We all are victims of Information Overload!
“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous” – Confucius
This modern age of networked society has brought with it a new risk of becoming victims of information overload. Information overload occurs when a person is exposed to more information than the brain can process at one time. More precisely it can be called as cognitive overload and leads to indecisiveness or analysis paralysis. Information overload often leads to wrong decisions as vital information gets wedged between trivial ones. When overload is chronic, it leads to unresolved stress and anxiety.
Today more people than ever in the history of mankind are being paid to think, instead of doing regular kind of task. Probably we all know that thinking is a biological process but very few of us are aware about the real biological limits of our brain. Very often we put ourselves through various training programs to improve our performances. But surprisingly, understanding and practicing biological limits of the brain is the best way to improve mental performance.
We have space limit in our prefrontal cortex, the biological seat of our conscious interactions with the world, and we require lots of energy to think. Our prefrontal cortex chews up our metabolic fuel faster than we realize. Instant messaging on various social media tools and emails is causing serious problems for the attention centers of our brains.
Distraction-inducing behaviors like constantly messaging over Face book, twitter or checking email stimulate the brain to shoot dopamine into the bloodstream giving us a rush that makes stopping so much harder. The danger is we may lose our connections, not just with one another but also with ourselves. If we don’t allow ourselves periods of uninterrupted, freely associated thought then personal growth, insight and creativity are less likely to emerge.
Setting aside a regular period of doing nothing is the best way we can induce states of mind that nurture a mental performance.