Inevitably, at some point in your life, you will feel like you are drowning in information. You’re constantly bombarded with ideas and news that make it hard to focus on what is important. It’s easy to get distracted by everything going on around us. Thankfully, we can do a few things every day, which will help reduce this feeling of being overwhelmed and allow us to live more mindfully.
1. Turn Off Notifications
The first thing you can do is disable notifications. We live in a world of information overload, so it’s essential to think about what we choose to focus on and when. Mobile devices allow you to control your push notification settings. Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter offer ways for you to customize who can send and even when you receive those updates.
2. Go Offline
The next step is to completely go offline every once and a while. I’m guilty of always having my phone within an arm’s reach, but I like to take some time away from it to just disconnect.
Going offline helps you…
- Decrease the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Feel like you’re in control of your time and life.
- Increase focus and live more mindfully.
- Get back on track after losing sight of what matters to you.
Many people forget that life can be lived offline. We do not have to be online for our entire day to make it meaningful. Many devices have a Do Not Disturb setting that allows you to block notifications during specified times. I like to take a break from technology at night. It has helped me realize that many of those messages aren’t really that urgent.
3. Prioritize Your Life
Try to prioritize how you’re spending your time throughout the week. When you wake up in the morning, think about what is crucial for you to accomplish and keep sight of that throughout your day. Think about what is important in your life and make decisions that will help you spend more time on those things. That doesn’t mean cut out the things you enjoy, but it does mean deciding how much of your time they deserve.
4. Forgive Yourself
I’ve found that one of the things that can trigger an information overload feeling is a feeling of guilt. The first step towards reducing this feeling is to forgive yourself when trapped in the online web. We’re only human, so it’s okay to occasionally waste time and energy. It’s easy to beat yourself up when your priorities aren’t aligned, but remember that small missteps are okay.
Meditation is an excellent way to help reduce information overload. When your mind is racing and there are unrelated thoughts in your head, meditation can bring calm back into the equation.
Meditation helps you…
- Clear out the clutter.
- Recharge your batteries.
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
- Connect with yourself.
Just by sitting quietly for a few minutes every day, you will be able to clear your mind and realize that things aren’t as chaotic as you think they are. I’ve found that meditation helps me get in touch with my emotions. It allows me to reflect on what’s happening inside me rather than getting caught up in the whirlwind of thoughts racing through my head.
6. Get Outside
Spending time outside in nature is an excellent way to disconnect from information overload. Taking a walk, watching the breeze move through the trees, or listening to the sounds of nature can help everything become much clearer. Leave your phone inside or, at the very least, turn off the sound and vibration.
7. Take Action
Taking action is the best way to combat information overload. We need to do so many things daily, and it is easy to get sidetracked. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take action, develop a plan and watch your stress levels reduce because you know what needs to be done and how you’re going to do it.
When you feel stagnated or like there is always more to do, get out of your bubble and make yourself uncomfortable. Push yourself to try something new that will help you realize what’s important in life and inspire you to take action on those things.
In a busy world, it can be hard to step back from all the noise. There are so many things vying for our attention that it can feel impossible to listen to ourselves and stay on track. To live a less stressful life, you should reduce the amount of information you are exposed to. This doesn’t mean that the world will stop moving and slow down for you, but it does mean that you can learn to control what goes into your head and how you will respond to everything else.