I realized if I didn’t stop all my web surfing, I’d find it harder and harder as time passed to sit down and write my post. Why does this matter?
It concerns my marketing plan. I have chosen to develop my business primarily with blog posting and article marketing. I made the commitment to do it every day, so I would get the kind of results that other marketers I know have gotten. Writing doesn’t always come that easily to me. (Some days it takes me two hours to write 500 words.) So by designating it my number one priority every day, I’m sure to get it done. Then I can go back to exploring the fun stuff, like new marketing techniques.
How to Manage Information Overload
If you also fall prey to this, here are some tips to help you exercise your self control.
1. Most importantly, you must have a day-to-day schedule. When you set guidelines for what you’re doing on a daily basis, it’s easier to filter out the extraneous stuff that causes overload.
2. In addition to your routine you should have a game plan or objective for what you’re trying to accomplish. Like I wrote above, my marketing plan is centered at the moment on blogging and article marketing. I know I need to focus my attention on only the information that will help me improve in those two areas. I avoid, or at least file for later, everything else.
3. The feeling of information overload often comes from realizing that we haven’t completed a single item on our “to do” list. I think it’s better to have only a few must-dos a day. Again, limiting what you want to get done in one day eases the pressure you put on yourself. Besides, it’s easier to chalk up a “win” for the day.
4. Give yourself a set period of time for email, web surfing, Facebooking, etc. When your time runs out, quit.
5. Make a routine of bookmarking websites you want to come back to later when time allows. If you can sort your bookmarks, that’s even better. Then all your information will be divided into subjects.
6. Jump up and take a break. When you’re really in over your head, the best thing you can do is walk away for a minute or two. Information overload can really wear you down mentally making it hard to concentrate on anything. Completely depart from the situation by a physical activity such as taking a stroll or playing with your dog. Eating a light, healthy snack can also help your head stop spinning.
Remember, the best defense against information overload is to stay laser focused on your goal. When you have one objective clearly planted in your mind, it will become easier to block out all the extra information. I have found, the absolute best way to increase your ability to stay laser focused is by meditating. Follow this link to get a free introductory audio CD of one of the most popular meditation systems available.