Why Information Overload Is A Big Hurdle To Your Blogging Success (and how to avoid it?)

Why Information Overload Is A Big Hurdle To Your Blogging Success

Overwhelm is quite hard to avoid these days. The web is quite a busy place and there is a lot of information on almost every topic that exists. This is a good thing. Information is good.

But too much of anything is not good. And we have got too much of information floating around the web, don’t you agree?

Entrepreneurs are one of the major victims of this information overload. Why? Because we are the ones who constantly look for information on the web. Our virtual workspace is on the web and we constantly look up for help.

When we learn to blog, we look up for blogging tips. We hunt for blog post ideas. We search for tips on technical skills that are needed to run a blog.

Given that there’s so much to learn when we are running an online business by ourselves, we need to keep ourselves updated on news, topics, and all the essentials that are absolutely needed to keep our business afloat.

So it is clear that we cannot “escape” looking for information on the web. It is certainly part of our business.

But when it goes bad is that when we are choked by the overwhelming amount of information on the web.

Here’s why overwhelm is a BIG hurdle to your blogging success!

  1. For one, when there’s too much information you cannot use it for good.
  2. Too much information overwhelms you and leaves you confused. You cannot pick any one strategy or tip and there’s simply too much to choose from.
  3. Overwhelm will make you stressed. There are different ways in which bloggers get stressed over too much information. Some people stress out because they feel that there’s too much to learn and that they’ve only learned very less so far. Some people stress out trying every tip/strategy they look up and end up burned out.
  4. Overwhelming amount of information will simply keep you busy for no reason.
  5. Following 4, you will not indulge in producing or creating value. You will simply be locked in the mystery of too much information.
Don’t take information overload lightly. It can bring your biz to halt! [Click to tweet this!]

So how can you overcome this BIG hurdle? This is quite tricky and you need to have discipline in order to overcome information overload, given that it is stopping you from progressing. Let’s dive in.

Define “work”

Many bloggers are proud of themselves on the fact (as they believe) that they work extended hours on their business. Most of us (myself included) believe that sitting in front of the laptop is working.

Nah! If you are believing the same, you’ve got to wake up! You have to take a closer look to see what kinda work you are really doing while you are sitting in front of the computer.

And, researching for a blog post topic is work too. But getting sidetracked a lot in the name of researching is very likely to happen. And, when you end up on a cute cat video when you started researching for a blog post, you cannot count all of the hours as “work”.

In the end if you don’t have control of the time you get sidetracked, you will feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you have gathered.

There is no point in spending all the time in researching and finally creating nothing. The whole purpose of researching goes waste here.

So set yourself a specific time window for researching or anything that involves gathering information. Define your “working period”. Spending all your time on learning isn’t a good idea. You need to allot a major portion of your time to apply what you’ve learned and/or create stuff for your business.

I like Rescue Time which helps me track where my time is going. If I unknowingly (or knowingly) spend too much time on an unnecessary task, I can see it in the weekly reports. This will help me get myself back on track!

With the premium version, I can also block distracting websites for a specific period of time when I am producing something (more on it in a bit).

Are you REALLY working? You could be loading yourself with unwanted info [Click to tweet this!]

Batch process learning and producing

I see that there is a tendency to end up spending too much time on learning/researching and gathering too much information when I have to do it more frequently. Let’s say I do the research for a blog post and then I start writing it. And then I do research for another blog post and then come back to writing it.

If I gather information like this, the chances of taking too much time and info on one researching session are high! On the other hand, if I batch process learning and producing I spend the time more reasonably. And this needs quite a bit of practice too.

So carve out a big block of time for gathering information for multiple tasks. Say you have to do research for 2 blog posts, 1 niche site you are planning to start, a market research for one new product and so on.

In the big block of time, allot smaller chunks of time window for each of the above researching tasks. Once you have completed gathering information for multiple purposes, use all the information and switch yourself to “doing” mode.

Switching back and forth between researching and producing will make you spend too much time on gathering unwanted information.

Batch processing could be a life saver in your business! [Click to tweet this!]

Cut off distractions

Cut off distractions

I actually hesitated a bit to use the word “distractions” here. But information overwhelm occurs mainly because of the too many distractions that are on the web and real information is actually buried deep inside.

So in most cases you simply have to cut off all the distractions to stop yourself from chocking on information. It is quite natural to land on Facebook when you are researching for something. A search result might lead you there. You might even grab a couple of useful links or videos from Facebook. But then you start scrolling that infinite scroll bar and you start gathering all the unnecessary information.

You waste your time and load your brain with garbage that you don’t need. Cutting off distractions is the only way to keep the information minimum and get back to work in time!

