a young businessman at his desk looking stressed and burned out with computers and phones

How can I cope with the huge amount of information coming at me every day? I feel like I'm "drinking from a fire hose."
How do you handle the incessant stream of information coming at you each and every day?

There are two concepts that might help you cope with the amount of information you receive each day through social media, online sites, email and other outlets.

  • Recognize you have limited bandwidth.
    You have only so much capacity on your mental and emotional hard drive. You can only take in a certain amount of information at once. An overloaded hard drive can't function properly.
  • Practice selective listening.
    Learn to focus on what's important amid the flood of information and chatter. This "noise" can distort the messages that matter and can keep you from attending to what you need to do.You can only focus on a certain number of things at one time. Consider being selective about the information you take in on social media, online sites, email and other outlets.

Here's another suggestion. At the start of each day, write down three measurable and achievable tasks. This might be something as simple as washing your car or making a medical appointment. Then build your day around achieving these tasks.

This article is written by Mayo Clinic staff with Dr. Edward T. Creagan. Find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.