As a busy mom, you always have problems that need solving. Whether it’s work-related, a parenting issue, some marriage advice, a recipe, or even how to fix or clean something, you go looking for solutions. But have you ever felt like the more you go searching online for answers to your problems, the more you end up doing nothing about them? It’s a crazy cycle but one that is all too often the reality. It is not something that one can even help most of the time, because the world has changed so much that we are all plugged-in some way or another.
This was happening to me a lot lately as I tried to find answers of becoming more productive, yet spent too much time being unproductive. I had good intentions of finding solutions online, but when I did find answers, I would not implement it. How come? Because I had information overload and here’s how you get it:
- You feel the need to solve a problem you are facing
- You have good intentions and start researching for solutions online
- You find numerous solutions that lead you to research deeper to find which answers are better
- One thing leads to another, and you end up with 10+ tabs open on your computer browser and you’re stressed out by all the choices
- You begin feeling like your head is spinning and your thoughts want to explode!
- You start feeling let-down and hopeless because you don’t know what to do first
- You feel even more overwhelmed than before because you have more information to sift through
- Your problem just got a whole lot bigger and you end up doing nothing to solve it
That is exactly what I went through. Some of it is derived from the internet becoming an information super-highway, but most of it is derived from not using the internet wisely or taking responsibility for your time when using it. If you do not maintain control over your web habits, you will end up overwhelmed by the sheer volume of so much information available. So how can you avoid becoming overwhelmed by all this information?
The methods are simple, but it takes willpower to implement it because it’s all about disciplining yourself. Here are 12 tips that I set for myself and I suggest you try it if you’re experiencing the same issue:
- Limit Your social media – you don’t need to be on every network.
- Follow only the websites you love – you don’t need to read about everything that’s going on.
- Limit your online support groups – there’s just so much advice you can take.
- Stay on course and focus – don’t get distracted by other problems when you start researching one problem.
- Use online bookmarks – that’s why they were invented for you.
- Have fewer email accounts – ask yourself, why do you even have more than 3 email accounts?
- Stop going online for everything – you can find answers to your problems elsewhere.
- Find help the old fashioned way – family and friends are great information portals.
- Skim content – you don’t need to read about stuff you already know, skim to the parts of an article that matter.
- Lose the guilt of being everyone’s friend online – you cannot maintain friendships that have passed, move on with the times and your life.
- Write it down – this is still the best way to get things done no matter how smart is your phone or PC.
- Take time to energize – sometimes you just need to unplug.
You need to stop thinking that you are missing out on something when you don’t go online or visit social networks. Our aim as Muslims should be to focus on preparing for our next life by improving ourselves, gaining knowledge, raising our children, and working on the relationships with those around us. Everything else should be tackled by order of importance. You can reduce your information overload when you see it for what it is – useful, but not overtaking your life.
As technology becomes more advanced, the information available to us will also get more intense. So we need to discipline ourselves to always maintain the control over it. Only when we can control how and when we use this technology, will the benefit outway the time-draining factor it has on our lives. In my next article, I will cover my 12 tips to prevent information overload more in depth.