You are wallowing in two things today: 1) information overload and the glut of just more stuff in your inbox, and 2) a true sense of blame for this electronic-world-gone-crazy that has so relentlessly dumped all of this in your lap. To be fair, however, from your PC, out to the multitudinous servers of the global highway… they are simply doing their job. However, are YOU doing yours? Much of this pandemonium and overload could be controlled with just one word:
Whose fault is this? Again, to be fair, a lot of your overload may have to do with increasing spam. But most of it has to do with your avid interest in information, and perhaps your habit of signing up with way too many interesting, information-bearing newsletters, membership sites, and the like. Hmm? Really, just who is the real adversary?
Remember the wise old ?possum named Pogo, created by the cartoonist, Walt Kelley? I recommend his words to all the technologyholics reading this article:
"We have met the enemy," Pogo said, "and he is us."
Okay, so maybe you are too young to recall Pogo and his daily ?support? for those who waited, wiggling in their chair, for the evening newspaper — and the cartoon section — to arrive. (Go check Pogo out at Wikipedia 🙂
When you finally realize that you are your own worse enemy… then what? Some people ignore. Some shrug and keep on with the status quo. And some seek the change they need. Points one and two will cause the stress to continue. Point three is not only the solution, but it is DO-able!
What causes stress? You are an internet marketer, or aspiring to become one. You spend a lot of time online, and probably have a hard drive FULL of digital information. So much, in fact, that you?ve begun chunking it away in folders, saving it for the day ?you have time.? Unstoppable, the info rolls in, in droves, each and every day. This is true business stress! How does your situation compare with a regular job and that type of stress?
Business stress is a widespread result of fear — fear of the ambiguous setting of so much economic chaos, the status of your job, and insecurity. When you are working within a large company, your fear might come from day-to-day transactions with your boss, or from coping with requests from management.
You, as a sole business owner, contend with many similar situations and feelings. We all are working toward being in better control over a chaotic world, and the status of your ?job? online is also a daily rigor. You have traded one boss for many bosses… for your customers? desires and needs are what drive your daily actions. You may not have management to report to, but between customer requests, and the demands of many subscribed services… there are still many entities that you are responsible for answering requests.
Fear manifests itself in the workplace in feelings of insecurity that your job might not even exist tomorrow. For the online marketer, this is also true. Yesterday?s big success could be quickly overrun with today?s new fad, new trend — and you are still out there drumming up customers in order to ?keep your job.?
Back to Pogo. Once you see that you are causing most of this info overload by your own actions, and that, yes, you are your enemy, then you also should see that your course of action is to focus on what it will take to reduce that stress. Most of us tend to bring on more and more information in the inbox, out of a fear that we will miss something important. When you have multiple tasks and to-do lists fighting for your time, it is stressful and easier said than done, to focus on any one action.
Since it is obvious that this is not going away, we've all got to become skilled at managing our information overload. The key to this is to spell out your prime goals and then focus on the few peak goals that you would most like to achieve in the next specific time-span. Think about the next four weeks. Think about the coming year.
Focus on just one activity at a time. As a busy professional, your small business depends on you being able to de-clutter your schedule and your mind — not to mention your desktop or your computer screen! — so that you can focus on what is most important.
The next secret is to learn how to STAY focused. If you fire up your computer for a specific purpose, stick to it! It is all too easy to get sidetracked in the content-heavy Internet Highway. Information overload will happen when you are not focused. You will not be focused if you do not have goals.
The Web continues to grow rapidly, and users find it difficult to know where to begin. Part of your stress as a Web site owner is that you find it difficult to attract visitors. The solution? FOCUS on ways that will help lead that overwhelmed visitor to finding your site.
The Internet is incredibly fast — people now expect ?instant gratification? when doing business online and can be unbelievably fickle. By placing yourself in the correct pathways, usually by your visible placement in the engines, that user?s need for immediate results could very well lead to a strong relationship with you.
If you are overwhelmed by all the information you are trying to learn, then here are some tips to help you overcome your information overload:
? Do not focus on what you don't know. Nobody knows everything,
and we all had to start with baby steps, at some point in
? Focus on your long-term strategy, and you won't place dismal
financial pressure on your new business. Remember, you LOVE
this, and more than anything, you want to have fun with this
business you?ve created. Set achievable goals and a 1-month,
a 6-month, and a one-year plan into the future.
? Focus on creating a network and a community. Help others,
both online and off — in any way that you can. Be a
lighthouse of hope for others — by helping them, you will in
turn enrich yourself, build your credibility and find
supportive people for your network.
Are you seeing a way clear of your information overload? Hey, relax! Relax and focus. What would Pogo have to say about the incredible business you are building?
?We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.?