Six Tips for Taming Information Overload
Technology is a wonderful and terrible thing. We have an app for everything, and people can reach us with the press of a button. With so many still working remotely, email and texts have become almost epidemic!
Information overload costs the U.S. economy $900 billion per year in lowered employee productivity and reduced innovation, according to the latest research from Basex, a provider of research on the productivity of knowledge workers and how technology impacts them.
It’s time to call a halt to this appalling abuse:
Insist that the “reply all” email button be carefully considered before selecting “send”.
Just because information can be sent, do not assume it has value to the recipient.
Establish a boundary for sending and receiving emails. Being on call 24/7 leaves workers exhausted and frazzled. Think of a time frame for rest and renewal. If you are a manager, practice what you preach and model the boundary behavior.
Get professional help for colleagues who seem addicted to connecting. Fifty-four percent of all professionals indicate they are often frustrated by colleagues who huddle over their smart phones during important meetings.
Make a conscious effort to refrain from interruptions and to ask colleagues to respect your time. Workflow that is interrupted by email, “dings”, IMs or calls result in reduced output and effectiveness. Create interruption management strategies and share them with all.
Use the “IS IT NECESSARY?” question before calling or attending any meeting—virtual or in-person. If it is merely for sharing information, make sure that it is data that CANNOT be handled via succinct, bulleted correspondence. Ask if the right people are at the meeting? Too often, the wrong people come because of formality and standard office protocol.
Remember, there’s a difference between effective and efficient. Know the difference.