How Introverts Can Stay Sane In A World of Information Overload

information overload

It’s no secret that many introverts have overly active brains that are constantly buzzing with ideas and dreams. Many of us love to feed our ravenous minds with a steady stream of brain candy: great literature, documentaries, TED Talks, interesting articles and informative YouTube videos.

Thanks to that oh-so-handy little invention called “the Internet”, we have immediate access to all the information we could possibly want. And much more.

Want to learn how to write a kick-ass blog post? No problem! Google has your back. In fact, Google can hook you up with 2, 460 000 useful resources on this topic.

Want to find free self-development tools online? You got it! The magical land of the World Wide Web has what you’re looking for. It’s got YouTube videos, blog posts and podcasts galore! It also has free webinars and reports up the wazoo.

If you’re like me, and love to have magical advice and free goodies delivered to your email, your inbox is probably brimming with tons of enticing brain candy.

With all of the information coming at us from so many different sources, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We become like kids in a candy store. We get so excited about all the tantalizing options that we want to devour it ALL. But then we quickly realize that trying to do so will make us feel sick – in this case, sick in the head.

So, how can we maintain our sanity in a world of information overload? Well, first of all …

Choose wisely

I know it can be very tempting to try to fill up on as much free advice and self-development goodness as you can stuff in your brain. But remember, your time is more valuable than money. Money is a renewable resource. Time is not.

It’s far better to focus on a few high quality resources than to try to take it all in. One thing that has really helped me to more skillfully choose my information sources is focusing on online mentors who share my core values.

For example, when I’m looking for business and marketing advice, I look to female entrepreneurs who are spirit-driven, authentic, and in touch with their feminine power. Even if these mentors provide some of the same advice as others, it resonates with me more because I can better identify with them.

Go for depth instead of breadth

Usually, it’s one piece of golden advice that will make the most difference for you. This means that out of the “10 tips”, or “7 steps” you receive, only one point will truly resonate with you.

Keeping this in mind, once you find that golden tip, stop and dive deeper into that area. Focus in and narrow your search parameters. Reflect on why that topic is important to you right now, and how you can explore it further.

Step away from the computer

Your brain needs time to rest and process all the information it receives on a daily basis. Also, your eyeballs probably need a break from the assaulting glare of the computer screen. Give yourself some time away from your devices, so that you can prevent mental burnout and sore eyes.

(By the way, I actually developed a strange eye-twitch for a couple of weeks after spending excessive amounts of time reading from my iphone. Just FYI, it’s probably a good idea to read stuff on a bigger screen).

Hope that helps! I’d love to hear about your experience with information overload and how you’ve learned to cope. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Xo,

michalea chung

9 Comments

  1. Thanks to that oh-so-handy little invention called “the Internet”, we have immediate access to all the information we could possibly want. And much more.

    Oh gods, yes! It’s funny – I totally understand that as an introvert, I tend to do best when I focus on a few things (the fewer the best, TBH), and go into them in depth.

    But with all the options around me… it’s so freaking hard to figure out what those few things should be. So Shiny Object Syndrome keeps me “just trying this one more thing”… and before I know it, I’m overwhelmed again.

    Great advice – thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Tanja! Yes, I think this is especially true for coaches because we are extra focused on learning and self-development.

      Reply
  2. The internet has a huge part in feeding my tendency to go off on knowledge sprees. I have a habit of seeking out personal stories, and in the realm of blogs I’m practically spoiled with choice.

    I sometimes have to monitor myself to make sure I’m not diving too deeply into someone else’s written experiences, but that can be tough when someone’s life really resonates with me. I done more than one archive crawl.

    A good way I’ve balanced myself in experience and knowledge binges is to pay attention to my internal state and watch for when it’s clear I’m no longer actively taking in what I’m reading. The point where I start to skim. It’s time to do something else then.

    On the plus side, it has made me a really efficient researcher, which is handy when I want to teach myself something new. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Thank you for the wise words 🙂 I like your: “Go for depth instead of breadth” Thats useful for me.
    greetings from Europe/The Netherlands.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Arlinde! I’m glad they resonated with you. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Thanks for the post. It helped me, because your description of this confused.. overwhelmed state of mind was just so clear!
    And I really like the expression the “Shiny Object Syndrome” in the comment below. I guess that’s what I’m suffering from a lot of times, too

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Claudia! I’m glad you can relate! 🙂

      Reply
  5. what i do against mental overload, is distance myself from the subject and do or watch something else.
    takes a couple days but worth it, sometimes information is addictive

    Reply
  6. Does anyone use audio instead of visual to bring in content and avoid eye strain? I find that I can’t read fast enough to keep up with where my head goes (Note: extrovert reading about introverts because a close loved one is a DEEP introvert). I find that I like to listen to advice because it feels like someone is talking to me and because i can set the reading pace to “conversational” (which is not an option but should give an idea of what I mean) when my normal visual reading pace is “Bedtime”. But then I find that if there is a point I REALLY want to hear, to sink in, i’ll go back over it and sit with it, or I will listen AND read it at the same time… and sometimes go and write about how it makes me feel or the thoughts that come from that insight. Would that work for you guys?

    Reply

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