It has been bugging me for quite some time now…

What you get from not starting your RSS reader for more than 3 days is
a 1674 in a red bubble right right on the icon. Already the number
scares me and I don’t want to open the app anymore – at all. Maybe I
can just hide. Say: really? Oh, I must have missed that piece of news.

But what if I don’t want to miss out on things. What if I want to stay
on top of the things that either interest me or that I need to to my
job? How do I make sure that I am really really covering all relevant,
reliable and mandatory sources? How to I make sure that on top of that
very sharp and individualized portfolio I still get enough
inspirational input as well – different angles that are essential to
stay creative…

As someone who’s preaching the future of information work and the
social media inspired workplace I almost feel silly. Shouldn’t I be
the one that has the answer to information overload? How to manage all
the sources that one might be able to access?

I remember the good old times when I was sitting at home watching my
dad take 3 hrs on a Sunday to digest his 5cm thick paper. When just
recently a concierge asked me if I wanted to have the daily paper in
front of my door I realized that I haven’t really (excluding during
take off and landing) worked through a paper in a long time. I have
subscribed to respective RSS feeds or check online news portals which
now seems to me like the quote from Goethe’s ‘The Sorcerer’s
Apprentice’:

from the spirits that I called
Sir, deliver me

(see…I just googled this translation on a train…always online,
every piece of information at hand…argh)

My two mantras…at least for now

discipline // add the routine of going through your sources twice a
day. With the first coffee of the day and before you go to bed (not in
bed!!). Make it a habit and create your way of taking notes of the
pieces that you want to pick up later and digest more thoroughly.
Don’t try to keep the overview AND dive not detail at the same time.
It’s a bit like writing a text: first you create the table of contents
(the skeleton), then you add flesh to the bone with the bigger picture
always in mind…

let go // you don’t need to know everything. If it’s really that
important the information will find you or someone will bring it to
your attention.

How are you dealing with information overload? I am really curious to
hear other perspectives!! 🙂

One comment

  1. I find Twitter to be more helpful in bringing me the most relevant information. I wrote about my experience and practice, just last week. http://www.jamessamuel.co.nz/listening-tools/I know well the feeling when looking at RSS feeds, and sometimes just do the massive “Mark All as Read” to start again, knowing that, as you say, if it’s important it will find me.No easy answer but sometimes I also get that deep in the gut feeling that it’s just too much, and need to relax through it and trust.

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