I subscribe to about 85 or so blog feeds.
I keep an eye on trends, social media and generally whats happening with the top websites in my field.
I read for at least one hour before I go to bed.
All under the guise of research.
But to be honest its not, this it is to satisfy my need:
- to know what’s happening in my industry
- to keep in touch with people
- to establish myself as an authority for business purposes
It is not the case of information overload, this is information over-consumption. It is all for selfish purposes.
I am addicted to information. I get high on it and I thrive.
I fill every single idle moment with information – at my free will. Why should I blame it?
The problems starts though, when have no time left over to write.
And worst of all, I come out feeling like, everything has been said, what’s the point. It just sucks my motivation and creativity dry.
The result in information overload and overwhelm – but of my own accord!
When Information Starts to be a Problem:
Huge Time Suck
Red flag – You are spending too much time looking up relevant articles, posts, material to bookmark.
If you get just one hour to work on your writing, it doesn’t you any good if you spend 49 minutes looking at everybody else’s.
All that is good until it takes up so much of your time that you have no time left – to write. Cut back.
You Feel Everything’s Been Said, Why Bother?
Red flag – You struggle to find an angle for anything you write.
You just are not motivated to write. Any time, you want to, you get bogged down by that thought that you recently saw a similar post on a bigger, more famous blog. Who is going to read yours?
Keep in mind:
- Other people are probably not reading everything on the topic. You might be doing it because it is part of your job, but it might not be the case for everyone.
- Although everything has been said, you are going to say it in a new manner. Your post will be a winner if you can provide fresh insights. It doesn’t have to be entirely original, but make sure your point of view adds something to the material
- It’s nice to be reminded once is a while.
A Form of Procrastination
Red flag – You are doing research as a means to escape writing. There could be number of reasons why you are not writing and instead taking the research route.
It could be that you are afraid of your work will not be well received, or you feel inadequate; you are not good enough. Or it could be other issue entirely.
According to Clay Johnson, author of Information Diet
Over-consumption has all kinds of other individual consequences — cognitive ones like a poor sense of time and shortened attention spans, or social ones like shallower relationships. Let’s not forget the physical ones — stress, hypertension and sedentary lifestyles are nothing to laugh at. We’re not sedentary because we’re silently meditating. We’re sedentary, usually, because we’re consuming too much information.
Despite popular belief, less is MORE. Yes: Less is MORE
You need uninterrupted time for synthesizing information. Gathering all this information is good but you must reserve chunks of time for reflection.
How do you do that?
Steps to Deal with Info Over-consumption
Measure how much you’re consuming. Keep time sheet of exactly how much time goes into it. See if you indeed have a problem.
Adjust your consumption habits. Start your media consumption with the things that are the most important to you: your site and community, then your professional communities, then the international scene.
Own your computer. Try and get rid of anything that notifies you of a new distraction. Your inbox number, Google+, TweetDeck, Facebook updates. Get rid of it all the. End the battle for your attention on your computer. It’s your computer, not Google’s.
Since I have identified my propensity to consume too much information, way more than I can handle, more than what I will ever need, I am cutting back.
I am not saying it is going to be easy.
But diagnosing a problem is a problem half solved right?
I am going to time myself how much time I spend looking for info – and doing everything except writing.
It is going to be one tough battle.
Do you have a similar problem? Leave a comment for me! 🙂
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