Information Overload

Great post in “The Economist” recently regarding information overload. Reminded me of when I was back in corporate life and the daily task of juggling upwards of 75-100 e-mails a day with going to meetings and answering phone calls, let alone being tasked to keep up to date with all that my particular industry was creating on a global basis, drove me to the brink of insanity!!

Seems my life was easy-peasy back then compared to the deluge of information execs are dealing with in today’s business forum. “The Economist” stated that research has found that  there are three main worries for ‘data asphyxsiation’.
1. Information overload can make people feel anxious and powerless.
2. Overload can reduce creativity due to lack of focus caused by constant interruptions
3. Overload can make workers less productive because completing tasks in parallel takes longer and is more eroneous than completing tasks in sequence.

In my day we only thought we were becoming more stressed and less productive but it seems now companies are actually discovering that “tweeting, bleating, meeting and greeting” all at once really will send employees scurrying to the Prozac tap and ultimately the psychiatric wards. So…what’s to be done??

Google is apparently trying to help by making searches more personable to cut down time surfing, while Xerox is trying to develop better filtering systems to eradicate all those shipments of spam. Business consultants Mc.Kinsey probably have the right answer:-

Find time to focus,filter out noise and forget about work when you can.

Yeah…right! ‘scuse me guys…just received another three e-mails while writing this post….gotta go!!

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