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Staying Sane Through Information Overload

Learn how to recalibrate when the volume of distractions in your business and daily life begins to eat away at your self-confidence.

August 7, 2019

Real estate professionals these days are often frustrated because they can’t keep up with everything they’d like to between their business and personal lives. The volume of information competing for your attention on a daily basis can take a monumental toll on your own sense of adequacy. You might have ten years of experience under your belt and have read every article on effective homeselling—and still, you can’t keep up. Nor can anyone.

It’s Not a Self-Esteem Issue

If you experience a diminished sense of self-worth or self-esteem, ease up on yourself. This is a typical human response to overexposure of stimuli. Feeling time-pressed today isn’t connected to how you were raised, where you went to school, where you reside, or who you married. Even people who exhibit high self-worth and high self-esteem often face too much competition for their time and attention, as do people who set goals well. Accept the idea that the dissipation of your career and personal time isn’t necessarily your fault, and—bingo!—you’re well on the road to winning back that lost time.

Drinking From a Rain Barrel

Suppose you are extremely parched, and the only way to quench your thirst is to lift a rain barrel and take a few sips at a time. This is a difficult way to drink. If you grab a small cup, put it in the rain barrel, and extract a couple of ounces at a time, you can easily quench your thirst. By contrast, when you take in the daily information deluge, the predictable result is drowning in the overwhelming feeling of never being able to process everything you’re learning.

Grappling with new information, such as integrating another technology into your work routine or assimilating other changes, goes more smoothly when you employ the basics. What are the basics?

  • Follow directions.
  • Take one step at a time.
  • Assess where you are every couple of steps.
  • Determine whether you are on the right path, and if so, continue.

Your goal at all times is to scoop out a digestible volume of information or tackle a doable number of tasks. Forsake seeking to stay on top of it all, which merely ensures you’ll fall further behind. No one today can keep abreast of everything, nor is the attempt worthwhile. What you can do—and this is significant—is make choices about where you will offer your time and attention.

Slow Down and Reflect

The pace at which new information arrives will accelerate every day for the rest of your career. Too often, the reflex to take action only exacerbates your time-pressure problems. Do not bite off more than you can chew, and acknowledge that often, the wisest response to too much competition for your time and attention is to simply slow down to assess the best way to proceed.

Do you want it fast, or do you want it to last? Hereafter, begin practicing a new response when too much is thrown at you: momentarily pause. In essence, don’t just do something—sit there.

Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is “The Work-Life Balance Expert®” and speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. Visit BreathingSpace.com to learn more about him.

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