Information Overload

by Amod Joshi on February 13, 2012

Information OverloadThis is, no doubt, an era of the new generation – The Generation “I” – I standing proudly for Internet, I-pods-phones-pads and for INFORMATION. This generation has swept all the generation – the remaining retirees, boomers, Gen Xs and Ys. No one has been spared and everyone has experienced the push to upgrade themselves to this new world – the world of Information. It was just few years ago, when Newspapers and Television were the only 2 windows, for you to peep into the external world. If a person sitting in Vancouver, BC, Canada, wanted to know about Melbourne, VIC, Australia, he would have to go to the Public Library and search for a book (if someone has written one). Now, with the internet, one Click (or now a Tap for touchscreens) – and Bang!! You get all the information about Melbourne with photos, maps, restaurants, entertainment, news and so much more. You would spend a lifetime just reading about 196 countries in the world, let alone the cities within each countries. The Information available at our fingertips is astonishing.  But as fascinating and as powerful, this internet may seem like, it is also causing an underlying problem – Information Overload.

Information Overload is an increasing problem at workplaces as well as at home. Xerox, shares the following statistics on Information Overload –

(Ref – http://www.xerox.com/information-overload/enus.html#TOP)

  • 28% of the typical workday is wasted by interruptions caused by unnecessary information – Basex
  • 53% of people believe that less than half of the information they receive is valuable
  • 42% of people accidentally use the wrong information at least once per week
  • 487 billions of gigabyte of information created in 2008 – EMC 2009
  • 1.3 trillions of hours spent by Americans consuming information in 2008, an average of almost 12 hours per day – University of California, San Diego 2009
  • 650 billions of dollars value of productivity was lost per year as a result of information overload – Basex 2008
  • 3% – 5% of revenue spent by a typical enterprise managing documents – Xerox study.

Cause:

Information Overload happens when there is more information available than you are able to process in order to take a decision. Take an example of buying a cell phone (mobile). You decide to invoke the power of internet and you ‘Google’ on the latest mobile deals available. 100s of sites are screaming in front of you for a click. In fact, if you look at the “O”s in the Gooooogle at the bottom of the page, it feels like infinite. As you read reviews and are lead to numerous opinion polls, you start realising that buying a phone is not a simple task. You are a now a Victim of Information Overload.

Effect:

Excessive information is said to affect your productivity and ability to take effective decisions. In the above example, you may tend to either delay the plan to buy a new mobile phone or ask more people and / or pick a wrong phone. Another impact seems to happen on the self-esteem. There is an unstoppable urge to know more. The folks in your office or social circle may be talking about the new planet that was discovered by the scientists. You find yourself unaware of this information and then later you research on that topic and gather some information. You come to work the next day and the topic is now about, how an extract from a particular plant can help you avoid cancer. Once again, you need more information. It makes you feel like a loser – always catching up.

Solution:

While many organisations suggest that the cure to information overload is by restricting the information available to the user, it may just cure the superficial problem. The hunger for more information is from within and has to be managed rather than purged. In my opinion, the solution lies in the following 2 Steps –

1. Awareness

  • Be aware and identify the information overload points.
  • Understand the short term and long term effects of Information Overload
  • Verify the source of information
  • Use 80-20 rule – 80% of information is good enough to make a decision. The remaining 20% can be unknown or risk. But it will be worth the trade-off.

2. Mind Control

  • Know when to stop
  • Quit Smoking!! Quit Drinking!! Quit Gambling – same way get away with the Habit of Information Gathering.
  • Use Powerful Meditation to be able to speed-process and retain information. The Silva Life System is one such tool that helps manage the information overload by using 3 finger technique – Speed learning, visualisation and imagination technique.

Use Meditation to manage Information Overload

Did you know – our Left brain processes most of the information it receives from all the sensory factors – see, smell, hear, taste & touch. It is the part of the brain that deals with the analytical, logical and sequential processing. Our right side of the brain is responsible for the creativity, rhythm and relaxation. Now to manage the Information Overload, we need to develop the ability to process large amount of information and still be relaxed (no stress). This way, we can retain larger amount of information.

Do these exercises right now – Open any new website (not seen before) – For e.g.  Silva Life System. Read the page in 30 seconds. Now close your eyes and try to recollect as much information as you can. Do this part and come back for the next step. Now, sit in a relaxed position and watch your breath. Inhale slowly and hold the breath for few seconds and exhale. Concentrate your attention on your breath. Once you are relaxed, open this page again – Silva Life System. Read through this page again in 30 seconds. Recollect at least 5 things your saw on the page – may be some headings, some pictures, the key idea etc.

What happened is – Your Left Brain absorbed the information and then you used your right brain to retain and recollect it. The Silva Life System will help you to enhance this ability and use both sides of your brain to achieve great results. Now, go back to the Silva Life System page and read all the information in a relaxed state of mind. You will notice that you will absorb more things this way. Get this product and share your experience.

Do not be a victim of Information Overload. Manage it and take advantage of it.

Silva Method

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Co-creator of www.MyLifePuzzle.com and a passionate blogger, who shares his thoughts, ideas and reviews of some of the most inspiring material that will empower people to realise their dreams.

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