Yes, I’ll grant we live in a time of information abundance, but at what point is having too much of a good thing, not a good thing? Just like anything, excess can be curbed by moderation. However, how do we go about moderating the level of information we have to deal with on a daily basis? This conundrum applies to both our professional and personal lives.
Have you felt the increased level of information bombardment in the last five years? If you have any type of communication device, you absolutely have. I didn’t coin the term infobesity, but when I heard the term recently, it encapsulated both a challenge and emotional response simultaneously.
Since my profession involves communication, having access to an immense amount of information for me is a positive scenario, but I don’t need access to it 24 hours a day. Sure, we can all benefit from having access to a plethora of information about anything we are interested in learning more about, but how do we know when we have reached a saturation level?
For me, I know I have reached my information saturation level when I start to turn off all of my electronic gadgets. I seem to literally get to a place when I just can’t take any additional information. Since I’m a curious person by nature, when I begin not to be interested in learning more about something, I know I have reached my maximum level of taking in new information.
So, how can you determine or know when it’s time and you or perhaps your team have reached your infobesity level? Here are some ways to help you to determine this, followed by suggestions on how to put yourself on an infobesity diet.
- You begin to lose focus on the information you are reading or viewing.
- The information does not have the initial excitement and appeal it normally would have.
- Similar to losing focus, you become easily distracted and are not able to concentrate on taking in the information.
- If you are attempting to study and learn from the content, if you were to take a short break, would you be able to recall what you were learning? If not, you have reached or exceeded your information saturation point.
- If you are presenting information to a group, you begin to notice that the majority of the people in the audience are not looking at you, and they are not taking notes on what you are saying.
- You are normally energized by taking in information, but you suddenly feel like you are becoming tired, and perhaps want to take a nap. This is your brain subtly telling you to take a break.
Suggestions on how to put yourself on an infobesity diet.
- Do something else which will not require reading, listening to or watching information for at least 15-30 minutes. In other words, get up and do something which requires you to move your body around.
- Give someone a call, or talk to someone in person.
- Depending on the time of day, and if possible, turn off your gadgets for as long as you can. You won’t miss them, and they will not be distracting or tempting you to pay attention to them.
- Experiment with limiting the type of information you take in on a daily basis.
- Strive to have a variety of information delivery options (e.g., internet, radio, tv, live trainings, etc.).
Now that you know infobesity is a concept, and how to deal with it, you will be on your way to having a healthier and more balanced approach to dealing with information overload. Enjoy the forthcoming positive results from your infobesity diet.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.
Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.
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