Are You Drowning In Information Clutter?
So many of the clients that I’ve worked with have been, in some sense, prone to information clutter.
Having an earnest (and in some regards admirable) desire to be informed, to study, and to expand their minds, they and people like them amass reading materials at an uncommonly rapid rate.
They’re subscribed to numerous magazines and newspapers. They collect things like school newsletters and office memos and scientific journals. They hold onto negligible papers, bookmark slews of articles online, and on and on.
They want to know everything, or as much as they possibly can about whatever is of interest to them. They become anxious at the thought of missing out on pertinent information contained in mailings, both real and virtual.
They’re constantly accumulating so many informational sources, however, that they’re left entirely unable to keep up with them.
Email inboxes clog to the point of overwhelming. Piles form on any and all surfaces to the point of disaster.
Meanwhile, the new issues arrive and the next email pings and is always pinging.
What began as a heartfelt desire for information becomes an unhealthy cycle of feeling as if one is behind and can’t keep up. People drown themselves this way every day.
Except there is no such thing as being behind on a situation of your making. There is no “being behind” in a world where there is infinite knowledge spewing forth from every corner of the universe and from every day since the beginning of time ’til always in one continuous cycle.
There is no real keeping up, either. Sure, there is the following of latest news and major headlines, but at some point we all have to acquiesce to the fact that none of us can possibly absorb all the information we wish we could. Or we can’t do it all at once, right now.
Living in an information age as we are we can relax, knowing that while we may have immediate access to every morsel of information now, we can’t digest it all at once. But, we can be guaranteed to locate again or for the first time nearly about bit of information we wish in the future.
– Limit your magazine and newspaper subscriptions. If you’re overwhelmed by your current amount, reduce it by half, whatever it may be. Get just one, perhaps. One would be good.
– Give yourself until the next issue arrives to read the current issue. Then move on to the latest, whether you’ve read the previous one or not.
– Define your own version of completed consumption. You aren’t obligated to read each and every article included just because you paid for the publication. Read the items that interest you most at your discretion. If it’s consistently only 1 page out of a whole hundred…maybe it’s not the publication for you.Image credits: Monica Wang via Style Me Pretty, unknown
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