September 19, 2016

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:

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 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.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Poynter coworkers Katie Hawkins-Gaar and Ren LaForme combined efforts to launch 40 Better Hours, a project to improve newsroom culture in small but meaningful ways.…
Team 40 Better Hours

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