Information overload? Here’s how to handle it

Paperwork stress
By Eleanor O'Neill, Student Blog

11 February 2019

Do you have trouble remembering what you have studied after a long day of hitting the books? Is keeping track of your workload becoming overwhelming? You may be suffering from information overload.

You and your brain have your limits. Quite often, a surplus of information can push beyond them and leave you feeling burnt out and as uninformed as when you started. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can work into your daily routine to help you retain the important stuff and keep the wheels turning.

1. Reactive reflection

Focus your short-term memory by taking a few minutes to reflect on what you have learned from a task and what pieces of information you need to take forward. This can help you to filter down what you need to remember before moving on to the next item on your to-do list.

Think of this as a mental note-taking technique, bullet-pointing the key facts and making connections between relevant details.

2. Deliberate distraction

Negative thoughts have a habit of lingering longer than important information you actually want to remember. Verbal criticism, for example, may leave you focused on the flaws pointed out to you and associated emotions, rather than the constructive advice you can take on board.

If you find yourself upset or fixated on something negative, try distracting yourself with upbeat music or a cup of tea before reflecting on the experience.

3. Brainpower boost

Sometimes, a struggle to retain information can simply be attributed to tiredness or fatigue affecting your ability to concentrate. Revitalise your mood and mind by going for walk or getting a snack to help boost your energy.

You can alter your habits to try and avoid this setback altogether by coming to work well-rested, choosing foods that can benefit your energy levels, and finding something positive to do on your lunch break.


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