This is a problem that seems rampant everywhere.
I’ve long thought that in today’s digital world, people are on permanent overload.
We have gone from cell phones and game boys to tablets, smart phones, e-readers, and laptops.
We are ‘connected’ almost 24/7.
Yesterday I came across a video about how we can better manage this overload.
For years, people have been told to learn to multi-task, that this ability would make you more productive and (hopefully) happier.
Turns out that’s not true.
Our brains aren’t really capable of ‘multi-tasking.’
We just shift our attention rapidly from one thing to the next, which means we never really focus on anything.
Everyone wants everything NOW, and no one wants to wait for it.
In this culture of ‘instant gratification’ and seemingly endless choices, how do you decide on anything?
You have to set limits.
Pick one task and tackle it.
Ignore everything else (barring fires or medical emergencies) until you’re done or stuck.
Then move on.
I tend to be easily distracted, so I have gotten in the habit of setting a timer.
Having a time limit helps me focus.
When my kids were little, getting my youngest dressed in the morning before school was a constant struggle.
There were too many choices.
Which shirt of the 10?
Which shorts of the 8?
I came across an article about limiting choices and decided to try it.
The next morning, instead of the whole closet of clothes, I picked out two shirts and two pairs of shorts.
“Which one?” I asked.
2 minutes later, we were done – fully dressed and time to eat breakfast before we left!
From then on, that’s what I did.
Picking out clothes never took more than a couple of minutes.
This is a simplification, of course, but you see my point.
Social Media Overload
Another area of overload, beyond emails and work, is social media.
It’s no longer enough to have an email account.
You need to be on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Flickr, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, and on and on.
And if you are in SL, you may have additional social media accounts like ASN, Google, Avatarbook.
Perhaps you have accounts under your RL name AND your SL avatar name.
It’s enough to drive you batty some days.
I have accounts as Kat, as my RL self, and I am probably going to need more as I venture into self-publishing.
Some days, it’s hard to keep everything straight.
The number of passwords alone is frightening!
Is It Cultural?
I’ve often wondered if this feeling of overload is cultural.
The picture above is what I see when I go grocery shopping.
Are that many choices really necessary?
Do I need to have 16 different choices for peanut butter?
40+ choices for types of breakfast cereal?
Is this how it is in grocery stores for other people?
Would I have this many choices in a store in England? Australia? Germany? France?
I was reminded of all this yet again last night.
My husband and I switched phones.
So we each spent several hours updating everything, installing our favorite apps, setting ringtones, etc.
Remember when all a phone did was make phone calls?