Happy Information Overload Day

Either October 18 or October 20 is Information Overload Day in 2016.  The dictionary* defines Information Overload as:

  1. Noun, psychology: an excess of incoming information, as might confront a pedestrian on crowded city street, that forces one to be selective in the information received and retained.
  2. Noun, contemporary:  an overwhelming feeling upon the receipt or collection of an indigestible or incomprehensible amount of information, the feeling of being faced with an amount of data that one has no hope of completely processing
  3. Jargon technology:  When a person feels unable to read all the information that is presented or available to them, particularly where they need to make decisions based on that information but can’t because there is just too much to take in in the time available.

There is even a group called, “Information Overload Research Group” that is studying ways to reduce information overload.

Some ways to combat information overload:

  • Organize the workspace; cut down the clutter.
  • Cut down on the number of experts, blogs, friends feeds you follow and read.  Filter and prioritize the information.  Learn how to skim information for the key points.
  • Take a break/get some distance.  If you get bogged down in research it is important to take a break.  Allow your mind to work on the issue while you focus on something else.
  • Focus on one task at a time.

 


 

Sources:

*information overload. Dictionary.com. The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/information–overload (accessed: October 20, 2016).

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