(To the tune of Old Macdonald)
Here a Ning, there a wiki, everywhere a blog, blog, blog OMG too much info! EIEIO.
So I've discovered the wonderful world of the edublogosphere. So many ideas, so many conversations. So many apps. So exciting. Yet so overwhelming. Is it just me that feels compelled to sort and organize every bit of information that I encounter?
Here's a great quote I found "That in spacious knowledge there is much contristation, and that he that increaseth knowledge increaseth anxiety." Bacon
It all starts with my Google Reader account that I visit more often than I should. For me this has become a form of relaxation and entertainment. At the same time I want to keep track of every good quote, every link to a useful web tool, every new book mentioned I might read someday. So yes, I have lists (I use Todoist for that), and I have a notebook (I just switched from Google Notebook to Zoho Notebook), and I bookmark (Google bookmarks and just created a Diigo account).
However, I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't need to collect EVERYTHING. So I've tried to come up with a few simple rules to help manage my new addiction.
Jodie's Rules for Managing Information Overload:
Set PRIORITIES: One of those practices that are so important, yet so often overlooked. Take time to sort out what is important in your life, those big overall values and goals that should direct how you choose to spend your time. Post those priorities somewhere where you will revisit them often. ...remember BABY STEPS.
Set a TIME LIMIT: It is so easy to lose track of time and space when using the computer. Use an actual timer (I bet there's an app for that) and set a predetermined amount of time that is to be spent.
Set a PURPOSE: Pretty shiny things are at every turn on the Internet, so unless your purpose is to entertain yourself by surfing aimlessly (and that's okay sometimes), literally write down on a sticky note in big words your task or a focus word to remind you of what you are trying to accomplish (hmmm, I wonder if there is an app for that?)Hopefully your eye will wander to it when you find yourself signing up for another Ning and joining an online podcast when you are supposed to be paying your bills.
Set up a SYSTEM: For the information that you come across that you really do want to remember, put it somewhere where you can find it again. Ironically I've found the same technology that is causing me stress, is also very useful to alleviate it, if I use it properly. So I'll continue to use online tools like Diigo and Zoho Notebook and Todoist...just with a timer. :) I've found David Allen's book and well known "system", GTD, very helpful in creating a feeling of control in my life. One of GTD's main ideas is that to keep the mind free to be creative and calm there needs to be a safe place to collect everything and got it off your mind.
Is there anything I should add or does anyone have some general tips and/or tools for managing information overload?
...and should I admit how much time I spent writing this post? ;)