As engineers, we’re constantly absorbing information to better ourselves, our places of work, and our industry as a whole. However, many professionals who are constantly being bombarded with information can oftentimes feel overwhelmed. With the various information sources out there, such as websites, industry publications, newsletters, etc., how well do you utilize that information and apply it to your everyday life, especially if there is just too much information to take in? The following tips may be helpful for you with avoiding information overload:


1.      Utilize good sources.

You probably already have a handful of sources you currently use to get your daily information. This could include websites, social media, newspapers, newsletters, and industry publications. When you feel you’re getting too much information from a variety of sources, it may be time to narrow them down. Try sticking to only two or three trusted sources for your information, and try to keep them in the industry. That way you know you’re getting verified information for anything engineering related.


2.      Stay organized.

Once you have determined your best sources for information, you need to organize them in the same way. Find a system that works for you. If most of your information comes from the internet, you can bookmark the websites or even create a folder for traditional news clippings. The idea behind this is to create one or two places where you can easily access this important information when you have the time.


3.      Make time.

Being able to read important articles of information is important, but what if you don’t have the time? We all lead busy lives, so it’s important to set some time aside on your calendar to sit down and review your sources of information. Optimal times could be first thing in the morning, during lunch, or during your commute if you take public transportation.


4.      Take action.

You can read articles, listen to podcasts, and watch the news all you want, but you may not always take the time to utilize the information you absorb. Make a point to note items you learned that you want to implement in your day-to-day life. This could be a new way to build relationships with team members, or various industry adaptations. Why else would you take the time to absorb information if you don’t use it?


No matter how you decide to utilize the above tips to review information in your life, be sure to do so at your own pace. If you find that you’re too busy to visit a handful of websites or read various publications at one time, limit your intake to just one or two a week.


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