You could have heard the advice that you should unplug from the internet or block yourself from visiting certain websites while you are writing a blog post or working on a project.

Now here’s my advice: Block yourself from visiting certain websites (where you are more likely to get distracted – common, you know them!) while you are in researching mode.

Yes do it, seriously.

You will not miss anything. You will not choke yourself on too much information and you will not get side tracked.

Unplug to do serious work. The world won’t end if you’re not online! [Click to tweet this!]

There are various apps/software that help you do this. I like Cold Turkey for a rock solid protection against distractions. This program is so robust – it makes it nearly impossible to get around while you are in “block” mode. Or if you prefer, you can also use the pro version of Rescue Time to get this job done.

In any case, block yourself from sites that are most likely to distract you and load you with unnecessary information. You will be good in the end.

Information Overload: Takeaway

Blogging is a challenging task that needs your consistent effort for a long time. It is a long time commitment and certainly no joke. It is very important to keep yourself “lite” throughout the process because there is already too much on your plate!

You got to research the market, find ways to please your readers, do search engine optimization, build email list, connect with people and build your network, create products, consistently create useful content to gain traction and the list is not going to end here – I ended it because my fingers are tired.

So there’s already too much that needs your attention. Give your total, undivided attention to those tasks that will grow your business and stop overwhelming yourself with too much information.

Too much information and overwhelm not only hinders your business growth but can also hit your health. The stress that comes from overwhelm is no fun.

Hope you found these tips useful. Share it with your friends and community.

If you have a cool tip, share it here in the comments below. Also let me know which one of these tips you found the most useful!

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow Jane, yesterday were you looking over my shoulder. The video I got sidetracked with wasn’t a cute cat it was a cute dog….

    I try to work for a certain period of time and then stop and re-evaluate what I’m doing. I’ve also gotten better when I’m off on a tangent, realizing it and getting my focus back.

    I do like your suggestion of doing research for a post or two and then writing it. I do waste time bouncing back and forth between writing and researching. I’ll have to give your tip a try.

    Thanks,
    LeslieZ

  2. says

    Hi Jane, Distractions are a big culprit for me. I can use my whole morning answering emails, following up with questions from FB, and checking my affiliate links. I am going to start to reserve a block of morning hours for “get er done!” Blessings, Amy

  3. says

    LOL, I think I’m also on the list of people who thinking sitting behind the laptop/computer is working. Or sometimes it is just I’m wasting time on social networks and also other things. I believe what we doing today comes under work.

    Thanks for sharing

  4. says

    Hey Jane,

    Great post. Information Overload is really a great hurdle, which reduce blogging productivity. I think this post must beneficial for reduce information overload and increase productivity with your given tips.

    Thank you for this great post Jane…. :)

  5. says

    I absolutely agree with your views and that’s why the heading caught my attention :)
    and to be honest, i visited your blog being the same kind of victim ;)
    So, for what could be wrong for you could do good to others..lol
    Thanks, it was a great article written from the heart n a long experience, i think so.

  6. says

    Yes, people need to learn to do LESS to achieve MORE. Studies show multi-tasking does not actually work, at the end of the day one achieves less, not more. However, when I look at some friends of mine it’s not actually that they wouldn’t have enough time on their hands, but between spending hours (!) on Facebook and watching TV they are wasting away their days.

  7. says

    This post speaks to me. I surround myself with leads of stimulus, I would keep researching and researching before I am able to write one blog post which end up being stuffed up meanwhile, “simple” is better and is the way to go. You have just made me realise that I need to focus on one thing at a time if I need to be productive.

  8. says

    One of my big problem is manage a time. Yes your right, some times we go to some web and looking and looking for some information and after that doing nothing.
    I absolutely agree with you. Time is our valuable resource that we have to use effective and efficiently to reach our goal, either in work or in our social life.
    The key is Time Management.
    thank for your post..

  9. says

    Hi Jane

    I often go on unplanned off-track trips – just collecting more and more information!
    Apparently we are addicted to the “search”, but find contentment in the actual completion of a task. (Recent Psychology magazine I believe)

    Anyway – knowledge does nothing to stop me!
    But what I have started to do is:
    1. Set a “goal” – i.e get 5 case studies for a You Tube E Book.
    2. Set a time limit
    3. Have an “ideas” spreadsheet or notebook – everything else gets noted there, do deal with my FOMO.
    I just keep telling myself “its not a NOW thing”. Funny I hardly ever go back to those “REALLY IMPORTANT” articles,,,

    I think this is all what Steven Pressfield would call “Resistance”. Have you read his books?

    Nina

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