Dear Traveler, Today is Information Overload Awareness Day: Here’s What You Can Do
Before my life at Frequent Business Traveler, I spent over a decade helping companies and knowledge workers address the problem of Information Overload. Somehow, in 2010, I managed to create a holiday to call attention to the issue, which costs the U.S. economy close to a billion dollars a year.
Information Overload causes people to lose their ability to manage thoughts and ideas, contemplate, and even reason and think. It has resulted in workdays that never seem to end, completely destroying what is left of work/life balance.
Today, October 18, is Information Overload Day and a good time to look at some strategies that will lower the overload for both yourself and your colleagues.
Here are five tips that are easy to implement and should have a big impact on an equally big problem.
1.) Don’t e-mail someone and then two seconds later follow up with an IM or phone call.
2.) Refrain from combining multiple themes and requests in a single e-mail.
3.) Make sure the subject of your e-mail clearly reflects both the topic and urgency of the missive.
4.) Read your own e-mail messages before sending them to ensure they are comprehensible to others.
5.) Don’t overburden colleagues with unnecessary e-mail, especially one word replies such as “Thanks!” or “Great!”, and use “reply to all” only when absolutely necessary.
Don’t let Information Overload strangle your productivity or that of your organization. When I was still at the research firm, 94% of those we surveyed had at some point felt overwhelmed by information to the point of incapacitation. Just remember, for every 100 people who are unnecessarily copied on an e-mail, eight hours are lost!
To learn more about what can be done about the problem of Information Overload, read “Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous To Your Organization.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)