Life Lessons

3 Steps to Combating Information Overload

As you do probably already know, I’m an advocate for mental health.

Several weeks back, I suffered from consistent migraine headaches. I wondered at the root cause. And I didn’t get a break till I discovered it to be: INFORMATION OVERLOAD.

Never has any generation been as exposed to a plethora of information as much as ours. This present world we live in, thanks to the vortex that is the internet, are prone to excessive consumption of data, in all forms and every kind. We’re all primary content consumers.

The eyes particularly being the window to a soul, directly feeds the brain raw data for processing into information.

What I learnt, that I had to do in order to finally be free, was to cut back. I now practice something I call SELECTIVE CONSUMPTION.

In order not be sucked into the black hole, or just lost in the sea of knowledge and ideas, I chose this tactic that helps me stay sane and mentally healthy.

So tell me, in a world filled with more content than ever before, what kind do you consume?

There’s a world of knowledge. It never stops, it never ends. Frankly, it can be quite overwhelming for even the most extraordinary minds out there. Becoming draining, confusing, energy-sapping. It does get to a point where thinking and consequently the ability to make quality decisions becomes vastly impaired.

Ever heard the term brain fatigue? Surprised? Yeah, me too. Unbeknownst to us humans, the brain does get stressed out and tired, from consistently churning out data.

If you know nothing, you can’t do anything about everything. Actually, this sentence makes no sense just wanted to rhyme a little.

What is Information overload?

I bet you were wondering this ever since you saw the title of the article, you might have already deduced it’s meaning, however for clarity sake and to prove it’s a real phrase;

According to the Oxford Dictionary:

Information overload represents exposure to or provision of too much information or data.

Moving forward,

Now how do we guard against this you may ask.

Here are a few steps to follow:

  • FILTER

Easy, let your mind be a strainer, not a sponge. Don’t soak up everything you find. Learn to sift through what’s necessary, urgent or important and discard the rest.

  • COMPARTMENTALIZE

Sectioning your thoughts and ideas into groups and categories. This helps with more efficient thought-processing. It’s easy to get entangled in your own web, with muddled up strands of information working their way through your mind. All trying to be processed at the same time. You might only end up getting locked in a jam, with your train of thought crashing alongside.

  • TIMING

There is a time for everything. It all has its place. Adequate pacing and spacing are needed, including a time to rest. After filtering and compartmentalizing, apportion the right time to process and work through them based on the degree of importance or urgency. Those useful now, and those saved for later.

You don’t have to do everything, be everything and know everything. It’s the fastest way to expire.

The goal shouldn’t be to know everything about something (expert) but to know something of everything (learner). As much as one might attempt to do both; be an expert in a given field, while continually being a lifelong learner of diverse things, still it’s a choice.

So stop trying to, except you have a martyr or hero complex. Choose those things which are most important, and work with that. It’s the remedy for a healthier, happier, more productive life.


The hardest truth is; No knowledge would ever be enough, there would always be more.

We all have different capacity for processing information. Know yours and simply work with it. This is a coping mechanism that drastically reduces mental stress.

Am I against pushing yourself beyond your perceived limitations? No, I’m not. But in whatever you choose to do, apply wisdom and know that the process is gradual. A mile isn’t run in a minute except you’re The Flash. It’s okay to acknowledge where you’re at and move forward from there.

It’s paramount to know when your mind and body requests a break. I once read a quote that said:

Choose when you get to relax. Else, your body would decide it for you at a time you might not want.

Love and Grace,

© Zizi 2020.

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Gracias.

3 thoughts on “3 Steps to Combating Information Overload”

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