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Dealing with Information Overload

Dealing with Information Overload
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    In a world full of information we seem to be constantly toggling between managing all the new impressions we get on a daily basis and feeling totally overwhelmed by information overload. With the arrival of the Internet we were told that things would become easier – less paper clutter to worry about and more time to enjoy life.

    But this isn’t so, as we’ve all found out in recent years. Paper clutter en masse, email inboxes bursting with unanswered mails, tasks pending for the sheer pressure of having too much to do – you name it, it has all become part of our reality.

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    Modern technology is the cause of all (evil)

    Since the invention of the Internet, we have to deal with a lot more information than ever before. One reason is the need to keep backup files of everything. After all, we think, when our hard drive crashes we have nothing left. So we create masses of duplicate copy to be sure “just in case”. Also the readiness of information is mind numbing at times. We feel overwhelmed with where to look and what to do. So on we go on with the quest of finding success nirvana, only to turn in circles.

    Modern life has also brought a never ending influx of choices like private TV channel subscriptions, TV gaming, SMS, mobile phones, RSS subscriptions, a never-ending stream of offline and online publications, our favorite blogs and websites, and more.

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    Despite their intentions, these inventions have not just served to make life easier. The irony here is that they have actually made life harder — creating information overload and the added pressure of being reachable 24/7.

    Gone are the days when I was a little girl waiting for a great book to be published or channel surfing the 5 or so TV channels we had in those days. Back then we weren’t ruled by information at all. It was actually a lot harder to come by information which gave us plenty of breathing space.

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    Dealing with information overload has become a by-product of living in a digital age and the problem won’t go away fast.

    However, I have found simple ways to help me keep control on my information intake. It is the only way for me to deal with this, otherwise I would go mental.

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    Data control and how you can master it

    To take control of the influx of constant data that enters your life, you can do several things. These are all easy to implement and will make a huge difference in how you deal with the information that enters your mind.

    Much like a computer, we only have space for so much, until our own hard drive (mind) starts to act up. If it is overloaded, then our system management will shut down one by one until…

    Take these action steps to deal with information overload:

    • Email: Since most of us are using the Internet, we will need to take measures to get back in control. To start with, we need to ruthlessly eliminate all the non-relevant stuff that sits in our inbox. Those “later” things are not important enough to keep clogging up space. Also be strict with the time you devote to your email inbox. One hour a day should be more than ample for most.
    • TV: TV probably accounts for a huge deal of information overload. Despite the fact that we watch TV to relax, it is actually counter productive as we soak up a lot of information through our subconscious.
    • Mobile Phones: I know, it’s pretty cool to be the proud owner of the latest gadget mobile phone. I also love gadgets but regardless of how cool they look and how sexy they feel, I turn my mobile off at night and sometimes even during the day. The reason I bought a mobile phone in the first place was to be able to call others in case I was stranded somewhere. Plus the annoyance of getting more and more call center calls to my mobile only makes me more determined to hit that off switch.
    • Unwatched Recorded Shows: Uhh, yeah, I used to be a sucker for not missing my favorite show to the extent of recording them, only to end up with days’ worth of recording and not enough time to watch them all. Take a hint – throw them in the bin.
    • RSS Feeds: With the invention of RSS feeds we were supposed to be saving time, reading our favorite blogs. The reality however looks a lot different. Because it is so easy to hit that subscribe button, we now do ourselves another dis-service by subscribing to a gazillion blogs we don’t even like anyway. I clean out my RSS feeds at least once a month. Those I haven’t read in that time will have to go.
    • Backups: Are essential for anybody who uses a computer and stores data. To keep control of the backed up data, why not burn all the photos and videos onto a DVD? It will take up less storage than having to buy more and more external HDs to keep backing up. Also, one backup should normally be enough and for those of us who need two, maybe a written copy (passwords, login data) will be more useful.
    • Meditate: I purposely left this for last, since meditation can help us immensely with information overload. Preferably you will want to meditate once a day just before bed. Even if it is just for 5 minutes, with meditation we can stop that ever constant chatter that goes on in our head and indulge into the restful sleep we so desperately need.

