Information Overload: Filtering What’s Actually Important

Whether we realize it or not, our brains are taking in so much information every second. In fact, we are seeing more information than ever before – according to Social Media Today, there’s about 1.7mb of data created every second per person on earth! Though we’re exposed to more information, it may not be making us more informed (*cough, cough* endlessly scrolling through our Instagram feeds), at least in the areas that matter. So how do we filter through… well, everything?

News

Catching up on the day’s news is a practice that will always be necessary, but not necessarily to the extent that some of us are. Staying informed is a difficult task because it requires you to filter through different channels, and determine any biases. No, you cannot scroll through Twitter’s trending page once a day and be well informed, nor can you solely rely on the nightly news and consider yourself well-informed. But creating a middle ground doubles your workload.

To cipher through the news and stay up to date on current affairs, you should consider subscribing to daily email updates. Do some research to find which newsletter gives you the rundown in areas that are the most important to you and your needs. They’re formatted so that you can read and digest them quickly, with the ability to do a deep dive on the stories you deem worthy of your time and attention.

As a Social Media Marketer, I decided to start my days by reading updates from Morning Brew and The Daily Carnage. These sites focus on the world of business and innovation, and provide me with news and stories that could affect my industry. I read these to get a grip on the new trends and advancements going on in the PR world, to understand the topics sparking peoples’ interest, and to get my creativity flowing.

I also set up alerts for breaking news, so that I can make sure all social media posts we’re putting out are timely and relevant. This is important to ensure you’re not posting content that comes off tone deaf or “not the time.”

Communication Channels

Since workplace communication is essentially all virtual right now, it is necessary to filter the channels you use internally. Should your team really be using four different sites and apps to reach each other, or does that just make everything more confusing and inefficient? 

Workplace communication tools are growing and advancing more than ever because of the increased reliance on their capabilities in our virtual world, so take some time to find which ones work best for your team. Are you a Zoom or a Google Meet company? Slack or a Microsoft Teams ? Do you really need to schedule a video call taking place in 5 minutes, or can you just give your colleague a call without all the invitations and steps? 

If you don’t want to lose valuable work time to managing several different channels, then pick one as your primary communication channel and make the best of it.

Social Media

If you work in a social media capacity it is necessary to check your social media pages and the pages of your clients regularly to track progress and determine what’s working and what’s not. But once you get on, it’s hard to get off. Some apps provide useful tools like Twitter’s “Lists” to help you filter your feed, and only spend time looking at posts relevant to your company or needs. You can curate multiple lists on Twitter, which give you alternate feeds with only the users and tags that you set, rather than your entire following. 

Other social channels have similar options for narrowing down your feed, such as Facebook groups and pages or Instagram post notifications. Spending time to set up social filters like these now will save you time in the long run.

Everyday Life

Even after taking steps to filter through the flow of online information, there is still going to be noise. Make sure you are mindful about your mental health and take breaks when you need them (and also when you don’t feel like you do). Whether you’re working from home or not, it can be hard to step away from the screen. Sometimes you may be “in the zone” and skip your lunch break to keep your work flow going, but to stay sane, you should actively try to take breaks throughout the day for self care. 

It is normal to feel overwhelmed in such a whirlwind of a year, especially when the world has been turning to automated technology to bring even more information to people. Feed your brain with the information necessary, then give it a break!

 

Let BAERING’s expert PR and marketing team help you craft a brand message that doesn’t get filtered out. Contact info@baeringgroup.com for more information.

 

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