With information being processed at such a rapid rate, what are it’s effects on your working life? Information overload can often cause stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed by communication and information inputs. So, how do we tackle it? By bursting the 5 bubbles below…
Bubble #1 Constantly checking email is good
Don’t do it. Don’t read the word email (twice now) and use that as a cue to go and check them. If you want to do that then you may as well close the tab on your way out. With a reported average of 4 hours per day spent on email, and the average employee sending more than 30 emails per day – it’s a habit that needs to stop. But how?
Would you believe us if we told you it was as simple as just not checking your emails? Of course you wouldn’t. Well, for those who need a little encouragement in grabbing the inbox by the horns and saying enough is enough – there are answers out there.
- Firstly, turn off email notifications. This will mean you won’t be alerted when your emails are arriving. Keep it that way.
- Secondly, if you really can’t trust yourself to not go back over your emails – Gmail have now introduced as pause button. Use it!
- Finally, simply have some self-control! Impose a limit and stick to it, say at the beginning and end of every day.
Bubble #2 Multitasking drives efficiency
Praised as a virtue in other walks of life, multitasking is actually pretty useless in the work place, negatively affecting productivity. Interrupting one task with another slows you down, removes focus, and draws out the time of completion of every task you’re so desperately trying to complete.
With information seemingly coming from all directions, it can be easy to think that tackling them all head on is the best way to keep them in check. Wrong. Spend a small amount of time planning what tasks needs doing first, and complete them as and when necessary, one by one.
Bubble #3 Meetings are always effective
With much information comes the handing down of that information. This may often lead to meetings and even more information overload being thrown at you, where an email or conversation may have done the job just as efficiently. With 47% of employees citing attending too many meetings as being one of the biggest time wasters in a day, what can be done to change this?
If you’re a regular meeting organizer, ask if it really needs to be done. As a meeting attendee, decide whether or not you really need to be there. If a meeting absolutely has to happen, then at least make it worthwhile. Set a goal for it and make sure it is achieved. The sooner you decide what information is necessary for you, the sooner you can curb the overload.
Bubble #4 Planning is always helpful
Over planning can result in under achieving. Spending too much time deciding what needs to be done means that nothing actually ever gets completed. Although planning is essential to ensuring you don’t get snowed under by work, letting the plan develop into a task in itself only adds to the blizzard.
Being restrictive in how and when you plan, and spending a set amount of time doing so will keep you on track with what needs doing. Sticking to that plan as closely as possible will help you to stay prioritized and motivated to continue.
Bubble #5 Constant searching will eventually glean answers
Remember that video about that thing where all the stuff happened? No? Google it for yourself and see…
Not really. Trying to re-find information you know you’ve seen somewhere is as useless as trying to locate the video we’re talking about above – it ain’t gonna happen. It also costs businesses in the UK two weeks of time and more than £1,200 a year for every employee.
If you’re doing any kind of research where you know you’re going to find information that may be potentially useful – save it. Bookmark the page, email the link, screenshot it and set it as your wallpaper if you have to.
Having a trackable link back to where you need to be will not only save you time, but will also prevent further information overload through the pointless intake of yet more information while on the hunt for it.
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