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Filter Ideas to Fortify Attention

A curious child takes a closeup look at an antique bronze head in a museum, as two adults share the child's interest.

How can you avoid information overload?

In our culture of overstimulation, blocking out unimportant details helps you reclaim the ability to concentrate.


Multitasking is common, but your brain was built for single-tasking. "Filtering" information "to focus" on what really matters and block the unimportant details – can retrain a distracted brain to be more productive and focused.


  • Set strategic goals. Determine your priorities and goals, including benchmarks for long-term plans.
  • Practice mindfulness. Take regular brain breaks to help reset, focus on the present moment and let go of distractions – so you can direct your full attention to the task at hand.
  • Skim large amounts of content to get the gist. An abbreviated view of detailed content helps you identify meaningful information and block out the details that do not need your attention.
  • Take steps to improve your sleep. Sunlight, regular exercise and a sleep-focused routine help to promote sleep. Evaluate your light exposure in the evenings and limit common sleep inhibitors, like alcohol, late-day caffeine, and overstimulation, including the temptation to work or use technology within a few hours of bedtime.

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