Feeling stressed, unfocused, irritable, and overwhelmed by life? 🔥 😞
Information Overload could be the cause.
Performance is equally impacted by the lack of information as excess information.
Information overload occurs when the quantity of information is greater than the individual can process in the time available. Once capacity is surpassed, additional information becomes noise, which results in a decrease in information processing, a reduction in decision quality, and interference with the person’s ability to learn and engage in creative problem-solving.
As are result people seek problem-solution bundles that perfectly solve their problem and avoid exercising their own creativity.
"In order to focus, information overload must be addressed...If we do not, we become the servants rather than the masters of technology and information." (Ruff, 2002, p. 6).
Action: Curate the push, pull by default.
Above all else, the number one predictor of information overload is the lack of an information retrieval strategy.
Push notifications are by far the worst option as far as information retrieval strategies are concerned. It’s tempting to offload the cognitive responsibility of staying up-to-date with an application. However, reading even a single sentence triggers the effects of context switching.
Limit the number of push notifications that have instant access to you. Start with phone calls and text messages, but ideally cut off text messages as well. Send the other push notifications to a place you check in to, like email.
Schedule check-ins and pull for all other forms of information.
I know Cal Newport is done with email, but the rest of us can use it as a stepping stone towards a more asynchronous way of life in the digital age.
Until next time,
Favorite-thing-of-the-week 🥰: Former co-host of what was The Knowledge Worker podcast and friend Chase Wilson has started a newsletter, here on substack!
Check it out.👇