Superpowers School
Superpowers School - Self Improvement Podcast Like Diary of a CEO
How to deal with overwhelm at work - Mark Struczewski (The Mister Productivity Podcast Host) - Self-Help E127

How to deal with overwhelm at work - Mark Struczewski (The Mister Productivity Podcast Host) - Self-Help E127

Boost productivity with tips on combating digital overwhelm at work and improving our focus.
overwhelm at work podcast episode

How to deal with overwhelm at work

In today's digital age, the average time we spend on one screen before switching to another has drastically reduced. From 150 seconds in 2004 to just 47 seconds between 2016 and 2021, our attention spans are diminishing rapidly. But why is this happening? We are living in an era of "infobesity," where the volume of content created in the last decade surpasses all previous years combined. Unfortunately, our brains have not evolved fast enough to handle this deluge of information, causing widespread overwhelm. In this comprehensive guide, we dive deep into strategies to battle overwhelm, featuring insights from Mark Streski, a veteran with over 1,250 podcast episodes on productivity.

😊 The Evolution of Attention Spans

Initially, back in 2004, when you could spend a couple of minutes on a website or an application without distraction, the digital landscape was markedly different. Fast forward to recent years, and we find ourselves hopping from one task to another every few seconds. This phenomenon stems from the massive amount of digital content bombarding us daily, challenging our mental capacity and significantly reducing our attention spans.

📉 The Era of Infobesity

The term "infobesity" aptly describes our situation — obese with information. Over the last ten years, humanity has generated more data than in all preceding years, putting unimaginable pressure on our cognitive functions. This sensory overload is what's making us feel overwhelmed, as our brains struggle to keep up with the incessant flow of information.

🏷️ The Fascination with Names

Our discussion on names and origins reveals Mark's deep interest in the historical and cultural significance of surnames. This interest connects back to his own family roots stretching back to Poland, offering a personal touch to his professional insights on productivity, setting the stage for a broader discussion on cultural and societal impacts on personal efficiency.

🦸 Superpower: Punching Overwhelm in the Face

In today's fast-paced world, juggling multiple responsibilities has become the norm, which is why Mark describes his superpower as "punching overwhelm in the face." This ability is more relevant than ever as individuals struggle to manage their time effectively amidst constant digital interruptions.

🛠️ Strategies to Combat Overwhelm

Mark's upbringing played a significant role in shaping his views on productivity. Raised in a structured environment where chores and homework took precedence over leisure, he learned the value of discipline and time management from an early age. These experiences have greatly influenced his techniques for overcoming the modern challenges of overwhelm.

Watching TV Without Your Phone

Mark challenges us to engage in watching a TV program without the distractions of our smartphones. It's a simple exercise that powerfully illustrates how dependent we have become on our devices, often unaware of their impact on our ability to concentrate.

Work Overwhelm

In the workplace, the myth of multitasking continues to be debunked. Mark stresses the importance of focusing on one task at a time and shutting down notifications that can pull us away from our work. This approach not only increases efficiency but also helps in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety caused by continuous partial attention.

📊 Shrinking Attention Spans: The Research

A notable study by Microsoft highlighted a shocking revelation — humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, which is about eight seconds. This decline is attributed to the technological advancements that, while beneficial, also encourage constant content consumption and distraction.

🔄 Breaking the Cycle

To break free from the chains of perpetual content consumption, it's imperative to make conscious choices. Cal Newport, an advocate and author of deep work, exemplifies this through his avoidance of social media, allowing him to focus on meaningful work without the usual distractions.

🚀 Advice for New Professionals

For those starting their career paths, Mark offers a golden piece of advice: pursue what you love. Happiness and satisfaction derived from doing what you genuinely enjoy can lead to enhanced productivity and overall contentment in life.

📘 Essential Learning Tools

Mark emphasises the importance of daily reading, considering it a non-negotiable part of his routine. Books like "Tiny Habits" by BJ Fogg and digital tools such as Readwise that help revisit key points from your readings, play a crucial role in continuous learning and staying ahead in your field.

📲 Staying Connected with Mark Streski

To delve deeper into Mark's productivity strategies and insights, visit his website, There, you can access his podcast episodes, sign up for newsletters, and join a community focused on living a productive life.


  • What is infobesity?

    • Infobesity refers to the excessive amount of information available to us, often leading to overwhelm and reduced productivity.

  • How can I improve my focus at work?

    • Focus on one task at a time, close unnecessary browser tabs, use do not disturb modes on your devices, and periodically review which notifications are essential for your work.

  • Can reading improve my productivity?

    • Yes, regular reading helps expand your knowledge base and improves cognitive functions such as focus and critical thinking, which are essential for productivity.

In conclusion, the battle against overwhelm in a world saturated with information is challenging yet essential for our mental health and productivity. By understanding the roots of this issue and implementing strategic measures to combat it, as discussed by Mark Struczewski, we can reclaim our time and lead more fulfilling professional lives.

Disclaimer: This summary was written with the help of AI

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Mark Struczewski (The Mister Productivity Podcast Host)

Hey! I’m Mister Productivity!™

I’m also known as Mark Struczewski (my legal name) and I’m a Houston-based productivity coach and the voice behind The Mister Productivity™ Podcast. My journey in the realm of productivity is not just a career; it’s a personal mission fueled by a profound understanding of the challenges and triumphs in mastering one’s daily life and tasks.

Experience & Expertise: A Blend of Practicality and Inspiration

With over 1,250 episodes on The Mister Productivity™ Podcast and countless coaching sessions, I’ve developed an approach that balances practical strategies with motivational insights. I don’t just talk about productivity; I delve into the nuances of why we struggle with it and how we can conquer these challenges. My strategies are forged from real-life experiences, a testament to their applicability and effectiveness.

As a productivity coach, I specialize in helping professionals navigate the modern workplace’s complexities. From managing digital distractions to prioritizing tasks in an ever-changing environment, my expertise is particularly relevant for today’s fast-paced world.

My unique perspective lies in my ability to make productivity relatable and actionable. I draw parallels from everyday life, such as the discipline of running, to illustrate productivity principles in a way that resonates with a diverse audience.

⚡️ In each episode, Paddy Dhanda deep dives into a new human Superpower to help you thrive in the age of AI.

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