How to Cope with Information Overload
Overwhelm and information overload are the largest hurdles all e-Marketers confront. It causes us to stop giving our best effort. But there are techniques one can put into practice to overcome it.
For most of us, e-Marketing represents a whole new way to go about making a living. Most people work at a job of some sort.When working a job, you are usually paid based on the amount of time you put in.
It does not work that way when you run your own business. The money only comes in when you succeed at doing two very different things: offer great products or services, and drum up business. You cannot succeed unless you can do both.
It is rare that one person excels at both. Most often, people are better at delivering the goods than we are at marketing, though it may work the other way for you.
e-Marketing is a set of practices used to promote products or services. There are many great tools, techniques and strategies at our disposal and anyone can learn to do it. But there are many facets to it, and learning about it all can be overwhelming.
So is there a way to focus only on the important parts and ignore the rest? The short answer is no. Each business is different and experience matters in terms of achieving success.
Dedication, research and testing will get you to the point of mastery. But using this approach, it could take you as long as 20 years to achieve it. But you didn't get into your own business to put off making money for 20 years, right?
But information overload causes many of us to become paralyzed or just stop trying. When asked, people experiencing this kind of overload will tell you they want to keep making progress, but are frozen because there is so much information flying past them they just don't know where to start.
Everyone goes through it, including the most successful e-Marketers.
Also, information overload is not something only novices experience. It is just a normal part of being an e-Marketer, and you will experience it all along. This is a business where you can never stop learning, and there will always be much work to do in little time. Learning how to move beyond the overwhelm now will be an asset you will use over and over again.
By adopting a few simple strategies, you can get beyond information overload whenever it strikes.
- Take a different perspective when it comes to your tasks: Approach mastering them as you would approach teaching a new skill to a young child. The child must be challenged by the new task in order to grow.
But the child also needs to see the new challenge as being achievable. If the task is too much for the child, they will not go for it. They may need to see someone else do it first, or have you help them do it a few times before they get up the nerve to try it on their own.
You must also set tasks for yourself which you can see yourself achieving. If you do not give yourself enough of a challenge, you will not be motivated or experience growth. Too much challenge and you will feel overwhelmed by it.
- Focus on one project at a time. Don't fool yourself into thinking you are succeeding by multitasking. Our brains were not designed to keep focus on several things at once. In fact, it is just the opposite: the brain keeps focus be filtering and deleting the vast majority of what it takes it. It may sound opposite of our reality, but we are less efficient and less productive when we multitask. Multitasking has also been shown to kill brain cells! Focusing on one thing at a time makes us more efficient and productive. Put an end to your multitasking right away!
- Organize your tasks: One huge, regular stress generator is just trying to keep track of all of our tasks. Having a simple practice in place for managing your tasks can get rid of this stress entirely. This does not have to be complicated... all you need is to keep a list somewhere you can access it wherever you are. When you think of something new which you need to do, immediately add it to the list, and then stop thinking about it. Your list will remember the "to do" for you and you will be able to get to it when appropriate.
Review your task list each day, preferably at night to organize it for the next morning. Move your most important items to the top of your list.
Put new tasks at the bottom of the list as they come up during the day. Stay focused on the high-priority tasks.
Don’t let other distractions, like checking email, interrupt the order you handle your tasks. E-mail is the most common distracter for most people. Starting the day with e-mail is a sure way not to get your critical work done.
This sort of organization and structure is difficult for many entrepreneurs. They choose to be in business for themselves specifically because they like to jump from task to task without a lot of structure and organization. If this describes you, then it is all the more important the you recognize the tendency and adopt simple tactics to help keep you focused.
- Use the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule says that 80 percent of our results come out of only 20 percent of our actions. Figure out what work gives you the biggest gains, and focus on those. Most of what you do probably gives you only small, or no gains.These tasks should be your lowest priority, or should be ignored, delegated or outsourced.
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