Do You Have Cognitive Overload?
“Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important. It is a choice.” Brian Solis
We receive so much data that we can barely comprehend all that is coming into our minds. Right now, you may be thinking about your next meeting, responding to a text, planning your tweets for the day and answering a call. Whew- no wonder we have information overload. Our brains are overwhelmed with all the distractions.
A recent Stanford study found that those who spend lots of time on social media, surfing the Internet and multi-tasking had poor cognitive skills. They could not distinguish well between what was important and what was trivial. “They are suckers for irrelevancy.”
How to Regain Focus:
In his book, Search Inside Yourself. Chade-Meng Tan of Google, shares some keys to regaining cognitive clarity.
• Monitor what you read and how you do it– If you find your mind wandering while reading, bring your attention back to what you are doing. Keep practicing this skill.
• Use active listening Have someone speak for 3 minutes and you listen, Then repeat back to the person with the preface ” What you said is important. Do you mind if I repeat it back to see if I have it right?” (People LOVE this- they love to be heard.)
A few tips from me:
• Do 1 thing at a time. That’s it. One thing and do it well and complete it. Take satisfaction and then move on to the next one thing. Your focus will improve. Multi-tasking is terrible for your brain.
• Go tech free for a day this weekend. Lots of research show the value of this. It’s like rebooting your brain.
• Get quiet and go outside in nature. Life becomes much simpler away from the office and computer.
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