Information Overload And The Art Of Decluttering

Thursday, August 31, 2017

This year, I have been consciously moving towards minimalism. Before I go further, a little clarification - when I say Minimalism, I don't mean it in the 15-pieces-of-clothing-in-the-wardrobe kind of minimalism. Mine is more of I-will-work-with-what-I-already-have-in-the-wardrobe kind of minimalism. My quest for thus started at the corner of convenience and style. I realized I am not even utilizing 40% of the clothes I have in the wardrobe. Once I was in a happy space with my wardrobe, I realized I am not even utilizing 40% of the information I have stored in my brain.

A little background, I have always been an information gatherer. I am the happiest when I am reading about something. Little did I realize that - what was once considered a great habit- would turn to be the bane of my existence. I have a hundred tabs open on my laptop, a thousand bookmarks of articles I want to read "later", at least 140 liked videos on YouTube that I want to go back to and watch, 45 podcasts I have subscribed to, 200 recipe pins on Pinterest and don't forget all the files and folders I have stored in my brain.

What is the point of it all, if I can't find the information I need when I am in the middle of a conversation with someone. I realized I usually end up with "Sam, What's the name of the movie with that guy from that TV show we watched last Saturday"? My brain is so overloaded with information that it doesn't have the time to absorb and process it.

So, here's what I have decided to do to de-clutter:

- It is OK to miss out:  I was someone who simply had to be on top of every new Tv show, movie or the latest bestseller. it took me some time to realize that it's ok to just say "Oh..I haven't watched that one". Pick a TV show that you enjoy and watch it. It's OK to not know about trending topics on Twitter. And don't worry, you"ll always have other topics to talk about.

- It is OK to not have read every single article on a topic:  I hear about B. I want to know more about B. I look up online about B. Don't go overboard with reading about B. We live in a world where there's too much information (TMI is an acronym we use often for a reason), too many opinions, too much noise. Just say NO to it and stick to reading, maybe just 3 articles on it and let go.

- Have one expert to follow on every topic: For movie reviews, have one expert that you follow. For political opinions, have one or two experts to read on. For makeup videos, follow a couple of bloggers on YouTube. You get the drift. This saves a lot of time.

I am still learning. Instead of 20 tabs on the laptop, I have come down to 5 :p It's a start :) Let me know how you declutter?