Turn Productivity Pain to Gain

Information overload equates to a staggering $1.2 trillion in wages wasted each year according to a six year study of over 20,000 information workers.  Time to call a halt to this amazing abuse: (1)  Insist that the “reply all” email button be carefully considered before selecting “send” (2)  Just because information can be sent, do not assume it has value to the recipient. (3)  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 boundaried-behavior. (4)  Get professional help for colleagues who seem addicted to connecting.  Fifty-four percent of all professional indicate they are often frustrated by colleagues who huddle over their PDAs during important meetings. (5)  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 results in reduced output and effectiveness. Create interruption management strategies and share them with all. (6)  Use the “IS IT NECESSARY” question before calling or attending a meeting.  If it is merely for sharing information, make sure that it is data that ANNOT 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;. (7)  Seek good trainers who can deliver targeted programs on how to handle email, and teach a methodology for storing and retrieving documents. This is a new communication world and old methods don’t work. (8)  Don’t forget that meeting management is a learned skill. Start the year off right by helping information workers learn just how to conduct effective and efficient meetings. Note that effective and efficient are two distinct outcomes.

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