Author Topic: Information overload leading to unproductivity and unhappiness  (Read 1395 times)

BOP Mustache

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When I get home Iím the evenings I have to around 9pm before my wife and I wind down for bed. In the weekends after doing errands and household chores we have basically all of Sunday free too.

However I seem to be in a rut of just reading article after article online about various topics from personal finance to home gardening to nutrition to health and various other things. Iíve got to the point where reading more about it is minutely increasing my knowledge with the downside of paralysis by analysis kicking in and I get to the end of the day or weekend and know slightly more but donít put it into action. How do I get myself out of this habit?

I know enough about personal finance, about what to eat, how to exercise, etc but I read more and more in any downtime I have which leads to no tangible benefit.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Information overload leading to unproductivity and unhappiness
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 12:46:02 PM »
Yea, just turn off the internet.  So many people 'read the internet' instead of 'watching tv' and feel good about themselves for it, like they're actually DOING something.  Sorry, but information doesn't do jack shit if you don't actually do something with it.  You have the information, now DO something.  First step, stop intaking more information as a panacea to action.

BallardStubble

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Re: Information overload leading to unproductivity and unhappiness
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 12:56:04 PM »
Are you task oriented? I have a daily checklist on a post it note I keep on my desk. When I find myself getting into the vortex of self-improvement (whether it be finances, diet, exercise, etc), I add one thing to do each day/week to my list that falls in line with the information I'm consuming and I make sure it's a "level 1" action step. Looking at a whole self-improvement project from start to finish can get discouraging, but doing one step at a time and actually having something you can cross off a daily/weekly checklist helps put it into action. One personal example is writing a book. I delayed it for months, but when I added "write 1 chapter" to my weekly list, it got done in just a few short months. There's so much content out there and so much actionable advice, that it's really easy to fall into analysis paralysis. But breaking down large goals into daily and weekly manageable chunks really helps when it comes to applying what you read to what you do. So, I recommend taking a step back, deciding on what can really make an impact on your life and start a task manager/post it note system with the smallest action steps to get moving in the right direction.

onewayfamily

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Re: Information overload leading to unproductivity and unhappiness
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 05:24:54 AM »
I've had and continue to have similar problems.
The first thing I would do is go all 80/20 on it - or more like 90/10. Go through all your sources of incoming information and decide which are your favourites/most valuable/must-haves.
Once you've done that I would put it on a schedule that you're happy with - like only once a week at a certain time for example. Try to stick to that - it will get easier with time.
I still struggle with this though, so am always looking to improve.

LWYRUP

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Re: Information overload leading to unproductivity and unhappiness
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 07:32:27 AM »

I have problems with this too.  One thing that I did that helped for a long time that I need to start again is formatting my WiFi to shut off at 10pm.  Then I gave my wife the password.  I also downloaded the "Freedom" app and put it on my work computer and made sure that I could not "force quit."  It worked like magic and I stopped procrastinating at work. 

I also try to tell myself "all the knowledge you need to live a fulfilling life is in your brain now, and if you really want to learn something in depth, get a book and spend some quality time with devices shut off and a cup of tea."  Basically, I 100% admit that the time I spend on the internet is really just playing around and not really "learning."  It may have been learning when you were younger and just exploring the internet, but as you (and I) readily admit, that's really not what it's about anymore.  It's mind-numbingly addictive.  So for people like us, it may ACTUALLY be better to just shut down all the phones and internet at 8pm and watch some dumb Adam Sandler movie.  That will shut off the analytic part of our brains and allow us to just relax, which will help wind down to get a good night's sleep and also recharge ourselves for another busy day analyzing at work. 

I also usually lurk and not post on forums like this for that very reason, because when I post sometimes I can go down the rabbit hole.  I especially hate silly online arguments.  Nobody "wins" you both just lose, time and civility.  I also don't really have time and interest in pulling together lots of links to factually disprove something even though I have  good sense of what's true and not from lots of school and surfing.  So If I do wade into something like that, I try to just state my position and then let it go. 

If you wanted to create a challenge re: internet use in "Throw Down the Gauntlet" I'd be happy to join in!