We live in a 24/7 world in which we can access just about any type of information we want in a matter of nanoseconds. While this can be extremely beneficial in many ways, it can also be more than a bit overwhelming, especially when the information comes in faster than we can process it. This nonstop flow can easily lead to information overload.
What do you do when you want to better manage your weight or achieve a healthier body? It is highly likely that you would go on a food diet. Well, if you want to better manage your consumption and processing of information to improve your mental well-being, you might consider going on an information overload diet.
Here are three components of an effective information overload diet.
1. Manage Your Intake
An effective strategy for losing weight is to establish a regular meal schedule and limit grazing and snacking between meals. Here are a few ways this concept can be applied to managing the intake of information:
- Establish set times during the day to engage in email, social media and internet searches.
- Set limits on the amount of time you spend on these activities.
- Carve out time to disconnect to give yourself time to process the information that is currently on your plate (or in your mind).
2. Make Healthy Choices
Another effective way to lose weight is to limit the intake of sweets and to refrain from filling up on junk food. Here’s how this idea can apply to managing information:
- Don’t overindulge on “fluff,” or information with little redeeming value, especially when you begin to experience the symptoms of information overload.
- Limit your choices. When seeking information to make a decision, too many choices can lead to mental paralysis. Set a time limit to gather information and then narrow your choices before making a decision.
Physical exercise offers a way to burn calories and purge the body of excess fat. When managing information overload, mental exercise can help purge your brain, render you more clear-headed, and enhance your memory. Here are some mental exercise ideas:
- Make lists. This exercise can help you keep track of, organize, and prioritize your tasks and responsibilities. Depending on your personal organizational style, you can use a mobile device, app, or pen and paper to do this.
- Journal. This activity offers a great way for you to offload and process the information swirling around in your head. Journaling can be as simple as jotting down a few bullet points or more elaborate, such as composing detailed sentences or paragraphs. It doesn’t matter if it is typed or written by hand. It can be done several times a day or once or twice a week. The point is not the process, but the practice of mental purging and processing. Do whatever works for you.
Similar to a food diet, an information overload diet requires commitment and discipline. But the rewards are certainly worth it.