Information Overload - Deepstash

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Being busy is killing our ability to think creatively

Information Overload

We consume up to five times more information than we used to a generation before. This constant information overload drains us of our creativity and even willpower.

An avalanche of information keeps our brain mired and trapped in noise.

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Our inability to focus

Two significant challenges are destroying our ability to focus.

  1. We are increasingly overwhelmed with distractions from various connected devices.
  2. We...
Practice mindfulness

Our biggest mistake is how we start the day. Instead of checking email on your phone, try a simple mindfulness practice when you wake up. 

It can be quietly taking a few deep breaths or meditating for 20 to 30 minutes.

Organize tasks

A common mistake is to fill your calendar with the wrong tasks.
A meeting can break your day into two pieces, each too small to do anything hard in.

Instead, take advantage of your body's natural rhythms. Focus on complex, creative tasks in the morning and schedule your meetings for the afternoon.

The new law of productivity

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Deep work vs. Shallow work
  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create value.
4 philosophies to integrate Deep Work into your life
  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
  • Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
  • Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.
The Importance Of Boredom

It drives us to engage in activities that we find more meaningful than those at hand. Without it, we’d be perpetually excited by everything.

Research shows that people who are bored...

Focus And The Brain

When we’re consciously doing things we’re using the “executive attention network, ” the parts of the brain that control and inhibit our attention. The attention network makes it possible for us to relate directly to the world presently around us.

By contrast, when our minds wander, we activate the brain’s “default mode network, ” which is the brain “at rest”; not focused on an external, goal-oriented task. In this mode, we still tap about 95% of the energy we use when our brains are engaged in focused thinking. 

Types Of Daydreaming
  • Poor attention control: when people with poor attention control drift into daydreaming. These people are anxious, easily distracted, and have difficulty concentrating, even on their daydreams.
  • Guilty-dysphoric: when our thoughts drift to unproductive and negative places. We berate ourselves for perceived mistakes or flaws and feel emotions like guilt, anxiety, and anger.
  • Positive-constructive: when our thoughts veer toward the imaginative; it reflects our drive to explore ideas and feelings, plan, and problem-solve.