Coping today with information overload.

by | Jun 20, 2022

Image by: Marcus Spiske –Free from Unsplash

Does it Make Sense?

I have been asked, and I paraphrase here, “How do I deal with the conflicting information in the world today; how do I make sense of it and how do I work out what is real?” The question usually arises from those who are stressed by their current circumstance and who look to a future of uncertainty. They want good information to find their path forward; to survive and be safe.

Getting Your Perspective

The process I suggest begins with some self-awareness.

  • Specifically I ask them to determine what is important in their life; what do they value and feel they cannot do without.
  • Then, write down the values they find.
  • Next, review and refine the list.
  • If possible, prioritise the list (My post on Values describes how to do this).
  • Next, look to your present circumstance and note “What Is”. This means to become aware of what is real and verifiable to you, what you are sure is real and true.
  • And finally, link these back to the values you wrote down. The link could be positive or negative in effect.

Processing the Incoming Information Avalanche

Now you are ready to evaluate the information that swamps you from main stream media, internet, social networks, gossip, friends, bosses, advertising, politics, professionals, and so on.

So, start by taking your highest value and what you are sure is truth and fact that link to this value. Compare and evaluate this to the information that’s coming right at you from ‘out there’. If the information ‘out there’ fits with your facts and supports your value then it has merit and should be included in your planning. The more vague the link, the less importance you should place on the information and it’s source. Maybe you choose to ignore this source as it only misleads.

Work down your list of values to provide yourself with useful insights on how YOU see the world and how YOU want to respond to the circumstances in YOUR life.

Information Gaps

Sometimes you may find gaps in your processed information. When this occurs it means you need to look further and collect more information to fill the gap. The information needs to be filtered through your values and known truths that you have determined in the process given above.

Taking Action

Most of all, take actions in small steps, all the while checking that your information holds true and supports you. Make adjustments if you need.