Thursday, September 9, 2010

Too Much Information

When I was in active caregiver mode, I found a book titled Breathing Space by Jeff Davidson (2007 edition is still available), and found a powerful way to decrease the level of stress in my daily life. I state it as:
Cut Down On the Amount of Information Coming at You.
Before I began caregiving for my Mom, I watched local and national news on TV, I read a local newspaper, two national newspapers and several magazines, and I listened to radio talk shows and spent lots of time on the phone and with e-mail and the Web.

I was Connected!

Then I became a caregiver, and I allowed the pattern of information flow to continue.

I was Connected...and completely overwhelmed.

Breathing Space really helped me look at all the sources of information literally flying at me. I started to detach. I chose one evening TV news program. I stopped listening to the radio shows. I stopped all the magazine subscriptions except one that I truly enjoyed (mini-vacations here). I stopped reading all the newspapers. I got myself off every marketing e-mail list that did not have to do with my caring and limited my e-mail and online time to one-half hour every day. During certain hours of the day, I let all my personal calls go directly to voice mail and only checked messages twice a day.

I finally began to feel that breathing space Jeff Davidson talked about. And saved some money, too.

In our society, there is an unspoken rule that we NEED to be connected to information and people 24/7/365. That's just not true.

Why do you NEED to listen to three news programs, all of which are reporting the dire straits of the world? You're caring for a parent. That can be pretty dire all by itself. At the very least, it's plenty stressful. You don't need to know every detail about the world's stress, too.

Why do you NEED to answer every phone call the moment it arrives? Truth, most calls can go directly to voicemail and you can screen them later.

Become aware of every bit of information around you. Think about how each source of information affects you emotionally, how much time each takes, and whether it's adding any value to your crowded life. If the information stresses you, takes too much time telling you things you already know, and rarely brings you pleasure (only another "have to"), get it out of your life.

Create Information Breathing Space. Ah-h-h.

Blessings on your caregiving day!

No comments:

Post a Comment