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    How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain

    How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain

    How often do you think about your brain? Do you ever stop to marvel at its incredible power and supreme cleverness? Or at least check in and give it a little spring clean and a recharge it from time to time?

    If you’re like the majority, then your answer will likely be “no”.

    Astoundingly, we only use around 10% of our brains yet we seldom think to invest in a little training every now and then.

    For a long time, scientists believed that we were stuck with the brain we were born with! Luckily for us, that hypothesis has gone out the window!

    Enter neuroplasticity – a new theory that has proven one very incredible fact: Our brains can change.

    This means, if you’re not very intelligent in one area – that’s OK! You have the option to literally ‘change that area of your brain’ through some little trainings.

    Your brain is a muscle. You need to exercise it regularly.

    The exciting thing is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to increase your brain capacity. All you need to do is invest some time to regularly train your brain.

    So how to increase brain power?

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    Here are 10 simple ways to increase your brain power and improve your intelligence!

    1. Do something new

    When you experience something ‘new’, that actually ‘stimulate’ your brain!

    Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same old things – the only way to change the structure of your brain is to do something new. This creates new neural pathways, increasing your intelligence level.

    You could take a new route to work, try a new recipe for dinner, or even a new form of exercise – mix them up!

    2. Ditch the GPS

    Gone are the days of map reading! Sat Nav may have made our lives easier, it has also made our brains lazier and less efficient at the same time!

    Go back to the old school and use a map to navigate every now and then. This exercises the part of your brain responsible for understanding spatial relationships.

    3. Ban the calculator

    Remember back at school when we were taught to use our brains to do simple sums like times tables? It’s incredible how we now rely on devices like smart-phones and laptops to calculate really simple equations.

    Resist the urge to work things out using an external device and use the device you were born with – your brain!

    4. Be curious

    Instead of taking everything at face value, get into the habit of questioning everyday things/products, services that you come into contact with.

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    By being ‘curious’ and questioning everything, you force your brain to innovate and create new ideas.

    Curiosity may have killed that cat but it created super important things like electricity and computers!

    5. Think positive

    Stress and anxiety kill existing brain neurons and also stop new neurons from being created.

    Research has shown that positive thinking, especially in the future tense, speeds up the creation of cells and dramatically reduces stress and anxiety.

    Try and get a handle on negative thoughts and make an effort to replace them with positive ones.

    Not sure how to do it? Take a look at this article:

    How to Turn Off Negative Thoughts in Your Mind

    6. Exercise regularly

    It’s been proven that regular exercise helps to increase brain function and enhances neurogenesis. This means that every time you exercise, you are creating new brain cells!

    Here’re 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise, get off the couch and get moving!

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    Your brain will thank you for it.

    7. Train your memory

    How often do you hear people say “I wish I had a better memory!’ Yet no-one does anything about this!

    If you discipline yourself to memorize phone numbers and other important numbers (passport, credit card, insurance, driving license) you will start to see a marked improvement in your memory.

    8. Eat healthy

    Our diets have a HUGE impact on brain function. Our brains consume over 20% of all nutrients & oxygen that we consumed – so remember to feed your brain with the good stuff! (i.e. fresh fruit and veg & plenty of OMEGA 3 oils found in oily fish)

    Here’re more healthy foods that will boost your brain power:

    10 Healthy Foods That Make You Smarter

    9. Read a book

    Reading relieves tension and stress, which is brain-cell killers because it’s a form of escapism.

    Research has also shown that using your imagination is a great way to train your brain because you force your mind to ‘picture’ what you are imagining. Reading is a great way to trigger your imagination!

    Reading every day helps your thinking and imagination, learn more about it here:

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    10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

    10. Get enough sleep

    Sleep is like a mini detox for the brain. This is when your body regenerates cells and removes all the toxins that have built up during the day.

    Get to bed between the hours of 9pm and midnight to benefit from the most effective hours of sleep!

    If you have difficulty sleeping, you should read this guide:

    The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    An intelligent brain comes from hard work

    If you do take my suggestion and do these things consistently, you’ll soon realize your brain is sharper and you can remember more stuff.

    You don’t need to do everything all at once, pick one to two and start making them your daily habit.

    Intelligence comes from hard work. Make effort to train your brain and you’ll become smarter.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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