My friend Joshua Miller was inspired by my blogs posts on social media exhaustion in two ways: He committed to take a hike in the mountains, and he sent me the following post from Abhijeet Mukherjee. Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Mukherjee’s insightful post on dealing with social media exhaustion:
The truth is that you need information. Avoiding reading feeds or logging into Facebook isn’t the solution to beating social media exhaustion. You need to filter and use information effectively. And that can only happen when you are more systematic in your approach towards dealing with the plethora of information you get everyday. Here are six tips to help you get started.
1. Know what’s causing the overload. Most people check emails 10 times every day without realizing that it is a part of the information overload they are facing. Analyze your work day and decide on the activities which are essential and the ones which you could profit from doing less. For different people, it could be different things. It could be Twitter for you and RSS feeds for someone else.
2. Tame your email. A lot of us are addicted to checking email every 10 minutes. I was once too. Here’s a tip – if you get less than 50 emails per day then check it three times per day and allot 20 minutes to each of those time slots. If you check emails every 10-20 mins, you’ll respond to each in some exaggerated fashion. If you check three times a day, and you need to process 10-15 emails at a time and necessity will force you to find a way to handle them each very quickly. Those who get more than 50 emails per day, set up auto-forward rule or train your virtual assistant. Seriously, if you are someone who gets more than 50 emails per day, you need to start looking for an assistant to handle them.
3. Contain RSS feeds. The main intent behind the invention of RSS was to let people have access to information in one place and save them time. However, too many feeds can easily turn into a source of information overload. When it comes to managing RSS feeds, prioritization is the key. Here are 8 useful tips to manage and avoid RSS overload. If you are a Google Reader user like me then here are some more tips to make you more productive while using it.

 4. Set time frames. Use a timer — it’s really easy to lose track of time when you get sucked into one of the myriad sources of information on the net. It happens to me when I am watching YouTube videos. I’ll vow to do it for 10 minutes and end up spending an hour. Sound familiar? Set firm time frames for work and play and use a timer. It could be a physical device or software like this one.

5. Avoid immediacy. It’s easy to get distracted by a random source of information like a Twitter message, breaking news, or an excellent article we come across. These things tempt us to give them immediate attention. And that’s what we need to avoid. Learn to save it for later.
6. Don’t suck up every source. Filtering information sources is an important step toward beating information overload. Identify the type of information you enjoy and associate one major source with it. For example, I have stopped reading newspapers and watching news channels. I have identified certain sources on the Internet where I read all the news I want. Get the picture?
Have some other great tips to deal with information overload ? Let’s hear them in the comments.
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