STEAM ENGINE THEORY to overcome ‘Information Overload’ in this insane busy world

STEAM ENGINE THEORY to overcome ‘Information Overload’ in this insane busy world

We all know that the world we live today, totally relies on some kind of information. Hence the amount of data and information that is being generated on a secondly basis, is scary and terrifying. Just that we put it in a simpler phrase called ‘information overload.’

Yes, Information is the new poison!

> If you want to buy a phone; you have got ten thousand models to choose from. Did you ever found buying a phone this choice-ful? Wow! Isn’t this awesome? In the name of digitalization!!

> Are you looking to purchase your next car? Boom, there are only one hundred and eighty four models to select from. Gone are those days when you are left with just half a dozen models to choose from. This new world rocks!

> I was shocked to hear from a friend recently, when he said there are more than 70,000 newspapers and over 1600 satellite channels (more than 400 are news channels) in India alone. What about the rest of the world? Mind blowing!!

We have room full of options for every single thing. Literally! Thanks to our new world phenomenon.

Thanks to Google, for making our lives simpler by vomiting as much information as possible in split seconds. Is it making us less intelligent and dependent? Oh, I shouldn’t be saying that!!

All these patterns are making us more and more busy, but less productive. Yes, you heard that right. We started to spend more time just to know more things and options, rather than being objective to take a decision. We want to know things, not learn. The mind is now enjoying to process multiple things at a time, rather than to focus on just one thing. It started to like knowing more things, than to learn one thing deeper. Boy! The world is changing, so is the mind.

The mind today, is habituated to process more information, continuously without a break, for the sake of just knowing more things, since there is so much available across mediums, as well as the artificial necessity that we all created to ourselves.

So, how do we get out (or) make the most of this tricky situation?

Disciplined Thoughts lead to ‘Culture of Discipline’!

(I have to give the credit to Jim Collins who designed and coined these phrases)

Ever noticed ‘why we get brilliant ideas mostly in the restroom?’ Well, I call it ‘The Steam Engine Theory’


Imagine how the coal is used to fuel the steam engine. You have to load the engine burner with coal to generate the required heat. You add some coal and let it burn before you add some more coal to it. You add some coal when it’s red hot, to sustain that heat load. Eventually, the heat helps in creating enough steam to run the engine.

Now, what would happen to the fire in the burner if you keep adding coal to it without a gap? More heat, or douse the fire?

What would happen to your mind if you keep adding information to it without a gap? It will go numb. And when you give some gap, like the break in the restroom, or in the elevator, or when you are having your lunch, etc., your mind becomes free for a while and starts to process the information you fed. That’s when your mind comes up with ideas and analytics. That’s when EUREKA happens… Got it?

Stop Doing Lists


We were so used to having ‘To-Do’ lists from our childhood that we got carried away by them in all phases of our lives. All we were told is to make sure we don’t have anything pending in our lists. Keep adding the pending items to the list and keep finishing them. Just that!


But… how will you control ‘garbage in, garbage out?’

In stead, how about having ‘don’t-do’ (or) ‘stop-doing’ lists? This will not only make you work on important things, but also find more time to focus on them. One shot, two birds!



The world is becoming trickier day by day. She is using all her power to distract the human mind! But who is giving up the challenge either? The mind too works in a funny, but skilled way. It is up to us to figure out how we want to tame the mind. While we want to squeeze the whole juice out of it, we should also make sure it works in our own interest.

Simple solution to this complex problem is: Get into the ‘five-min break habit.’

While you free to add as much information as possible to the intelligent mind, you can only get the best of it if you give it that much time and freedom to process the information. For this to happen, all you have to do is to give it a five-min break every one hour. The mind is powerful enough to tell you what’s important and how to go about it. Tame it the way you want. You would not just overcome ‘information overload’, but also master the art. Trust me on this!


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