(WWTI) – Error 404 going off in your brain, just take a deep breath, today is Information Overload Day.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, information overload is defined as:

“A situation in which you receive too much information at one time and cannot think about it in a clear way.”

When a person has an excessively large amount of information, it can affect their ability to process the information effectively. The term was first used by Bertram Gross, a professor of political science in 1964, in his book “The Managing of Organizations”.

Today, information is literally at everyone’s fingertips, especially if you use the ABC 50 app or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. The immense pressure to churn out new and exciting information is a major cause of information overload. The pressure to be in the know is something we all face on a daily basis, today is a reminder to disconnect and take a breath.

Slack has some tips given by Columbia Business School professor and Expert on Choice, Sheena Iyengar, to avoid information overload in the workplace:

  1. Be choosy about choosing: When you’re selective about your to do list you can get rid of what’s less important and delegate or outsource tasks that don’t align with your strengths and interests. By taking those items off your list, you can devote more time and brainpower to more important activities.
  2. Identify three to five priorities: Narrowing down your priorities to the top three to five things that matter most to you and breaking down those priorities into simpler tasks can help you avoid information overload.
  3. Understand the importance: Figuring out where a decision or choice falls on the order of importance can help you assess how much time to invest in it. By identifying which choices are worth more time and research and which aren’t, you can make more effective decisions when it counts.
  4. Put a time limit on information gathering: Putting a time limit on information gathering can help to avoid unproductive rabbit holes. Without setting parameters on time, knowledge workers can get sucked into these overloaded unproductive rabbit holes.
  5. Schedule related tasks together: Once you’ve identified your top priorities and the information you need work on related tasks in regular intervals. By scheduling similar tasks next to each other in 30-minute blocks, you’re less likely to get stuck by information overload.

Happy Information Overload Day!