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."

Answer From Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

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.

Try this: 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 doctor's appointment. Then build your day around achieving these tasks.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Jan. 31, 2018 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. 3 simple strategies to help you focus and de-stress
  2. 3 ways to become more stress resilient
  3. 3 ways to learn patience and amp up your well-being
  4. 4 proven ways you can feel happier
  5. A Very Happy Brain
  6. Adapt to put stress in its place
  7. Anger management: Your questions answered
  8. Are your holidays a dietary free-for-all?
  9. Balancing work and life responsibilities
  10. Being assertive
  11. Bridge pose
  12. Can yoga help me keep caregiver stress in check?
  13. Caregiver stress
  14. Caregiver stress
  15. Cat/cow pose
  16. Chase away the winter blues
  17. Child's pose
  18. Cobra
  19. Control email to regain control of your life
  20. Coping with job stress
  21. Destress with breathing
  22. Denial
  23. Downward-facing dog
  24. Dreading a family holiday gathering?
  25. Ease stress to reduce your psoriasis flares
  26. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a break
  27. Forgiveness
  28. Great expectations: How to keep them from creating unhappiness
  29. Have you had a good laugh today?
  30. Holidays don't have to break the bank
  31. How decluttering your space could make you healthier and happier
  32. How sharing kindness can make you healthier & happier
  33. How to focus on the present for long-term progress
  34. Job burnout
  35. Job satisfaction
  36. Laugh more, stress less
  37. Learn to reduce stress through mindful living
  38. Learn to say no and enjoy the holidays
  39. Lifestyle strategies for pain management
  40. Manage stress through problem-solving
  41. Manage stress to improve psoriatic arthritis symptoms
  42. Mountain pose
  43. Need better work-life balance?
  44. Stress-relief tips
  45. New School Anxiety
  46. Perfect holiday? Forget about it!
  47. Pet therapy
  48. Positive thinking
  49. Problem-solving
  50. Resilience
  51. Say no, to say yes to less stress
  52. Seated spinal twist
  53. Setbacks and criticism — Don't let them derail you
  54. Slide show: Yoga poses
  55. Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress
  56. Spirituality and stress relief
  57. Standing forward bend
  58. Stress and technology
  59. Holiday stress
  60. Prevent stress setbacks
  61. Stress relief from laughter
  62. How to say no
  63. Stress relievers
  64. Stressed out? Skip the late show
  65. Stressed? Set yourself up for success
  66. Support groups
  67. The power of positive thinking
  68. Tired of feeling hassled? Try these tips
  69. To manage anxiety, start with the way you think
  70. Use the 80/20 rule to manage time and reduce stress
  71. Warrior 1
  72. What is hot yoga?
  73. What is reflexology?
  74. Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units
  75. Work-life balance