Tips

How Designers Can Cope with Huge Information Overload

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Some of us love reading and would really want to get all the information for fear that anything important will be missed. With the arrival of the internet, it would be much easier to get information. You really don’t have to go far in order to learn something new. Designers always have that desire to be updated all the time especially that it could give them ideas and let them know of the current design trends.

Due to this, you have magazine subscriptions, e-mail subscriptions and lots of books to read. But you really don’t have all the time to read all of them and it seems like you are having a headache after reading so many things of various topics. But despite that, you still do not want to stop because you really want to read them all for you might be able to get some really important stuff from it. You might even encounter information overload. So, here are tips to help you cope with it. Start reading to help yourself now.

1. Determine what you really need to know.

Determine what you really need to know
Image: shutterstock

When you go checking some blog online, for sure, you will encounter some posts that you find interesting. But is this really what you need at this moment? Be sure not to read things and save them if you don’t really need it. Do not be wasting time reading materials that are far from what you need. But you can bookmark them and read it later when you have free time.

2. Think before you grab it.

Think before you grab it
Image: shutterstock

When you are working in your computer and you suddenly need to get some information in the web, you have to make sure to search and read only those that are necessary. Also, before saving a material or purchasing them online, think first. You can also look for some bargained items online that you would need. Remember that you do not have much time. You have a deadline so you have to finish important works first before reading other stuff that would only cause information overload.

3. Select your information sources.

Select your information sources
Image: shutterstock

You have to select your sources of information. There could be certain websites where you can get most of your needed information. You can bookmark them and use them every time you need some information. This way, you don’t have to get into other sites and get hooked reading something you do not really need at that moment. You can also subscribe to magazines that can help you but you do not have to read them all the time. Have a broad perspective and aim to read some materials that could give you creative ideas.

4. Identify key areas you need.

Identify key areas you need
Image: shutterstock

To avoid information overload, set effective information objectives. Ask yourself what you want to know and what you need for your work. Look into your interest, too. You also acquire information regarding your interests which you can read in your free time. If you identified the key areas you need and have set an information objective, you will certainly know what to focus on.

5. Get rid of surplus information.

Get rid of surplus information
Image: shutterstock

You have to filter information. Use e-mail filtering software so that you don’t have to rid useless emails. When your e-mails are filtered you can now scan them and choose which ones you could read. But you don’t have to read it now. Materials that are worth reading can be set aside while the rest should be deleted. If you still have much to read, you can filter again and get the ones that are only important.

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6. Allocate time for reading.

Allocate time for reading
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Since not all things are urgent and important to read, set some time to read. It is of course important to be updated from everything that happens from your industry. You’ll learn a lot from reading. So instead of spending time to read while you are at work and instead of reading some things which can only confuse you with work, allocate time for it. You can do this in the morning while having coffee or some other time that is convenient to you.

7. Develop note-taking skills.

Develop note-taking skills
Image: shutterstock

While reading and comprehending the things you read, you can do note-taking. If you learn to take notes, this can be one of the best ways to get new ideas and aid you in creating better decisions. Keep a notebook where you can jot down notes that can be used in the future. Once you scan it, you will surely acquire new ideas without the need to search for sources again. This will help a lot in coping with information overload.

8. Have a silent moment alone.

Have a silent moment alone
Image: shutterstock

It is important to set aside some time for yourself. You can do this by taking breaks and by including this in your schedules and to-do list. Take some time away from your computer. Meditation can immensely help you with information overload. It is one way to help you make your thoughts in order. You really don’t have to meditate for hours. A few minutes will do. You can do this when you wake up in the morning. Make this part of your morning ritual. Before you wash your face and brush your teeth, just relax for a while and think of nothing.

9. Get some sleep.

Get some sleep
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Sleep is very important. It is the most effective way to relax your mind and to give it time to put ideas in order. Learning is done by connecting new ideas with existing memories. You can come up with valuable ideas after your unconscious mind has sort and link ideas together. You can help in this process by having a relaxed mind, by meditating, playing and others. You will learn better if you get enough rest and sleep.

10. Acknowledge new information.

Acknowledge new information
Image: shutterstock

Well, it actually doesn’t mean that just because you have filtered your e-mails, prioritized important ideas, identified your needed key areas and grasps only what you need at the moment, that you will no longer look into new information. Of course, you also have to be open to some information which is useful and valuable. You can even read about other industries during your free time. This way, you have an edge from your competitors for you gained ideas from sources which they never thought of rummaging.

There is nothing wrong with reading and learning but ‘too much of something is bad.’ Hence, it won’t also be good if you are always yearning to know everything and learn all those things from your magazines, books and from blogs. Learn to do things in moderation in order for you to be more effective.

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  • http://www.ashliewebb.co.uk?utm_source=external%2Bsite&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=spread%2Bthe%2Bword Ashlie Webb

    All these points are so essential these days, especially the rest and sleep part. Why waste our time gathering all this information if it’s just going in one ear and out the other?

  • Will

    Shud set your self to take a rest..

  • Jimach

    get some sleep is the tough part for me. . :P

  • http://www.martiandesign.com dp

    I for one subscribe to too many rss feeds. Gonna have to trim the fat.

    So it goes…

    -dp

  • Chelzii

    Reading has been a hard task for me in the past. I was too lazy then!

  • http://cardrabbit.com Oleg

    Agree with all points. I’ve struggled with information overload for a long time. Too many tabs, bookmarks and rss subscriptions. Then I just started very narrowly filtering everything I read.

    Do now, read/watch later.