Here’s the Secret Number to Help You Avoid Information Overload

You may not realize it, but we have a natural defense to avoid information overload. Imagine that someone is giving you a phone number. It’s almost universal: They will give you the first three numbers first (8-6-7) before giving you the last four numbers (5-3-0-9). Why do humans almost naturally default to this method of “chunking” information?

Well, it has a lot more to do with phone numbers–or songs from the 80s. It actually correlates to a neurological processed known as working memory. Your working memory is what’s responsible for holding important information and sorting it into short-term memory or discarding it completely.

As it turns out, your brain’s working memory capacity is limited based on a number of items of information given to you at a time. It might seem like a weakness, but a limited working memory actually gives new meaning to the term “TMI.”

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