The Dangers of Information Overload: Why your Feeble Brain Needs Help
October 15, 2017
A real doctor did some real research on why overloaded brains perform poorly at work. Below, we tell you some of the reason that you’re probably doomed to be a dum dum that can’t do work good because your brain is working too hard. But don’t worry, just when you’re at your lowest, we’ll provide a few tips for protecting that precious brain of yours so that it can do all sorts of really smart things for you.
Keep it Together, Man
Dude, wtf. Why are you so distracted, frantic, and impatient? Could it be that you’ve asked your brain to do too much at once? It turns out that having too much on your mind can make it hard for you to stay organized, set prioritize, and manage your very limited time.
This means that focusing on too many things can have a real impact on your work (because it makes you terrible at prioritizing and managing tasks), your relationships (because it turns you into an impatient jerk), and your own well being (we all know how much stress sucks).
Say Goodbye to Higher Levels of Processing
When you ask your brain to handle more than it should, it takes the limited processing power it has and spreads it around the best it can (but bad news: your brain sucks at it). It’s like when you were a kid and you had really good food and everyone asked for a bite. You enjoyed it much less because you had less of it to enjoy, and they definitely wanted more than the stingy nibble you gave them. Moral of the story: Everyone would have been better off if you just ate the whole damn Snickers yourself. (Stop asking, CAROL!)
The same goes for your brain. When you parcel out the limited processing power you have to multiple tasks demanding your attention, none of them gets the attention they need. This means that you’re worse at everything you’re trying to accomplish. Divvying up your brain power means that you’re less able to think creatively, be flexible, and think thoroughly about problems.
You Can’t Be Trusted
Over taxing your brain also makes you make terrible decisions. When your brain is processing too much information, it doesn’t have the strength to go through it all, and your dumb little brain gets overwhelmed and just starts acting. You lose your ability to use your higher levels of executive function and your lizard brain takes over. Your brain thinks you are fighting a sabertooth tiger, not trying to determine the company’s strategy for the coming year. In case it is not clear: don’t trust the lizard brain.
Be Your Brain’s Best Bud
Don’t worry, pal. There are a few easy things you can do to make sure your brain doesn’t revolt against you for abusing it:
- Get it out of your brain. We’ve adequately terrified you about the risks of keeping too much in your brain. So, get as much information outta there! Use a to do list to prioritize your work and keep yourself focused on one thing at a time. (Bzzy’s a pretty awesome one…)
- Keep a portion of your day free from appointments so you have time to think and plan, but then you gotta use that time to think and plan, not get lost in the black hole that is the internet.
- Turn off or silence email, social media, and other notifications. It’s okay! You’re not that important. You don’t need to respond right this minute.
- At the end of the day, determine 3-5 high priority tasks for the following day and stick to them. Focus on tasks that will have an impact (not email, meeting).
P.S. If you need to have a reason that you’re not responding to your boyfriend or girlfriend’s text, just show them this page.