Can you relate to this overstimulation? Are you making breakfast trying to be mama of the year while being on your phone at the same time answering emails or DMs? But then your kid talks to you and you say “What did you say?” 3 times because you weren’t actively listening. And then you remember it’s trash day and because you’ve been so busy burning breakfast, on your phone, not listening to your kids, you miss it.
Overstimulation is actively harming you friend, your focus your productivity, and even your brain.
The Meme That Got Me Thinking
I battle often with the need to have an immediate answer to a question I have so I go to my phone. Or I forgot to order this thing, so I go and add it to my Walmart order. Because our phones are so readily available, information is at our instant demand. The problem is the convenience of the information.
I saw this meme that said: Crawl into bed at 8 pm and light a candle. You’re so excited to read your book. Blow out your candle at 12 am after accidentally scrolling Tiktok for the last 4 hours. I laughed and then went “Oh my gosh.” This is me.
We have these intentions to live productive, purposeful, peaceful lives. I want to be present. To lose my phone, see my kids, and feel heaven on earth. And sometimes that is my reality. And then I find myself staring at my phone or being overstimulated, feeling like I need to be multi tasking.
This is stealing that night that you wanted to go to bed at 8 pm and read your book. Your phone and overstimulation stole from you.
Statistics About Overstimulation
I have some crazy stats about overstimulation that I want to share with you. Stats that might make you want to make some serious changes in the way you lead your life.
Overstimulation can have negative effects on your brain.
1. The average person is exposed to 147 newspapers worth of information per day
This leads to information overload, which is causing us to be unable to process and retain information. Do you sometimes feel there is something wrong with your memory? I sure have. It hit me hard when I read the above statistic. I am consuming, doing, learning, and on my phone. And I don’t even use social media.
If you are on social media, you’re 10 xing what your brain can retain, which means important things are always leaking out. You could be retaining useless information, and not retaining information that matters.
2. According to a study by Microsoft, the average attention span decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to a mere 8 seconds in 2023
How sad is it to have an 8-second attention span? And we get frustrated with our kids for their short attention spans. This is due to the rise in technology and the constant stream of information that is available.
3. Multitasking can lower productivity by up to 40% according to a study done by the American Physiological Association
In my opinion, this can be attributed to overstimulation. We are constantly doing hundreds of things at one time. Your brain is not designed to handle so many tasks at once. So your brain starts losing focus and intentionality.
If we just did one thing at a time we would be glorifying God. Like in our breakfast time with our kid or when we work because we are focusing on one thing. If you do use social media, think how can I glorify God on this app. Or how do I glorify God in this conversation with my spouse?
I keep coming back to this core concept of how do I glorify God in each and everything I do. If we are multitasking and living this crazy overstimulated life, I believe it is not glorifying God, it is glorifying our flesh.
4. The average person spends more than 11 hours per day consuming media
This can lead to a tonne of overstimulation and it affects your sleeping patterns which negatively impacts your productivity, focus and your output.
If you wake at 8 am and go to bed at 10 pm, 11 of those hours are spent staring at a screen or at your phone. I understand that we have online businesses so it is difficult to break that overstimulation with technology, but at some point, something has to give before we find ourselves living a completely virtually-driven life.
When I was on social media, posting 15 stories a day, I felt like I was living my life through a lens instead of living my life.
5. Overstimulation leads to increased levels of cortisol – the stress hormone
This causes anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and even physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
Do you suffer from headaches or anxiety? Did you ever think it could be attributed to your overuse and overstimulation with technology? Just a question.
6. Lowered creativity
This is done by limiting the brain’s ability to engage in divergent thinking. This leads to a lack of original ideas and it hinders productivity in creative fields.
If you’re a podcaster, you are in a creative field. You need to have critical, creative thinking. Lessen that overstimulation so that creativity can flow.
Other times when I really drop into creativity are when I am in the shower, taking a bath, on a hike, or bike riding. And guess what’s not happening in any of those places? Tech and overstimulation. I’m in a peaceful mindset with quiet and that’s when I get those downloads.
My Story About Experiencing God With No Phone
As a company lately, we have been working hard. A lot of change is taking place. Basically, we have rebuilt the business from the ground up. We are using a new operating system, we’ve had to re-evaluate everything from positions to money spent. We’ve re-branded the podcast, migrated all the courses to a different platform, and had a live launch in there.
Work is glorifying to God if it is for Him and with Him. Anyway, I took a rest from the craziness this weekend and taught my little one to ride his bike. I wanted to be present so I left my phone inside (though I had to rush and grab it to capture the first riding of the bike).
My patience levels are way better when overstimulation and technology are not around. I also have noticed that now that I allow myself to live unstimulated a few days a week, I crave it as if it’s heaven-sent. I can feel the presence of the Lord when I remove all the noise and I’m fully present long enough to drop into my life.
