Q5a ANSWERED – Here is one answer to Q5. More answers may be forthcoming soon.

OVERLOADED WITH INFORMATION

Writers, like others, are bombarded with information: emails, blog messages, greeting messages, notifications, news bits, news articles, updates, computer notifications. The bombarding never stops. It’s “information overload,” and it feels like it is killing us. The overload anxiety just builds and builds until….???? One just shuts everything off, one goes into the kitchen and slices something to pieces or one goes to their workshop and hammers something to bits!!!

Stop! There is a solution, well, not a solution as such, but a way to deal with stress of the “information overload.”

Dr. Andrea Wilkinson, a Ph.D. in psychology, proposes you try a different game plan for dealing with the issue. Her plan:

Roadmap: map out your day’s goals at breakfast
At breakfast, before touching your email, map out the priorities you want to deal with for today but be realistic. You can’t build a boat by noon but you can buy a magazine about boot building. Write down the items you think you can do in the day.

Leave the email for later
Email will drag you down, destroy your productivity and escalate your anxiety level because you are working someone else’s agenda, not your own. Resentment will build, stress level will rise. So don’t touch that email dial.

Try it for a week
Try the “Dr. Andrea’s roadmap plan” for a week. You might want to consider a free evaluation session with Dr. Andrea (to book, visit https://www.brainshape.ca/call). Then, evaluate the roadmap as to its impact on your anxiety and information overload stress.

Everybody is different so everyone’s roadmap will be different too. Also, a person’s roadmap will change based on choices, family, friends, goals and needs. Couple flexibility with reality when drawing up your game plan. More importantly, review and evaluate its impact and efficacy for you. Modify and adjust and try the new roadmap. Eventually, you will learn what works best for you and you can then wave goodbye to uncontrolled anxiety and stress.

Suggested tools for your toolbox

  • An electronic device: phone, computer
  • A notebook for daily logs and reviewing

Some computer apps worth considering:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • Sheet of paper to illustrate your priorities

Richard emphasizes that the ‘roadmap process for dealing with overload’ should be viewed as having detours and deviations based on individuals families, network and life. The process is not immutable, etched in stone but is subjective, dynamic and personal. Therefore, consider it very modifiable and be ready to change it…tomorrow.

However, what is not modifiable is doing the evaluation. Does it work for you? Is it impacting on your productivity and stress level? If the impact is positive, our work is done. If the impact is negative, you might want to consider a free evaluation session with Dr. Andrea.

You can affect your stress level.

Contributed by Richard S.

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