Dealing with information overload in an always connected world
These days most online apps and site are designed to hook you in. Notifications and alerts abound, and combine that with emails and things like Twitter and Facebook, it can seem like and endless Sisyphean task to deal with it all.
But you don't have to. You don't have to read it all. It will still all be there when you next look at it, and to be honest, unless it's something that you really need to keep up on, is mainly noise.
The following are some tips I find really help me deal with keeping up (or not keeping up!)
- If you feel you need to keep up with things like blogs/RSS feeds, then find a few good curated newsletters in areas you are interested in, and stop reading your feeds. You'll get a curated weekly list of things that you can scan quickly, read there and then or delete in a quarter of the time you would take to filter through a RSS feed reader.
- Turn off all notifications on your phone (other than phone calls) - you should really be in control of when you read things, not at the beck and call of pop-up notifications.
- unsubscribe from all things like newsletters - I found that over the years I had subscribed to pretty much everywhere that I'd bought something from online, and my inbox was filling up.
- You can still do things like check facebook and instagram - just do it on your own schedule for a set period of time, say once a day (or every other day).
- Get a proper alarm clock instead of using your phone. I find that if I have my phone by my bed, my 'time-to-internet' in the mornings can be measured in a matter of seconds, and before you know it you are down a rabbit hole of checking links from twitter.
- If you work in front of a screen, get out for a walk at lunch instead of eating at your keyboard - you'll have a more productive afternoon with a break.
TL:DR I love the internet, and am not proposing a puritan like purge of all the things, just be mindful of what you consume and when in a more balanced way, and you will feel less stressed by it all.
As part of National Blog Post Month (#NaBloPoMo) the spin off from the novel writing month that writers often partake in November, I thought I would try and write a few more quick and short posts for November - lets see how far I can go with this.
cover image credit: Austin Distel - https://unsplash.com/photos/tLZhFRLj6nY