How To Beat Information Overload

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The average person in 2013 receives more information in one day than the average person received in a lifetime centuries ago.

Is it no wonder that we may often feel the weight of information overload?

Social Media makes it all the more exciting to quench the thirst for information and entertainment at a pace that can easily make all information useless.

Our brains can only contain so much.

For years I would devour dozens of my favorite blogs everyday. I went through a photography blog phase spending hours daily absorbing the latest news, tips, and information. Then it was business blogs…then self improvement blogs…

I did learn from some of it. But by and large, in spite of the hunger I had to learn, much of the information went in one ear and out the other.

I’d have moments of complete inspiration with a thought that would speed through my brain saying, “I love that! I need to do that in my business!” And simply because I THOUGHT TOO QUICKLY ABOUT IT, it was as if I had already done the work and I’d move on without ever applying anything.

The challenge comes between ABSORBING INFO vs. APPLYING INFO.

Both are important. So how do we move from 100% absorbing to more of a 50/50 balance between the two?

Todd Henry recently talked about establishing a practice of applying the information that we absorb. Some brilliant tips. I’m already a journaling loyalist, but continuing this practice in regards to the information that I’m learning has been revolutionary for me in seeing application begin to take place in my life with the things that I read and discover.

We live in one of the most amazing times in the history of the world! With information to nearly everything we need to know about living happy only a click away…you’d think we’d be better at living. The irony 🙂

The three things that help me APPLY what I learn:

1. Limit what I take in.

A few years ago I realized that I was scared of missing anything important so I was grasping to know ALL the information that came my way.

Today, I believe that if something is important for me to know about it will find its way to me serendipitously. I now live with only a handful of my favorite newsletters and blogs.  Less really is more. All the more reason to make sure that what I take in really is THE BEST QUALITY.

2. I journal. I choose 1-2 items to read (or watch) each day with the intent to apply it. I sit there with a notebook and write down impressions that come to me of how I can apply the information to my life.

3. I share. To teach something, it stays with you longer. Sharing what you learn is a level of teaching. If I am excited about something that I read I try to share it with my husband, email it to a friend, write a blog article, or post a snippet of my thought on a Facebook group. The best part of sharing is that it invites conversation. Conversation encourages more critical thinking and application is more likely to occur.

What do you do that helps you APPLY the inspiring content you come across?

bwselfie Brooke Snow is a Professional Photographer for her own family and Abundant Living Practitioner. She delights in dining outdoors, cycling through Utah canyons, and spending leisure time with her husband and adventurous 3 year old son.

3 Responses

  1. I so love this post! I often wonder what’s wrong with me because I have a hard time keeping things straight now. Three years ago I didn’t forget a thing and everything was neatly organized in my mind. I was blaming my scatter brain on being a new mom, which I still believe is a big part of it due to the overwhelming amount of things you have to learn as a new parent. However, as an accountant I’m constantly reading new guidance/regulation and as newby photographer I’m constantly on blogs reading tips and taking classes. I think I too could benefit from pulling back a bit and just letting the information come to me.

    Your blog is still a “must read”;-)Thanks!

  2. Brooke, I just caught up on the last month or so of posts. And wow. You are so inspiring to me! Not only because of the magnificent things you write, but because I can tell who you are because of these posts. I can sense the sincere, genuine happiness in your life. I can sense the love you have for those around you. I can sense the desire you have to help and serve…even through your blog. You have so many Christlike qualities and they shine through your website!!
    You have taught me so much beyond that of business and photography.
    When I grow up, I want to be like you. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Shauna. I’m truly humbled by your comments. I’m so grateful that you have benefited from my posts. That is what matters to me the very most 🙂

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