One of the challenges we face today is 'information overload'. Knowledge is increasing at such a frenetic pace and it's just so hard to keep up with everything. It is estimated that human knowledge is now doubling every 10-15 years.
We can so easily feel overloaded and stressed by it all.
Here are a few thoughts and tips on handling information overload:
- Focus on reading and meditating on the Bible. Never forget: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work." [2 Timothy 3:16-17. NLT]
- Realise that you don't have to know it all! Focus on learning the important things about life (who you are and why you're here) and be content with that.
- Know people who know what you don't know. Be a learner and ask lots of questions.
- Know where to find the information you need. Good sources of general information include the Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia.
- Learn to speed read. One of the biggest hindrances to reading anything is the belief that we 'have to' read every word. Check out The Speed Reading Book by Tony Buzan for starters.
- Read summaries of good books. Check out Christian Book Summaries (free!) and Soundview Executive Book Summaries for business books (well worth the subscription price).
- Look for the 'super texts'. Find out who the key influencers and thinkers are in a specific area (the people that everyone else likes to quote) and read their material. Once you discover an excellent author who is very knowledgeable, read everything they've written. That way, you'll glean from all of their learnings.
During a dinner with Erwin McManus last year, we were discussing this area of information overload and he observed that years ago, ministers were usually the primary source of information for people in their congregations. This is no longer the case. People have all the information they want readily available to them now - right at their fingertips. Our challenge is to help them find meaning amongst all the information they have.
May God grant us understanding of the knowledge we gain and wisdom for know how to apply it!
"Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding! Don't forget one word! Don't deviate an inch! Never walk away from Wisdom — she guards your life; love her — she keeps her eye on you. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!" [Proverbs 4:5-7. The Message Bible]
"In [Christ] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." [Colossians 2:3. NLT]