Managing Information Overload: 10 Tips for Survival in an Information Age
Information is the new currency of society today yet workers are drowning in information. A typical worker gets 200 e-mails, dozens of instant messages, multiple phone calls (office phone and mobile phone), text messages, and a vast amount of various content.
Information overload has become a significant problem for companies of all sizes, with some large organizations losing billions of dollars each year in lower productivity and hampered innovation.
It’s not just a case of too much e-mail, too many interruptions, too many projects, and too much content. It’s all these things clashing–sometimes like an orchestra without a conductor.
Basex , a research firm specializing in knowledge worker management and productivity, has developed strategies for coping with information overload, including 10 tips designed to ease the burden. These tips are included in a new report, “Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us.” The report is available at no charge at www.basex.com/Overload.
10 Steps to Help Manage Information Overload
1. I will not e-mail someone and then two seconds later follow up with an IM or phone call.
2. I will refrain from combining multiple themes and requests in a single e-mail.
3. I will make sure that the subject of my e-mail clearly reflects both the topic and urgency of the missive.
4. I will read my own e-mails before sending them to make sure they are comprehensible to others.
5. I will not overburden colleagues with unnecessary e-mail, especially one word replies such as “Thanks!” or “Great!” and will use “reply to all” only when absolutely necessary.
INSTANT MESSAGING AND PRESENCE AWARENESS
6. I will not get impatient when there is no immediate response to my message.
7. I will keep my presence awareness state up-to-date and visible to others so they know whether I’m busy or away.
ALL FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
8. I will recognize that the intended recipient of my communications is not a mind reader and will supply details in my messages accordingly.
9. I will recognize that typed words can be misleading in terms of both tone and intent.
10. I will do whatever I can do to facilitate the transfer and sharing of knowledge.
Basex is a knowledge economy research firm that serves IT vendors and buyers with an expertise in knowledge worker management and productivity. The company provides holistic research and analysis across 22 market categories on leveraging collaborative business environments, workplaces that support new, organic ways for companies to conduct business online.
Courtesy Basex Inc. 2007