When information is simply too much, you have to know how to filter.
So I started to think about how information overload has affected many people I know, and also some of the conversations to overcome the relentless stress it gives all of us.
There was a time when all that we needed to know was within the miles we walked and our immediate community. That was our whole world!
Then we moved into the printed age. That was when we started to have to research what we needed to know. The world of books and printed news caused us to live in a world where we could not possibly know everything. Our world suddenly became something that was bigger then the community we lived in. There was another world out there!
Now in the age of Social Media when people learn of world events at the speed of internet, such as the assassination of Osama bin Laden at baseball matches from their cell phones, we know that the only way we can be smarter is to use our network of relationships to help us determine things we have not even asked questions about.
So how do we manage all this?
- Understand that the information you need can be put into two categories
- Need to know – makes a lasting difference to your life.
- Nice to know – If you never knew it, and then found out, it would have made no difference anyway.
- Choose what information helps you achieve better performance or quality of life.
- Decide what you will really do with the knowledge the information has given you.
- Does it help you?
- Is it of value to someone else – if so give it away?
- What is the time value of the information- we all are tempted to keep books and articles for years only to find the new way has long outdated what we read yesterday!
- Rid yourself of the rest! It will only sit on your desk and distract you. We can all relate to this and piles of paper only makes you feel like you have so much to do, when in fact it is taking away from what you rely must do, and from your real life.
You know it makes sense, but what are your thoughts?