Dealing With Information Overload

20 replies
So how do you guys deal with this? The Internet is a huge distraction and also at the same time an enormous source of information.

Anyone who is making some money at this game knows the importance of focus, follow-through and planning. One of the challenges I always face is surfing the web, reading various blogs and forums and dealing with all the distractions (ideas to try out, muses to test, link strategies etc.) that can distract me for the whole day if I let them.

I know that I can easily get lost in the weeds and then get nothing done during the day. At the same time, I don't want to forget valuable ideas I come across online.

I'm really interested in knowing if others have also struggled with this program and if they have how they've dealt with it.

What's really helped me structure & categorize all this information is Evernote. It's free software and there is no affiliate program or anything like that (evernote dot com). It runs on iPhone, Blackberry etc. & also as a plugin to Firefox & Safari. You can also login directly and edit new notes at their website.

So I create a series of notebooks like this:

LandingPad - if I don't know where a web clipping, photo, doc etc. go I put them in the LandingPad notebook and shift them into a more appropriate area later on.

Links - any and all ideas related to link building go here

BlackHat - Any blue/grey/black hat technique I feel comfortable with goes here.

Marketing - Any random ideas on marketing go here

PPC - info related to PPC

CPA - info related to CPA

Debt - info related to debt, finances etc. regarding an ebook I'm writing



When I find content I like I click the evernote button and stick it in a notebook (or landing pad if it doesn't have a home yet).

All in all I have about 20 notebooks in Evernote. I haven't had to upgrade to premium to get more space and I usually find a few clippings every day upload. I can also take pictures and have them geo tagged and placed into a notebook I call "Journal" (which is just for my daily journal).

The plugin works in Safari & FireFox so I can do this from Windows, Linux & Mac where I am. I find this more valuable than a shared bookmarking service.

About the only downside to the service I can see is that a lot of my thinking and strategy is stored online "in the cloud".

#dealing #information #overload
  • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
    Just last month I asked this very same question and got some great replies. 50 replies here:
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    • Profile picture of the author arttse
      I believe forums such as these are also a huge distraction...but at the same time...a real benefit.

      Its all about finding a balance.
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  • Profile picture of the author wemakeiteasy
    It's a trap most beginners fall into.

    The key is to minimize the learning, and spend most of the time implementing and taking action.
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    • Profile picture of the author mahesh2k
      Originally Posted by wemakeiteasy View Post

      It's a trap most beginners fall into.

      The key is to minimize the learning, and spend most of the time implementing and taking action.

      Well said, other than that dividing tasks in smaller chunks and doing that helps speed up implementation for those who lack motivation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jvsnow01
    I find that by telling someone that I want to complete something by a short deadline, it helps me to focus on it.

    I also know that the same person will ask me about that task/project in our next conversation.

    I'd want to give a definite answer e.g 'Yes', as opposed to 'I haven't finished it yet' or 'I'm still working on it'.

    Being accountable for my actions really helps me to focus on one thing at a given time.

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  • Profile picture of the author smoke.sessions
    I think information overload is just a way of telling us that we need to get on the ball and get some stuff done so you can free up some time.

    PM me if you need a custom WP plugin or a website built!

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  • Profile picture of the author GarryMSayer
    Unfortunately Info Overload is a constant unwelcome companion when you are trying to make a full-time income online. Bit like that drunk at the bar who wants to tell you his life story whereas all you want to do is sit and enjoy your beer.

    There are so many distraction that can suck you in. Before you know it you've wasted hours and sometimes days with nothing to show for your efforts.

    I discovered one great tip early that if used correctly that can eliminate this problem.

    Selective Focus.

    What this means in relation to Internet marketing, is quite simply, only purchase reading material / ebooks / Info Products that you can use NOW on your current projects.

    If you don't have a project or business model to follow. Find one.

    There's a ton of advice here on the Warrior Forum. If you join the War Room there's potentially everything in there you'll ever need to go full-time online, providing you know where to look and who to listen to. But that's part of the fun and challenge of having your own business isn't it?

    Making decisions.

    Anyhow back to my point.

    If you are not going to use something for several months then why bother even buying it. Or for that matter why bother signing up to someone's mailing list and getting it for free.

    Learn to be very selective about what you buy and what you read.

    Practice selection focus.

    Some other great advice I received on the subject was this...

    Write the following down on a piece of paper and tape it to your computer, or basically somewhere visible that you'll see every time you sit down by your computer to do some work. When you get distracted by the next best thing...

