Overload; Here’s Why You Stop Listening

Mountain of Paper waits to kill unsuspecting worker

Information Overload is a disease.  Worse, it’s a silent one.  It can strike anyone at any time, and once its there it’s difficult to detect.  It affects students, Bloggers, 9-5-ers, rich, poor, old, young; everyone.

How to spot your information crash and burn:

Here are a few of the ways you can tell you’re headed somewhere unpleasant and full of boredom.  There may be more.  Feel free to add some you’ve felt in the comments below and I’ll edit them in here.

–         Thinking about checking your email/RSS/research makes you feel tired

–         You skim or skip over information sources more often than you read them

–         You no longer care about the best way to complete a task

–         Social Networking Sites seem torturous and trivial (!)

–         Work instills a desire to run away and/or sleep

–         Energy skipped town

–         Inspiration jumped out of the nearest window when it saw you coming


  1. Remove all subscriptions
  2. Take a day away from all responsibilities (if possible)
  3. Play videogames or treat yourself to something you ‘never have time for’
  4. Resist urge to re-add all responsibilities and subscriptions
  5. Repeat as required

Maybe it seems a bit outlandish and draconian, but I swear it will work.  If not you can sue me.  Or, rather, you could if I had money and if this wasn’t an entirely advice-based blog.  Let me know how you get on!

It’s not you, it’s me

I’ve had enough of having so many information streams coming at me from all sides and suffocating the passion out of everything I do.  Thank you.  By the end of today I’ll probably have removed almost all of my subscriptions, and over the next month or so I’ll be avoiding adding most of them back again.  This doesn’t mean I hate you as people, this just means I’m not gaining any value from your blog/forum/newsletter at this exact moment in time.

As an extension of that, I won’t be tweeting things for the sake of tweeting them any more either (or sharing in general for that matter); this should mean that when I do tweet something it’ll be useful and interesting.

Let’s fight the addiction together and make the internet the place it should be!

13 thoughts on “Overload; Here’s Why You Stop Listening

  1. Eleanor Edwards

    You are completely right. I did a 1 minute motivator on pretty much the same thing a few weeks back – although I probably sugar coated it a little more than you 😉

    There’s absolutely no point in reading stuff for the sake of reading it. The last few weeks I’ve been so busy with this and that, the thought of having to get to other people’s blog because I ‘should’ was completely draining. I just did what I had to do, used up my pre-written stash of blog posts (boy was I glad I had those there!) and got by.

    The result? I’m still here! Nothing fell apart. The world did not stop spinning 😉 At what point is this meant to feel like a day job? Because I for one don’t want to be online 40 hours per week. I love what I’m doing. I love the people I’m meeting. When I’m writing from the heart, I enjoy writing. But this pressure to produce, if it doesn’t need to be there, why let it be?

    Great honesty Heather. I like 😀
    .-= Eleanor Edwards´s last blog ..Five things every child needs to hear =-.

    1. TylinaVespart

      Well that’s a relief! Wasn’t sure what people would make of this one to be honest…

      Anyway no, you meet a lot of great people online, but feeling the need to go and visit them and comment and follow what they’re doing all of the time is a bit silly. Makes the whole thing a whole lot less fun too!

      Agree with you, why add pressure when it doesn’t have to be there and it doesn’t make you any happier?

      Thanks for stopping by with encouragment El 😀 As always, great to see you.

    1. TylinaVespart

      Looking forward to reading that one! It’s not absolutely critical that I know what’s going on at all times, but it’d be nice if I could deal with a bit more.

      Took me hours but my subscriptions are down from 300-400 to just under 20. Lets see how long that lasts 😉

  2. Ben

    This is somewhere I’ve been until very recently Heather. The demands on me through work have been huge and coming home to sift through RSS, twitters and emails filled me with dread. But now the break I was expecting has come and this morning I’m energised to be back on my and others blogs.

    I am sorry though that you’re not getting any value from my site at the moment. I hope I can win you back soon

    1. TylinaVespart

      It’s really nothing personal Ben, as I said in the post it’s just gotten too much for me at the moment! I’ve cut back from (literally) hundreds of feeds down to just shy of 20, though I’m not expecting it to stay there long.

      Good to hear you’re feeling better again though! As always, great to see you, and no doubt I’ll be back along at some point. 🙂

  3. Justin Matthews

    Seems like there have been a bunch of people lately just pushing pause on the current and delete on the backlog. that is in RSS and email. I did the same thing. I also did something like your solution and just left the computer off for a day. I watched 2 movies all by myself. My relationship with my TV has been nonexistent since I started my blog.
    Thanks for the info
    .-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..On Diapers and Potty Training… =-.

    1. TylinaVespart

      TV! I’ve not even thought about that in a while… ah well. For me its video games I missed, sat and played for a while yesterday instead of reading my billion feeds. So much more fun. 🙂

      Glad you took a day off too though Justin, certain its good for you. Thanks for stopping by!

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