How to Manage Info in the "Blur Age" Without Even Trying

I was recently reading one of Steve Rubel's posts on his blog, Micro Persuasion. Steve, a digital marketer with over 15 years of experience, is always stressing the importance of staying on top of the industry news and trends, which I agree is a crucial task in today's world. The only problem is that it is not the easiest task. In our inaugural blog post, we talked about managing all of the lastest news by using bloglines.com. I don't know about you, but for me, sometimes all of my bloglines and RSS feeds can be a little intimidating. How can I possibly read them all? What I am feeling (and I'm sure most of you are, too) is what Steve refers to in his posts as the "The Attention Crash"--the crisis of attention scarcity where the inputs in our lives are exceeding our capability to manage them. It's said that in one more year, people will spend 41% of their time managing e-mail. That's just e-mail. Think about your other online networks and feeds and the thought alone is rather daunting. Before you go calculating the actual time you spend online, here are some tips from Steve on how to best manage your time and info--as if you have time to read something else during your day ;)

From "Three Ways to Mitigate the Attention Crash, Yet Still Feel Informed," by Steve Rubel

...Inbox Zero - Blogger Merlin Mann has created a simple way to effectively manage email. His approach involves setting aside blocks of time for “email dashes,” quickly triaging messages and automating some of the processes with search folders. Be sure to watch the video on Merlin’s site. Experts also suggest setting aside small time periods where you check your e-mail. Some people go as far as to check it once a day, after work.

Invest in Search – When in doubt, let search tools - either on your desktop or online - do the work for you. The time you invest to set up these systems can pay huge dividends.

P.S. If you haven't signed up for bloglines.com, Google Alerts or Google Reader, stop reading this and do that now.

Make Unusable Time Usable – Take advantage of commute times, traveling, excersize and errands to "read" with downloadable books from Audible.com or iTunes. And when you feel pressed for time and can't get to the articles you want to read, you can bookmark them at Instapaper.com Instapaper.com

Hope this helps. What do you do to avoid the "Attention Crash?"

Links to interesting articles from Steve Rubel: "The Attention Crash" "Trends That Will Help Define the Future of PR and Marketing"