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4 Tips to Deal With Information Overload if You Work Online

I am an offline business owner and an internet marketer.  I’ve owned my “brick & mortar” business for about 17 years, and it runs along pretty smoothly without a lot of research and discovery.  I’m grateful for that.  Now, the online business is different – it has required that I study, take online courses, attend conferences, learn, stop to put it to use, then study and learn more, and the cycle is endless for the foreseeable future.  No one loves learning and new information more than I do.  I was one of those crazy kids who loved school.  There was something simply exhilarating about new information.  But sometimes, I feel the weight of information overload, or as some call it, “information overwhelm.”  I want to tell you about the ways I have found to deal with this very real problem.

Too much information too fast can really put a damper on your productivity and even your creativity.  We have to give ourselves some breathing room, some space to just think about things.  I know if you’re in the online marketing business, you know what I mean.  I would think about all those eBooks or eCourses I purchased that were just sitting there on my hard drive.  In the meantime, new offers arrive daily, sometimes hourly in my email InBox.  The information superhighway can be a place fraught with danger if we don’t slow down and enjoy the journey.

  • Don’t sign up for more than one new class at a time, even though it’s being offered by someone you know, like and trust.  You can’t divide your thinking and your time up but so much or you’ll suffer from overload and none of the information will sink in.  So at all costs, resist the urge.  If it’s that great of an offer or a class, it will be available later.
  • When taking a class, either live or online, find at least 3 “Ah-Ha” things that you can take action on right away.  Then do it!  Take that action – put the learning to good use right away, before you forget or find an excuse to procrastinate.  Put these action steps on your calendar.  If they’re good enough for you to pay to learn, then they’re good enough to actually schedule the correlating action.  Keep a notebook for these actions that you have taken.  Call it your “Action Notebook.”
  • Work on one project at a time, or if you are researching a topic, set aside either a special day or even a whole week to explore just that alone.  For instance, if you are learning new WordPress or blogging skills, concentrate on only that.  A focused approach is much more effective than what I call a “scatter-shot” approach.
  • Take a day off!  That’s right – you heard me.  Shut yourself off from technology for a whole day at a time. Get away from your computer, your email and your cell phone.  Go outside, take walks, sit in a different room than where you work.  Get caught up on some fun reading.  Have lunch or dinner with friends.  You absolutely need this in order to function at your top performance.

Leave a comment and tell me how YOU handle the overload.  I’ll compile the results and post.