As I went through my email this afternoon, ending up with 40+ tabs open in Firefox. Every email that had a link I wanted to read or a webinar or ebook I wanted to check out, I opened in a new tab.
I realized I'd fallen back into the trap of "I NEED to..."
That amount of information would probably have taken me a full day to read/watch through, not counting the amount of time it would have taken to actually implement or DO something with it.
Say it with me: "CRAZINESS!!"
Am I right?
So I stepped back, refocused on my filters, and closed most of those tabs.
Here's how to avoid the "I NEED to..." information trap
Do you have information filters?
Here's what I use:
What topic am I focusing on learning right now?
This should be one, maybe two max. If you try to tackle more new skills than that, you're probably asking for overwhelm. Unless your brain is a heck of a lot more absorbent than mine. ;)
What information is the absolute minimum I must know to complete my current project?
If you're working to write an ebook, you don't need to know *everything* about writing ebooks, but you need the basic info on how to get it written, ready, and for sale or setup to giveaway.
Is this something I already know, or will be ready to learn later?
Timing matters. Don't live in the future, trying to learn right now everything you'll need for future challenges.
Do I already have the resources I need to learn this?
I am blessed to have awesome coaches and most of the time adding more training to what I have access to would lead to more overwhelm. Sure, there are times where deepening your knowledge means learning from more than one teacher/perspective. But often we're avoiding doing the work by staying in "learning" or "research" mode. Don't do that.
Is this someone I can learn from?
There are some teachers/trainers I know I learn well from and others, no matter how awesome they are, aren't a great fit for me personally--this is important to stay aware of.
If I watch/read this now, do I realistically have the time to implement it within a week?
If you can't implement it... do you really have time to watch/read it? What's the benefit?
If it's a webinar or other introductory training, what is the upsell and would it benefit me right now to go for it?
cynical realistic enough to view things through this filter because I know when I get on webinars I want to buy the "next step" and most of the time it'd just add to the things I haven't finished yet... so learning the first few steps might not be a great use of my time right now.
Is there something else that would be a better use of my time?
Often this question alone is all I need to ask...
Now, there are exceptions to these filters, especially in my own area of expertise. I often listen in on webinars that I already know 99% of what's being taught, but it's because I'm listening from a totally different perspective of how is it being taught (and how is the upsell pitched), is this a product/service I want to promote, is this someone I want to be following or sharing with my followers, etc.
But you MUST have some filters!
You Have Permission
I give you permission NOT to read every ezine that lands in your inbox.
I give you permission NOT to watch every free webinar and download every free ebook you come across.
Now, give yourself permission NOT to, okay?
And just focus on what will move you forward right now. Save the rest. It'll show up again when you're ready for it. I promise. The internet is amazing. You'll be able to find what you need when you need it. Let go for now.
Your Turn! Do you find yourself falling into that trap, too? Do you have filters you run things through that work for you? What strategies do you use to avoid total information overwhelm?