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Dealing with information overload

February 21, 2017

 

Having a business is a lot like having a baby. First it’s just an idea, then you (hopefully) put together a plan of how it would work, you focus on making it happen, often obsessively so and then it’s amazing when it becomes a reality! You have a launch party (although it doesn’t usually involve alcohol when you’re pregnant) and then it’s all systems go just trying to survive each day and keep your head above water.

 

The one thing that is consistent throughout all of this is the amount of information that you consume along the way. It comes from the internet, books, Facebook groups and well meaning family and friends. Your head swims with all this information (that is often conflicting) and you quickly become overwhelmed with it all.

 

What is the best way to deal with it?

 

Choose your trusted sources

 

It’s human nature to want to absorb as much information as possible to make the best possible decision. The problem with this approach is that obtaining too many ideas and opinions just leads to conflict and confusion.

 

The best piece of advice I ever read when I was pregnant was ‘choose your trusted sources, and stick to them’. I’ve carried this piece of advice with me and applied it to many different areas of my life, including my business.

 

Your trusted source may be a paid adviser, it may be a friend or it may be a Facebook Group (although I’m wary of these, as there can be many different opinions swimming around, despite having a common link between members). Whatever it is, find it, embrace it and run with it.

 

Unless you trust their business acumen don’t ask your partner or family for advice. Unless they have worked in your industry or run a small business themselves, they won’t have the knowledge or experience. If they are part of your target market, feel free to ask them questions about the product or service that you are providing. Just avoid asking specifics about the processes of your business.

 

Reduce the sources

 

I must admit that I am a bit of a Facebook Group Junkie. So much so that I now have a new rule. I’m not allowed to subscribe to a new group until I’ve unsubscribed to another two. The reason being is that there is so much information out there that I just physically do not have the time to absorb it all. There are webinars, opt-ins, freebies, workbooks and enough five day challenges to last you a lifetime.

 

By cutting down the amount of information you are bombarded with, you are effectively reducing the amount of your overwhelm.

 

Now this strategy may seem a little problematic for any of you out there that suffer from Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), but you have to cut it off somewhere. You just don’t have enough hours in the day to digest all of the information that you want to, and still have a life.

 

Get help

 

Any kind of professional assistance you can obtain is going to help you and your business. If you’re feeling personally overwhelmed, then make it a psychologist or life coach. If it’s outsourcing an aspect of your business, then find your expert. If you need help with financial health, seek an accountant, financial planner or book keeper.

 

Remember, you might be a small business or solopreneur, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it all yourself.

 

If you find yourself subscribing to one too many newsletters or webinars, or can feel that familiar tight feeling in your chest thinking about all the things you need to learn to run your business, then take a deep breath. Follow one of the strategies suggested here and aim to reduce that overwhelming feeling a little at a time.

 

If you do need help sorting through the clutter of your business, feel free to contact me for a chat. We can brainstorm ways in which you can outsource tasks in your business, but still feel in control. If you’d rather do this yourself, check out my free resource - My Outsource Workbook for a step by step method of identifying tasks to outsource.

 

 

 

 

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