I'm behind in posting my notes from my visit to Australia and the Connecting Up Conference. So, expect to see a flood of posts over the next weeks.
I was lucky enough to attend a breakout session called "The Fritz and Sauce Method For Dealing With Information Overload" conducted by Stuart Jones from the Old Milang School House Project. Fritz and Sauce is a type of sandwich served to school children in South Australia. Stuart gave a great presentation on how to avoid that awful overwhelmed feeling we feel from dealing with digital information. I think the connection to the Fritz and Sauce sandwich is that you don't need to feel obligated to consume everything.
He asked us to reflect for a few moments about how we feel when we open our email. He then made a list of all the post ways people can communicate with us online - from social networking sites to Skype and others. He observed that many of us simply want to hide. He asked, "Do we give up? How do we deal with the flood of information?"
is an old way of thinking that you have to somehow keep up. This is
really what is getting in your way. However if you bathe in the stream
of information you get plenty. The idea is to enjoy the journey, picking up a little bit here or there that might be interesting, but don't obliged to read or consume every detail. Wade through this stream without holding on and the key is not worrying about missing something .... Have a swim, pick up the things you really find useful. Don't worry about getting everything.
He suggested taking a critical look at what type of information you are currently wading through and as much as possible move your swim to RSS. But, also do not feel an obligation to read every post from every feed. Scanning is key. Just browse the headings and read what you want.
I'm not sure if his slides are posted on SlideShare, but I used my Nokia n95 to get some photos here.
Stuart used a wonderful metaphor of swimming in the river of information and picking out what you need, not everything. Another metaphor might be browsing the titles of books in a bookstore, but only taking a closer look at the ones that interest you.
What metaphor might you use to describe your method for avoiding information overload?