Feeling overwhelmed? Here's how to conquer information overload
40 Better Hours is a Poynter project dedicated to improving your workweek. This is the first day of the weeklong series.
Information overload, often resulting in infomania, is a very real thing. As journalists, it can seem impossible to keep on top of all the news, email, messages and other sources that keep us informed. That's because, more often than not, it is impossible.
It might seem counterintuitive to discuss the topic of information overload as part of a project where we're asking you to watch videos, check out resources, participate in Q&As and complete daily challenges, but bear with us. One of the biggest keys to combating information overload is mastering the art of single-tasking, a concept that Manoush Zomorodi explains in today’s video.
Zomorodi is the host of WNYC's "Note to Self," a podcast focused on "the human side" of technology. She's also the force behind their Infomagical challenge, a week of experiments designed to help information overload disappear. (Not surprisingly, Infomagical was a big source of inspiration for 40 Better Hours.)
If you're interested in learning more about information overload, here are some helpful resources:
- More from Zomorodi: Hi, I'm a digital junkie and I suffer from infomania
- Deep Focus: This playlist from Spotify is a tried-and-true way to get into the productivity zone
- Additional training from Poynter: Making Fun and Innovation Happen on a Shoestring
- If you want to go above and beyond: Cal Newport's book, "Deep Focus: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World," is a good read for anyone wanting to delve deeper into this topic
In today's newsletter, we challenged you to focus fully on one task — in this case, watching Manoush’s video — and tell us about the experience. Did you feel relaxed? Antsy? Did you retain more information than usual, or worry about what else you were missing? In a profession where multitasking is a valued skill, how do you think you might find more time to focus?
Share your experience on Twitter using #40BetterHours, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share some of the best responses in tomorrow’s newsletter.
And don't forget to join Zomorodi in a Facebook Q&A at 1 p.m. Eastern. See you then!
40 Better Hours is Poynter's first crowdfunded project. It was made possible by the generous support of Ruth Ann Harnisch and dozens of other supporters.