If you’re a child of the ‘80s or even ’90s, you’d remember how simple, yet painful, it was to gather information. A trek to the local library to conduct some research is almost unheard of in this information age. Instead of burning hours checking countless volumes of ancient books, we now exhaust those hours reviewing millions of search engine hits for a single topic. The side effect of all this information? Information overload or analysis paralysis.
But what is information overload anyway? It stems from the act of gathering so much information that you delay any action. A common example might be a decision to purchase an appliance for your home. You read countless reviews with varying perspectives and then feel totally incapable to make a decision and purchase the item – that is, until you’ve conducted some further research! Some of the most common reasons for information overload include huge volumes of information, extensive means of accessing information (social media, phones, tablets, television, radio, internet, etc), and the advent of sharing tools.
Information overload can create anxiety, doubt, mental fatigue, and double-mindedness or impulsiveness. It becomes a real issue when it begins to affect your physical and mental well-being. Recognize it for what it is and take decided steps to avoid it. One key solution is to change the way you manage information. Manage information with a Personal Knowledge Management System like Relanote experience an amazing change in your personal and professional life. Here’s how.
Use Relanote as a Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) system to store and retrieve important information that you don’t need right now. Create new and separate notes and connect them using the app’s wiki-style bidirectional links. This method of creating several short and concise notes connected together instead of one long note improves your chances of reviewing what you saved. Your PKM may be as complex as notes for an upcoming project or as simple as a map of the names and duties of people in an organization. It removes the need to remember things that you don’t need – to declutter your brain. Consistent review of the saved notes makes for easier internalizing of the information.
Picture this scenario: You’re at a seminar where your employer invested thousands to train employees. Instead of giving speakers your full attention, you allow emails, social media notifications, and other attendees to cause distractions. We live in a distracted world that takes our focus away from the information we could gather firsthand. Instead of gathering the main points covered in the seminar, you might decide to review it again and again because of constant distractions. Another common example is ignoring the instructions given by a salesperson and going home and looking up the information yourself. This duplication is not only time-consuming but valueless if you allow the distractions to affect you the second or third time around. Use Relanote to take brief and concise notes of the main points. Then you can expand upon those points when you review for clarity. Beginning from the main points gathered is much more productive than starting from scratch.
The advent of sharing tools came with the “Sharing is Caring” slogan. Sharing is not caring if you’re cluttering your friends’ and associates’ phones and social media streams with information they don’t need. Be thoughtful towards them as you would have them be towards you. What you might consider worthwhile information may not be the same to them. In your dealings with coworkers, share only what is needed to complete an assignment, and share only with the members of the team that are directly involved. You do not need to CC your entire department or organization if it does not concern them all. Eliminate jargons and abbreviations that are not specific to your line of duty, so others won’t have to expend valuable time to look them up. If you establish good organizing guidelines to create notes in Relanote, you can easily share concise notes with members of your team from within the app itself, thereby saving yourself and others from unnecessary information overload.
Just because you can invest countless hours on information gathering doesn’t mean you should. Economize your time. Set parameters. Whether it’s one hour a day for four days or four hours in one day, establish a time limit and stick to it. Chances are that any additional information you gather outside of that parameter is only going to cause further confusion. Determine the best places to commence your search and do not get distracted or save unrelated information. You can copy information (text, images, etc) from the web and save it as notes in Relanote. A better use of your time would be to read and summarize the information in short snippets. Use categories and tags to organize the information and for easy retrieval.
Connecting related notes reduces the likelihood of information overload and the accompanying anxiety. Why wade through volumes of unrelated notes in your quest for knowledge or inspiration when you can use the bidirectional links in Relanote to connect your notes and build a web of knowledge with thoughts and ideas related to one another. The graph view presents a virtual map of your notes and connections in a visual and intuitive way. It adds some clarity to your personal knowledge base and sets creativity and purpose in motion.
There’s no foolproof way to avoid the daily onslaught of information – not without a total disconnect. You can reduce its impact on your life by reclaiming your power of choice. Determine what’s useful and relevant and filter out the rest. For example, you can turn off notifications for distracting apps on your phone, choose what information shows up on your social media timelines, and refine your searches to eliminate unrelated results. As it concerns would never use. Relanote’s Pro Plan includes unlimited notes and 1GB of storage for your notes. Use your notes wisely. Collecting notes for the sake of collecting is pointless and unproductive. Be purposely in your information gathering and store only those things that will build up your mental well-being.