Infinite Information fatigue
We operate the most complex machines around, our brain.
How do you deal with the fact that there is an infinite amount of information available to us with a few mouse clicks and we only have a finite amount of time.
Simply being a sponge whilst drawing in information these days will not work. The Internet alone is so vast, grows so quickly that it cannot be counted.
And yet most times when plugged into it we have little idea of how to get what we want.
Google, well yes. But you still have to sift the search results.
We are drowning whilst dying of first.
We find it difficult to get the quality of information we need.
Our information acquisition needs to be planned, organised.
It’s not just a case of going on the Internet and grabbing the information, that would be like trying to take a sip from a fire hose.
The dread of feeling we get whilst thinking something better than the post we are reading is only a click away.
Know what your goal is, write it down. Quantify your goal so that when it is reached it can be known
Be ruthless with mediocre information.
If the website you are using is consistently pulling up less than worthy information cut and run. The fact that so much information is out there means you can set the bar high. but first you must learn to spot the dross.
Learn to trust excellent sources.
I have regular websites that I go to when I want a specific item. These sites contain original, well sourced information available through a coherent and intuitive navigation system. For example, if I want information on how to blog I head over to www.problogger.net I have used the sit enough to trust the author and know that if I can’t get the info, there will be a link to a place that I can.
Treat New websites suspiciously.
We all want to think in creative and new ways. If we stick to the same old sites we are not exposed to fresh, new points of view. But if at an unknown website think about what the motivation of the author is, what credentials are displayed.
You have probably used the Internet enough to know what is a waste of time and what is worth the time. Remember, it’s your time you’re giving away here, and you will never, ever get it back.
Be absolutely ruthless with your time, focus in on your goal and rip through the bad stuff like a greased Masserati on ice.
Take frequent breaks.
If you have increased the intensity of your concentration that you search with, which is what I am suggesting. You will need frequent breaks, both for your eyes and to think about what you have just done.
Stopping to consider what you have aleady achieved is not something we think to do. I accidentally came across the technique and found it quite remarkable. Step away from the computer and think about the websites you have viewed and the information you were able to glean. I find that I have missed something and my sub conscious has picked it up for me. by running the data back through my mind I am able to pick up extras that I missed.
Also, the information you have gathered may change what you are searching for. You need to be open to the fact that what you really were searching for was not what you initially searched for.
Use this method
Be aware of what you snack
For a long time I saw surfing the Internet as an opportunity to snack. Fruit, nuts and bottled water. It’s difficult, but it can be done. When you are not suffering sugar ups and downs things tend to progress at a steady and sure pace.
Do one thing at a time.
Multitasking means you do things less well, you may do more of it, but it wont be as good as if you were only doing one thing. This is probably my biggest weakness, even know whilst writing this I have a social networking game going and 5 windows open surfin a different topic.
This is insane and yet I find it virtually impossible to concentrate on one thing. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. I know I am supposed to be teaching you something but I bet if there is more than one person reading you can probably teach me a thing or two.
Find a snug nook
Having a place where you will not be disturbed is priceless. I love settling down and pursuing a task. I hate writing and yet I have chosen it as a career, more it’s chosen me. So if I am in a place where I can be distracted I will be. If I am protected from distractions then I can forge ahead.
But this is really hard when working online, how can you not be distracted by the fact the sum of all human knowledge is a few mouse clicks away. And the dregs are online too.
Go Old school.
Get out the paper and pen or pencil and commit as much work to this method. For some reason the fact that you have more time between the brain thinking of an idea and it hitting the paper means the idea is better. Possibly there is more time for the idea to be sifted, edited or thrown away. As hard as it may seem this is a great way to slow down your thinking and focus into a laser beam attention.
This subject is open ended and so are the solutions. There is no one size fits all, you have to find your own way, discover what works for you and developers.