Join Zack Arnold for an in-depth discussion in this video How to deal with FOMO, part of Video Post Productivity Weekly.
- [Instructor] If you're a non-millennial like me, then you probably arched your eyebrows in confusion the first time that somebody mentioned the word FOMO to you. I personally had no idea what it was until recently, but was experiencing it just like everyone else wrestling with information overload in our technology-saturated world. FOMO simply stands for the fear of missing out. The sense that when you're presented with new information, whether via email, seeing a new article in your Facebook or Twitter feeds, or scrolling through notifications on your phone, that if you don't stop everything and consume it immediately, you're going to miss out on something super important that everybody else in the world knows about but you.
We are presented with more information every single second than most human beings have been exposed to over their entire lifetimes. For example, did you know that 99% of the information that's available in the world today was created within this century and that on any given day, more is written than was written during all of recorded human history up until the introduction of the internet? Yeah, it's nuts. So, rather than constantly worrying about missing out, I'm going to show you how to organize incoming information so you can get back to doing the work that's truly important to you.
And the first step to getting back on track, taking back your time, and getting off the FOMO train is to turn of notifications. If you want to take control of your creativity, turn off all non-essential notifications that present you with new information and only check those notifications, those apps, those programs during your creative breaks between your time blocks. And if you're not familiar with the concept of time blocks, just go back into this course. I have a whole bunch of lessons all about how to create your creative time blocks.
Protect your creative time as if your life depended on it. It's no different than a doctor's appointment, maybe you have to call your mom. These are appointments you put in your calendar, start treating your creative time the same way and stop worrying about FOMO. So, what notifications do you need to turn off? Well, first of all, the biggest offender is social media, so turn off all notifications for all social media, and this is on both your phone and in your main browser on your computer. So, this includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, whatever other crazy apps and programs people are using, anything that gives you a notification that is not time sensitive, turn it off.
This also includes all non-essential emails. As I mentioned in a previous lesson about email management, I keep a separate email address specifically for work purposes, that's the only email account that I will check during my creative breaks or my work time if I want to make sure that I haven't missed anything urgent. All other email accounts are turned off and all notifications are turned off as well, and I've gone so far as to remove all email applications from my phone. Also turn off any RSS feeds, news sites, apps, anything that has to do with information that's coming at you nonstop that you don't need, that's not urgent, that's not important.
The second step is to start organizing your favorite sites that you do want to reference so you don't constantly feel the need to jump around and go down the hyperlink rabbit hole. So, to keep up with all of your favorite blogs, news sites, and sources of information, I use an RSS reader and my recommendation is Feedly. And this is something that I'm going to talk about in a later lesson. What doing this prevents is diving into a hyperlink rabbit hole and what it does is it makes your reading more intentional. You organize all the information that you enjoy, all of your news sites, all of your blogs, everything is in one place, so just like you create a creative time block, you can create an intentional time block for consuming information that you've collected and captured from other sources, but consume it all at the same time.
The third step is have a place to capture articles that you would like to read later. So, the first thing that you can do is you can organize using boards in Feedly, however, the reason that I don't use this, and I'm going to talk further about this in the lesson where I discuss and demonstrate Feedly, is because I don't want the place where I read my articles to be the same place that I collect new articles. The reason being that I can constantly get sucked into all of the new information that's in front of me, so I like to separate the place where I collect all of my favorites and the articles that I want to read later on two completely different programs because to me, collecting information and consuming information are two separate things.
So, what I like to do is capture to a save-for-later site and my favorite one is called Pocket, and this, I'm also going to demonstrate in a later lesson. Whatever you do, do not, do not, do not open a new browser tab thinking to yourself, oh, you know what? I'm going to read this a little bit later, I might get to this in a bit. This is the biggest trap that people fall into and then all of a sudden, they wonder why they feel so anxious and stressed out, and it's because they have 100 browser tabs open and they're thinking, I am never going to get to any of this, so I might as well give up.
Now, the final step is, anything that you want to keep, you want to save as a reference for later. So, if you have something that you want to reference in the future, whether it's something that you found in an article, maybe it's a news site, maybe it's even an email, my favorite reference program is Evernote. So, what you do is you place your information in the appropriate notebook and then the next step, if you want to organize even further, is you further organize it by tagging that article. And once again, I'm going to be demonstrate how I do this in Evernote in a future lesson.
So, I'm going to walk you through each of these steps in more detail so you specifically understand each step and how to use each app, but in the meantime, do me a favor. Take a few minutes during your day today to be mindful and aware of what your current habitual workflow is for gathering and consuming information so you can take the proper steps to improve it for the sake of your creativity and your sanity.
- File management
- Time blocking
- Cleaning up your email inbox
- Organizing and prioritizing notifications
- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork
Skill Level Appropriate for all
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