Reducing Information Pollution

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Overloading our health?

June 19, 2018 | Posted By


Is your reliance on email affecting your health? 

The US technology consultant Linda Stone has discovered that many of us unconsciously hold our breath, or breathe shallowly while responding to emails – a habit that can compound stress.

This can then add fuel to a host of other symptoms such as asthma, depression and obesity.

Another recent study by the Work & Health research centre at Loughborough University has proved many office workers suffer from physical as well as mental problems, due to a lack of exercise. One possible explanation for this was an increasing reliance on – an addiction to – email.

The staff surveyed were often relying on email rather than getting up to walk across
the room.

The research found that lack of physical activity affected more than 70% of the UK employees surveyed. This manifested itself in increased and longer periods of sick leave.

So the message is email less and have more face to face contact, when appropriate.

Sometimes email messages that go backwards and forwards several times actually take longer to write that a quick conversation covering the same issues, probably in richer and more valuable detail, would take.

Save yourself the daily stress and after a week, see the difference! Give this a try what have you to lose?

The Black Hole of Email

March 15, 2018 | Posted By

Doing email in meetings: an ancient cautionary tale

February 15, 2018 | Posted By

We can learn a lot from history… even in the field of Information Overload and Meeting Culture.

Consider this true story, quoted as is from Plutarch, about a spicy event in the senate of ancient Rome:

It is said also that when the great conspiracy of Catiline, which came near overthrowing the city, had come to the ears of the senate, Cato and Caesar, who were of different opinions about the matter, were standing side by side, and just then a little note was handed to Caesar from outside, which he read quietly. But Cato cried out that Caesar was outrageously receiving letters of instruction from the enemy. At this, a great tumult arose, and Caesar gave the missive, just as it was, to Cato. Cato found, when he read it, that it was a wanton bit of writing from his sister Servilia, and throwing it to Caesar with the words “Take it, thou sot,” turned again to the business under discussion. So notorious was Servilia’s passion for Caesar.

Let’s recast this in modern terms: two senior leaders are engaged in an important discussion in parliament, the legendary Julius Caesar and his enemy Cato (the younger). Caesar is distracted by an incoming message, and tries to process it while engaging in the meeting – tries, in fact , to Multitask. This not only interferes with his concentration; it leads to a disruption of the entire meeting – and to a rather comical if embarrassing outcome when the message turns out to be a love letter from his mistress. That the mistress was Cato’s sister Servilia (the mother of Brutus) just makes it more hilarious.

The lesson is far from funny, though: in meetings across the planet today attendees sit with a glassy stare fixed on their notebook or smartphone screens, and the impact on the meeting’s effectiveness is extremely harmful. Take note!

Email, Digital Photography, and the Hole in our Historical Record

May 2, 2017 | Posted By

EDITORIAL: Information overload

January 13, 2017 | Posted By

Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.

January 13, 2017 | Posted By

An Easy Way to Get Responses from People Who Never Answer Your Emails

January 13, 2017 | Posted By

NHS email blunder clogs up system after message sent to 840,000 employees

December 12, 2016 | Posted By

Really? Most Americans don’t suffer information overload

December 9, 2016 | Posted By

Is it time you had a digital detox? Five top tips on stepping away from the online world

December 9, 2016 | Posted By

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