There’s a lot of talk today about information overload. Experts say the sheer amount of information in our world is doubling every 12 to 18 months. This is producing low grade overwhelm in all of us.
But there’s something else that has been creeping up on us undetected; expectation overload. The exponential growth in information and technology is placing greater expectations on our shoulders.
Do we have to be superhuman to succeed? We have limits, but I’ve been watching our limits shaved down. The expectations others have on us and we have on us have grown exponentially. Here are three factors accelerating expectation overload.
Connectivity There is not only an expectation we will be active on social media platforms but also that we will communicate on them. Messages that used to go through phone and email, now come to us through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This growing expectation of response, presence, and communication is not sustainable.
Productivity Not only is there an expectation that we get a lot done but an expectation we get it done fast. Deadlines can be shattered and technology can multiply where we used to add. There’s pressure for bigger, better and faster. Sometimes this pressure is external, coming from a boss or teammate, but many times this is internal pressure we are putting on ourselves to produce, produce, produce.
Reactivity There is a growing expectation for us to react to social injustices, especially via social media. With increased connectivity to information outlets, we see these injustices faster and more clearly than we ever have. There’s no doubt there is a lot to react to, but how can we be responsible to react to everything troubling see in the world?
Are you feeling expectation overload?
Which of these three areas is bringing you the most pressure?