I’ve been suffering from a case of input overload lately.

With a combination of blogs and news sites, watching a lot of  online videos and (God bless it) Netflix, listening to audiobooks and podcasts… I have come down with a classic case of what Julia Cameron calls “over-reading”.  There is so much information coming at me at any given time that I scarcely have a moment to create my own material.  Listening to every voice but my own makes it really hard for me to complete anything.

It is with this in mind that I am committing to a self-imposed retreat from information.   Because of the nature of my job, it’s difficult right now to do a full-on separation from reading (as Cameron recommends in The Artist’s Way), but the guidelines for my retreat will be this:

For one week, I will avoid

  • watching television
  • listening to audiobooks
  • listening to podcasts
  • reading blogs
  • reading periodicals and magazines
  • reading books

I don’t know if looking at that list scares the bejeezus out of you like it does me, but I think it’s important to do scary things sometimes, so I’m going to just deal with it.

My exceptions will be:

  • reading pieces submitted by my fellow writing group members
  • reading comments on my blogs
  • reading emails
  • reading work-related material

So if you need to get in touch with me via the written word, those are your options.  I’m hoping that, a week from now, my system will be rebooted and I’ll be ready to dive into my work more deeply.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with information?

Have you ever needed to “reboot”?  How did you do it?