The information overload is a new problem of a modern society plugged into endless news feeds, momentary tweets, viral videos, messages, and blogs 24/7. Not to mention a bunch of data we deal with every day in our jobs. The bulk information accessed this easily can become a serious stress factor in your life and even drive you crazy by imposing a fear of missing out (FoMO it is). If the endless flow of information make you feel sick and helpless, it’s high time to plan your escape from the internet or at least streamline data that comes to you in order to stay focused.
Let go of the notion that all information is valuable
We live in digital times when the amount of information produced every minute simply confuses and can even make you panic thinking that you will miss out on something important if you don’t read it now. This is not true. It’s not true that all portions of information are equally and simultaneously useful for your success. If you’re in doubt, skip it. If you really need it, life will remind you about it, and you’ll get back to it later on.
Do your MIT first
MIT means “the most important task.” Ask yourself, “What is the core task that is fundamental for my prosperity at this stage? Let’s say it’s to create my own sports website. It’s not a matter of two hours or even two days. So the point is to start your day with working on this important task and then if you have some time and energy left, move on to other less important things in your to-do list. Most of the time, we live unconsciously. We randomly take on the tasks we feel like doing (and allow to be distracted by superfluous notifications blowing up our smartphones) instead of focusing on things that are integral to our success. If you only muffle those hundreds of voices claiming your attention for a few hours a day when you are concentrated on your MIT, at the end of the day you’ll be proud of yourself and energized for new victories.
Set a fixed time for checking emails or social media accounts
By checking your e-mails and media at certain times of the day and defining a rough time limit for this activity, you’ll avoid becoming anxious, addicted to your smartphone, and reactive. You need to learn to be proactive – create and control your own life rather than react to someone else’s. Just know that you can always get back to your inbox at the end of the day if there’s a backlog.
Set one e-mail account for work and one for media and subscriptions
If you don’t want your crucial work-related information to get buried under piles of rubbish emails from social media, apps, and websites you are subscribed for, you need to separate these two flows by using filters or setting a separate e-mail account for less important things.
Do you know you can skip scanning tons of unnecessary information in your news feed by simply organizing your social media using filters? Hide (unsubscribe from) those you don’t want to read at all. Prioritize those you want to see at the top of your feed every time.
Outsource research and other less important information management
If your work or business involves bulk data collection, it is wise to delegate this sort of task to your junior staff or hire a freelancer who can handle it without your supervision. By doing this, you can focus on more important things like development, making decisions, and thinking conceptually.
Secure your peak productivity time for the most important
There is no golden standard of productivity time like waking up for work before dawn or whatever influencers are trying to force us. Look at this table featuring time-schedules of highly successful people, and you’ll see there is no trend at all. Everything is individual, and only you know when you feel the most motivated, focused, and energized during the day. Establish this time as your sacral working hours and make sure others know you are unavailable at this time.
Disconnect from the internet when you need to focus on work
Notifications from social media and your inbox can steal your attention and dissolve motivation. Most of the time, there’s nothing crucial or life-changing in them, so turning off your data connection or even your smartphone if you suspect there can be incoming calls won’t harm your social life. The world won’t change dramatically for a couple of hours you’ll concentrate on getting the job done.