Anyway, at one stage, we headed down a steep driveway and I let go. And my little one got it. I’m cheering him on and running after him to keep up. I had the urge to look up into the sky and when I looked up, I saw a face that I swear looked like the face of Jesus in the sky. So I snapped the face and put the phone away again. And I thought that that was what God wanted for me. To bless me with the gift of rest, peacefulness, purpose, and unhindered connection to Him.
Steering At a Screen and Experiencing God Don’t Align
I know that when I am trying to steer at my screen at the same time as trying to experience what God has for me, I am missing it. We lose sight of why we should get off technology.
For me, I don’t work outside of my office anymore because when I work, I want to work for the glory of God. I want to show up to work to the best of my ability and I want to pour out to my listeners and students. And then I want to go and live my life.
I’m not perfect. I know there are times that call for multitasking. But we shouldn’t do it to the extent that society pushes on us.
So What Do We Do To Stop The Overstimulation?
We can never make a change until we know what we need to change.
So, simply sit in that place where you are aware that you need to stop the overstimulation and break up with multitasking.
So grab a journal, and write down where you are most overstimulated, what times of day do you find yourself in that overstimulation, what is causing the overstimulation and what do you want to do about it? Journal over that for 5 minutes.
It’s super important that you make some changes in your life, to journal this out, to pray, to hand it to God and tell Him your intentions so that He can help you.
Tips to Eliviate Overstimulation Pressure
1. Turn off your notifications
One of the biggest sources of overstimulation is our phones, our technology and our computers. We do not need to be notified. Period. That is not for the glory of God. For the glory of God is to sit down and intentionally open emails and write back to each email with intention. Or sit down for 10 minutes of social media, that you’ve time blocked into your day. Focus and get the messages done and delete the app again.
How do you effectively handle each area of your life in an allocated slot of time? You don’t need to know that you have an email waiting for you. You can deal with it when you have allocated time in your day for it.
I have every notification off. Everything except my text notifications that are only going to be friends and family contacting me.
2. Take breaks
Your brain needs downtime to recharge. This can be small breaks throughout the day like a 5-minute walk outside where your phone doesn’t come with you. Or it could be a full sabbath of 48 hours. It could be a little break on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe it’s a vacation where you fully unplug.
You need to take breaks. In the day and larger sabbaticals throughout the year.
3. Prioritize your tasks and time block
Don’t try to do everything at once. If you have littles and nap time comes and you have 101 different things you want to achieve, don’t. It’s harmful to your productivity, output and your brain.
Every Sunday, I plan out my entire week from start to finish. I know when my morning routine is, when I’m working out, and what nights we have things on. I know during my work times what is getting done each day.
It is life-changing to get streamlined in the back end of your life and business so that you can stop doing 100 things at the same time. If you need help with this, listen to episode 586.
4. Set boundaries
If you are constantly being interrupted by others, you have to have boundaries. You need to communicate. We think people just get it. If everyone’s attention span is 8 seconds, do you think we’re paying attention to what others are up to? Even if you told someone, they probably weren’t listening to you.
We need to be extraordinarily clear in our communication. For example, I am available for Voxers between 9 and 10 am. Or these are my office hours. Or for family, I am going to be working between these times. Find a place to work or better yet, leave the house to get in the zone.
Take control of your time. It is okay to say no and prioritize your work, your peace, and your rest because it protects your mental health.
Wrapping It All Up
What we know to be true is that overstimulation is a silent killer of your brain power, your productivity and your profit-making capability.
It’s super easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, but you need to remember that taking care of your heart, shepherding and stewarding your family and your business and doing everything for the glory of God needs to come first.
Your worth is not defined by how busy or productive you are. Your worth is defined by being a daughter of the King. So let’s live our lives that way. We don’t have to do everything right now. All we have to do is the thing that God is asking us to do. The one thing at a time and do it well.
He’s going to take care of the timing and the provision. He is your shepherd, all you have to do is allow Him to lead you. Trust God. He will guide you in all things.
But Wait, There’s More
Friend, I have two free workshops to either help you get clarity on your calling to start an online business at freeclarityworkshop.com or a free 40-minute class on how podcasting works to grow your audience at podcastforgrowth.com.
Both of these workshops take you through my business model where I teach you to simplify and streamline so you can do way less in your online business and make way more. More progress, potential, productivity, and ultimately way more profit.
Also, if you have a testimony or a question you want answered, go to www.stefaniegass.com/thepodcast, scroll all the way down, and leave me a speak pipe message so I can feature you on the show.
The more I get to know my students and the more I participate in masterminds with my peers the more I’m starting to comprehend the overarching problem and prevalence of one, perfectionism, and two, overthinking.
Perfectionism keeps us in a place of constant consumption and learning. Redoing things over and over and thinking that we can’t move forward until they measure up to some elusive standard.
Why do I believe we need a morning routine? I believe you must have a morning routine because it helps you get into the mindset of productivity and purpose.
When we get right with God we: Renew Our Minds
Get Into the Word
Are Able to Live Our Life Guided by the Holy Spirit
The difference in how my day goes when I do my morning routine and when I don’t is night and day.