Pixel-based paralysis.

I continue to hear about tools designed to help people “cope” with information. The most common is probably ways to handle your out-of-control email situation. Smarter folks than me have tackled this one already, so I'll be brief.

Our problem is not information, nor the systems we choose to manage it. I will be the first to admit that we live in a unique time period in which we have ubiquitous access to more information than anyone in the past, and this poses new challenges to us. But finding filters and applying logic-based tools to the burden we feel is panacea to the real problem. We need to decide how we are going to feel about information in the first place.

Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things requiring our attention is normal. Seeking ways to assist with this is normal. But until you get positively mercenary with the things you allow to affect your emotional well-being, you will continue to feel the weight of the internet crushing you. Learn why it's not important to think about everything with the same gravitas and start to realize that you can begin to separate signal from noise more easily than you think you can. Anyone can do it. It just takes training, like every other thing you didn't know how to do before you learned to do it.

I'm sure Merlin has covered this way better and way more comprehensively than I ever could, so go listen to Back to Work. It's great. In the meantime, stop worrying about your inbox. Go hug someone you love. Your email will still be there.

Author: Seth Clifford

I'm here for the open bar.