Information OVERLOAD!!!

I am so overwhelmed!

A typical 5 minutes in my day: Bzzzz…new text message. Bzzzz…incoming cell phone call. Ding…e-mail newsletter with 47 links to click. Ding…webinar invite. Ring…mom’s calling. Ding…e-mail from client. Purr…cat climbs on me. Clink…Reminder to call Bob for article interview in 20 minutes. Wonk…Skype call. Ding…e-mail confirming conference call. Knock…brother holding baby in doorway because baby is ready for mommy time.

The typical next 5 minutes: Reply to text message, let cell phone call go to voice mail, delete newsletter, register for webinar and add it to iCal, answer mom’s call with unfairly annoyed tone of voice, read client e-mail, pat cat, “snooze” reminder for 5 minutes, ignore Skype for the moment, reply “yes” to conference call and add to iCal, situate baby on my lap…

What’s funny is I know I’m leaving stuff out.

God, I am so tired. And did I do any actual WORK in this 10 minute period? Yeah, I guess so. I don’t know how to measure it. I answered phones, messages, talked, got irritated with a loved one, set up some appointments, got an educational opportunity on the calendar, and fed my baby. I suppose this is progress. But is it effective?

Since I started my business, I’ve been going crazy with the amount of information I need to process – and a lot of it is my doing. To learn new things and stay on top of industry trends, I’ve subscribed to a number of newsletters, joined several LinkedIn groups and a few meet-up/networking groups. I’m on 50 e-mail lists, including those of vendors I work with, and most of these deliver information I actually value and WANT to receive. But I’ve learned that I can spend more than 24 hours a day sifting through it, organizing it, responding to it, talking about it…waaaah!

And for the record, the work-related information comes to me on top of that from my friends and family and I don’t do much censoring of their information! Relationships are important and are the reason I’m doing any and all of this.

A great blog came to my attention today: Data Sort – Finding Inner Peace When There’s Too Much Information. GOOD STUFF! It’s written by a woman in my Founding Mom’s meet-up, and I’m so grateful she encouraged us to check out her blog today. She understands how I feel and reminded me that most of us are overloaded–but that we can choose to be grateful for the opportunities we have to connect with people, stay active with our families, take on work, etc. And really, that we can laugh about it.

We all need to learn how to manage all the information that comes our way. My life has changed a lot lately, and I’m learning new skills every day. I’ll get the hang of it. I’m in the thick of things and I need to learn how to quickly identify what’s most important, what has to be addressed immediately and what can wait. I’m sort of impatient, though, and I am really looking forward to having it figured out. (I do realize no one ever figures it out, though!) See, I’m my own worst enemy. 😉

Uh-oh! I just heard The Office music coming from the TV in the livingroom. I have to wrap this up so I can watch it…if I don’t get an e-mail, phone call or text in the meantime!