We live in a time of information overload, with technology, we are able to access so much information, that it can leave us feeling overwhelmed, rather than informed and better equipped, we don’t know where to start. We are eager to learn and know more, but we become information gluttons, eating till we are overfull and then are left not feeling so great, rather than energized.
Nadia Finer put out a lovely podcast on the subject, saying we often just procrastinating, and deep down we know what we need to do, but we just keep searching for answers, and adding to our to-do lists rather than just getting on with the things we need to be doing.
But.. I do think sometimes we really do have a need to research, learn and grab some hot tips to improve our businesses. But we need to be aware of limits, when we have had our fill, and now it is time to implement and move on, rather than getting stuck in an endless information loop (which reminds me of this video below)
MY STORY AND TACTICS
Back when I was working full time in my business, my information weak points, were google reader and twitter. I think there is an addictive nature to information, where we just want another update, it somehow makes us feel connected. But technology itself got me out of these two black holes of info. Google decided to get rid of google reader, and no other rss feed reader felt right to me, plus I was so behind and over subscribed that I just walked away and let it go. As for twitter, I had been using echofon as it was super easier to tweet and see tweets without having to open a new page, but they got rid of it, and no other app behaved the way I wanted, so I slowly drifted and gave up on twitter.
Then I had babies, and life got way too busy to worry about getting sucked into an information void, I could barely watch a full tv program, other than Play School.
But last year, my business hit it’s lowest, and so did my bank account, thanks to the shake up of having both a baby and toddler to care for 24/7. So as the end of the year approached, I started thinking about how to get my business groove back, and do things better.
I was on facebook one day, and an ad popped up for the Female Entrepreneurial Association, it was a free challenge. She pitched it, saying something along the lines of ‘feel like you haven’t got much done this year or reached your goals, do more in these last few weeks than all year and make things happen’ obviously it was worded better than that, but that was the general idea, and it got me hooked in and I signed up. It included emails, a webinar and a facebook group, and it inspired me to get moving again.
But Facebook is cheeky, once you react to an AD it thinks ‘ooh here’s a sucker, she clicked that ad, lets give her more!’ and before I knew it every business advice ad you can think of was appearing on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. And yes, I signed up for a few more, including the Teachable Summit, which was full of some great info, and I did learn a lot, but then it started to feel overwhelming. So I took control.
I got a notebook, and filled it with all the information I had gathered from all these free trainings. I learned things I had no idea about (maybe I was a little out of the internet marketing loop while having babies), and so it was worth it. But now it was time to settle, rather than continuing to consume. I signed up for ONE paid course (Nadia Finer’s The Profit Pack course. I chose to take Nadia’s course as it was a good price point, and to me she felt very genuine and caring not all slick and sales personish) , not the many that were pitched to me, I wrote down everything I learned and collated it in one notebook, so I wouldn’t feel like I needed to act on everything all at once, but had a nice reference to refer to when I was at a stage that I needed t o implement that knowledge. Then I installed a facebook feed blocker, so facebook could no longer try and tempt me. And I concentrated and began the process and implementing things as necessary, and refused to sign up for anymore free webinars or training, until I feel I really need to learn more about a certain topic.
So in summary..
TIPS TO MANAGE INFORMATION OVERLOAD
- Know what you NEED to learn vs. the shiny objects sucking you in to learn things you probably don’t need or will only overwhelm you.
- If you go on an information rampage, write it all down in one easy to refer back to place that is easy to read later, so you don’t feel pressured to implement it all at once, but can go back to it when you are at a stage you need it.
- Know when it’s time to stop. When you feel that overwhelm, you are full, so put a stop to it, and go back to the info you already learned and work on implementing that.
- Don’t do everything. If you hear about the wonders of pinterest, but you just don’t feel it’s right for your business, let it go. Only you know what will work best for you, there is no one size fits all. The key to doing well is FOCUS, so FOCUS on what you think is best for what you are doing, rather than looking at what everyone else is doing.
- Don’t overspend on more than you can manage. You won’t get the most out of courses if you can’t dedicate yourself to it and focus on it. Stick to ONE at a time, or at least one big one and maybe 1-2 short small ones. Don’t over do it, and get the most out of what you buy.
- And most importantly, give your mind time and space to process everything. Go outside, take a walk, or go sit somewhere peaceful, get away from gadgets and just let your mind process it all.