    Consider this...

    "Does this move me closer to what I want,
    faster than whatever else I could be doing?"

    If it doesn't then leave it well alone and make sure you continue doing stuff that does.

    Best advice I ever received so it feels right to share it with you.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Profile picture of the author John_
      Wondering if people who are very curious (like me) tend to be even more overloaded with information...

      To describe it:
      - I'm overloaded with IM material
      - I'm overloaded with many simultaneous projects
      - I'm overloaded with unwanted information (from too much surfing)

      But being SATURATED with information helps me stimulate my brain, so I can't say it's totally bad...

      As long as I'm in action, it's ok.

      I'm studying and applying Internet Marketing constantly. I'm here because I want to share knowledge. :)

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  • Profile picture of the author nanobanano
    The information is great and seductive, luring us away from our good intentions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Life Quaker
      I'm an information junkie...always have been. I love to learn something new (and doesn't particularly matter what it is). I have had to work through this and learn to focus my learning a bit better. (Using the quote Garry mentioned is great ) Though I'm still a junkie!

      I am good at avoiding distraction though. I hardly ever answer my phone, whether I'm busy doing something, or talking to someone...I give my full attention to that. The problem for me has always been - once I start browsing the web, time can tend to fly by me.

      My solution has always been to allow myself to browse as much as I want - but only in the late afternoon and evening (when I am far less productive anyhow). I do have a quick perusal of my email, and a few sites in the morning after I've done something - but nothing else until later on.

      Originally Posted by honestbizpro

      But taking action turns me on. Creating something, seeing results, making new contacts its awesome.
      Making new contacts turns you on? I would love to see you at big events...although might mistake your feelings about me. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author OzDesign
    I've been info overloaded too!! By now I should have learned enough to start my IM journey and be on my way. It's just those clever sales letters and tactics that make us feel we're not good enough and need the next best gadget.

    I've decided to unsubscribe to many mailing lists for a break and getting on with what I do know. Afterall, those new ebooks and courses are always out there anyway if I want to learn new things.

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  • Profile picture of the author UnstoppableJoy
    A good productivity too is a stopwatch. When you start "study and research" start the watch. When you are done start working on a project for twice the amount of time you studied. Rinse and repeat.

    Ed Osworth - The Joy Professor - Author of "Unstoppable Joy - A Happier You in 12 Simple Steps"
    $15.95 at Amazon or get Your Free Copy at

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  • Profile picture of the author mbrig
    Sometimes you are the last to acknowledge that you are suffering from Info' overload. We all have a trickster in our brain who does'nt want us to stretch ourselves and leave our comfort zone. It will tell you let's get some more good info' on that before we take the action the article/email/blog etc is suggesting.

    Why would you be looking for info' on the same thing in dozens of places, surely having looked at 2-3 good articles/sites the idea is then to put your own originality and content into the subject and garner the results of your work from the various responses.

    Having taken some action you will at least know that you are heading off in the right direction, if not rework and go again.

    There's a 4 letter word that could be wrecking your business....the word is



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  • Profile picture of the author WiseWebWords
    - a very informative thread...

    picked up lots of good suggestions for avoiding what I guess is really procrastination - avoiding getting on with the real tasks we need to do - telling ourselves that we need more information!!
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  • Profile picture of the author
    I think emails are much distraction and we need to be wary on them.
    Checking emails only few times a day is a good idea than checking it all time and keeping the inbox all day open...

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    There's a wonderful tip from the musician Peter Gabriel, that applies to marketers as well as musicians.

    He refers to "energy A" and "energy Z." A is when you are overflowing with great new ideas, your own ideas and all the exciting suggestions that others make as well. Z is when you edit, review, select, mix, discard, revise, etc.

    Both are crucial.

    Here's the great tip: only do one at a time!

    When you are surfing for new ideas, do that whole-heartedly. Collect everything and don't make any attempt at all to sort it out. Put a time limit on this phase!

    Then have a matching phase, with your own "thinking cap" rituals, to ruthlessly weed, sort out, cross-reference, prioritize the best and eliminate the rest.

    Keep these two activities, as Law & Order says, "separate but equally important."

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  • Profile picture of the author Blender
    You can get lost so easily on sites like this and many other sites that provide IM information. Also you will run into a lot of bogus info on the way that you have to learn to weed out. For me after paying attention and reading for a decent amount of time you eventually begin to compile an idea of quality information. Probably not the best solution in the world but that's what i did
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