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Information Fatigue Syndrome

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Firstly, before you read on I would like to say that the fact that you are reading the below article has a certain irony, which has been noted...

You will see what I mean as you scroll down the page.

These days, we're living in an increasingly connected world. Every day we use the internet whether it be for reading the news, watching Netflix or nosing around social media, maybe posting a picture of your favourite Athleat meal (which we love seeing!) or even taking your latest selfie (pout optional).

While all our media and technology is very convenient (and can be a lot of fun!), so much can result in something called "Information Overload", a term coined by futurist Alvin Toffler back in 1970. The term refers to our inability to absorb and process all the information we're exposed to. Which makes all this extra information that we don't require the reason why we may be getting a little more stupid every time you enter your pin code on the front screen of your phone...Yes, it's true, some studies even suggest that your I.Q can actually reduce because of it!

You see the problem is the brain. As clever as it is, it does sometimes have trouble keeping up with everything that we are feeding it. And because of this you may end up suffering from headaches, experience some exhaustion (not directly attributed to your training!) and therefore end up making bad decisions. The main point is, when exposed to too much information and technology, we tend to shut down.

There’s even a new name for it, Information Fatigue Syndrome (IFS).

There are of course symptoms...some of them sound fairly severe! So read carefully...3 & 6 definitely ring a bell!

Poor concentration - do you drift off in a meeting? Stare into space? What? Who said that?
Polyphasic behaviour - which often manifests in diminished rather than increased productivity
"Hurry sickness" - which is the belief that one must constantly rush to keep pace with time
Pervasive hostility - resulting in a chronic state of irritability
Habituation or over stimulation - which causes the brain to shut down and enter a trance-like state
“Plugged in” compulsion - this is the strong need to check your emails, social media, voicemails, texts, whatsapps and the internet in order to stay “in touch”
Traditional stress - including lowered immune response, endocrine imbalance, depression and the experience of “burn out”

So what can you do about it? Cold Turkey and complete abstinence has to be the best way but much of our life does heavily depend on technology, it might be unrealistic to go "off the grid" (as awesome as that sounds) and certainly not sustainable in the long run.

What can I do about it we hear you ask. Well don't put down your phone just yet!

Here are our top tips to stay sane with the ever increasing bucket load of information being shoved into our heads without us realising it...

Filter – focus your attention on only the most useful and essential information while purposefully ignoring other sources
Queue – perform the initial steps to tasks and then queue up the rest of the task for a more appropriate time
Escape – eliminate disturbances by limiting disruptions from outside world (i.e. not answering phone, closing door)
Prioritise – determining and approaching most important tasks first
Delegate – determining which tasks can be outsourced (have you read the 4 hour work week? Definitely worth a read) Many tasks whatever you do from high flyer to housewife/husband)
Refuse – determining which tasks can be left undone
Limit – not being seduced by thinking that more information is better
Reduce – It's ok to not always achieve total perfection - reduce your goal sights to an attainable yet aspirational level
Alter – change your perception of a task by performing it in a different way or place (i.e. view documents on paper instead of a computer screen; move to a lounge or coffee shop)
Accept – change your perception of a situation by accepting it for what it is (maybe a particularly stressful situation) then moving on with a big smile on your face.

Its really all about prioritising the information you need, and the information that you think you want. The quality of the information you are consuming is also important, so we obviously recommend healthy doses of Athleat articles alongside long periods of information free steak eating :) - or maybe find a deserted island somewhere, live in the forest...or at the very least maybe choose a holiday destination where they either don't have wifi or make you pay through the nose for it...



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