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3 Tips to Fight Fatigue of Information Speed Limit
Madelaine Claire Weiss, LICSW, MBA, BCC -- MIndOverMatters Madelaine Claire Weiss, LICSW, MBA, BCC -- MIndOverMatters
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington, DC
Saturday, November 20, 2021

Too Much Information

Attention is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and each other. But, of course, we cannot pay attention to ourselves and everyone else in the world all at the same time.

In fact, science says that, since our “information speed limit” is 120 bits of information per second, and it takes 60 bits/second to pay attention to one person, the most we can handle at a time is 2 people. Don’t know if that includes ourselves. After all, if we are honest, we know that humans do tend to listen to the voices in their own heads, while they are supposed to be listening to someone else.

Meanwhile, our brains are somehow taking in 5 times as much information/day in 2011 as we did in 1986—like reading 174 newspapers—and who even knows how much more it is by now.

Information Overload Fun Facts

Some other stats from this great 2015 article by Daniel Levitin in Fast Company:

During our leisure time, not counting work, each of us processes 34 gigabytes, or 100,000 words, every day. The world’s 21,274 television stations produce 85,000 hours of original programming every day as we watch an average of five hours of television daily, the equivalent of 20 gigabytes of audio-video images. That’s not counting YouTube, which uploads 6,000 hours of video every hour. And computer gaming? It consumes more bytes than all other media put together, including DVDs, TV, books, magazines, and the Internet.

Impressive. But come on, our brains were not built for this!! Our brains were built a long time ago when maybe we encountered a total of 1000 people over the course of a lifetime. Now there are almost 8 billion of us on the planet, and we can encounter a thousand in the course of daily living in no time at all. Any wonder why people are so tired?

So, What Can We Do?

People do wonder why they are so tired, but then they blame their fatigue on everyone and everything they can think of: the kids, the chores, their boss, spouses, or coworkers, too many carbs, not enough protein, too much sitting, lack of sleep, dehydration, stress, diabetes, depression, anemia, hypothyroidism…

Well, of course, anyone battling fatigue should rule out anything physical with their doctor, and sure, why not, reach out to relevant others who might be able to help lighten the load.

But there are also things that we can do without involving anyone else at all!

3 Tips for Information Allocation

That’s right, we don’t have to pay attention to everyone and everything that comes at us all of the time. It is our right and responsibility to take charge of the placement of our attention and the contents of our minds. 3 tips below to help out with that:

– Einstein has been purported to say: “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” If only he knew it would become a whole lot easier than that. In other words, and I live by this, let us not let in anything that for whatever reason, doesn’t need to be there.

– Here’s another quote I live by to keep myself energy-charged (rather than depleted) for people and things that really do matter in my life. This one is from Rabbi Tarfon:

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

– And yet another perspective on refining the contents of the mind, and what we do and don’t put our attention upon, from an earlier blog post of mine:

Here’s what we know. The mind wanders about 70% of the time. But when we take control of the mind and the placement of our attention, it makes sense that everything that plagues or distracts us takes a back seat. Then we can do a good job at whatever it is and enjoy it a whole lot more too.

As Epictetus points out, would the carpenter’s work be any better with inattention? Would the helmsman steer the ship any better? Would anything really be made any better doing it with our minds somewhere else?

Exercises for taking charge of the mind for a happier, healthier, more productive, less depleted life…are on the “Complimentary Exercises…” pulldown (scroll down on website) at madelaineweiss.com

Warm wishes for the holiday and would love to hear from you!


News Media Interview Contact
Name: Madelaine Claire Weiss
Group: MindOverMatters, LLC
Dateline: Washington, DC United States
Direct Phone: 202-285-8644
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