One Approach to Manage Self-Induced Information Overload

Herbert Simon (deceased) offered this insight: “Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” You have this power if you are disciplined. Linda Stone (https://lindastone.net/2014/02/05/our-powerful-and-fragile-attention/) shared: “If we don’t consciously choose where we want to direct our attention, there will always be something in our path tomisdirect it. From the news, to pickpockets, to Facebook — every choice we don’t make is made for us.” Further “If we want to harness the superpower that is our attention, instead of talking about distraction and a need to unplug and disconnect, let’s talk about what it is we choose to connect to. As we reach for what we prefer, we can stop stressing and shaming ourselves regarding what it is we’re getting wrong.”
In her source Huffington post (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/our-powerful-and-fragile_b_4486411?guccounter=1) Linda offers: “Our conversation about distraction, multitasking, and the stern command to focus, actually creates a level of stress, anxiety, and shame.” Further, ” Isn’t it ironic that even in our efforts to manage our attention effectively, we are instead contributing to stress and misdirection!” Her final advice, “The way we use our attention controls and shapes our reality. The way we use it defines who we are, what we’re blind to, and what we see. Direct it? Give it away? The choice is ours. Every moment of every day.” +”Our attention is, at once, both powerful and fragile” So how do you harness and leverage this “gift” to your benefit?
Linda proposes that we struggle with our “Bossy Mind” that thrives on FOMO and distraction (https://lindastone.net/2015/03/11/the-genius-of-attention-making-peace-with-bossy-mind/).  We should be aware of this influence by: “Notice what you like about another person, about your day, or about where you are. Notice beauty around you. Notice how you are safe. Notice the way your feet feel on the floor, the way the chair supporting you feels.  This might take 10 seconds. It might take a minute.” “Bossy Mind is the Frito Bandito, the Hamburglar of our Attention… our attention is ours to channel as we choose.”
Sound familiar–methods from Mindfulness?– human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Can you improve your focused concentration? Kasio Angeleov (http://www.mintfull.com/blog/how-to-stay-focused/) offers 5 steps to train yourself to eliminate distractions. Certainly, there are other approaches for improving your focus, e.g., filtering e-mail (Knowmail.me), create different ringtones for senders of text messages, and establish “do not disturb” periods to focus on a critical task. Managing your attention is not a complete solution path for IO. The permitted information content may be too complex, limited usefulness, or challenging formatting. Yet, attention management is your gatekeeper or first stage to taming the IO curse.

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