Reducing Information Pollution
Information Overload is a common topic of discussions in the press and literature. It is also the subject of research, tools, and techniques. But there is also an important but related problem: Decision Overload.
Information Overload occurs when the information available exceeds the processing abilities of the individual or can be processed in the time available.
By contrast, Decision Overload occurs when the vast amount of available information makes it difficult to decide upon the correct course of action(s).
“A weekday issue of the New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in an entire lifetime in the seventeenth century.”
Variants of this statement (give or take a couple of centuries) are commonly seen when reading about Information Overload. Of course I agree that there’s more information available today than back in centuries past, but this particular statement always seemed suspicious to me. Is it true? And what if it is?
Very noteworthy article from Andrew McDermott regarding ways to overcome overload. Great suggestions and guidance that can really make a difference.
OVERLOAD – IS IT HARMING US?: BY M.MANN -EMAILOGIC
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.
Rob Cross offers a good description of collaborative overload (ref link included) and a diagnostic test.
During the 1990’s, organizations shifted from a functional-centric structure to a business process-centric structure. After completing difficult change management actions, benefits were harvested, e.g., reduced cycle time, decreased rework and improved customer satisfaction. Information overload can occur from individual actions during and outside of work as well as team activities. The cited references describe some root causes of collaboration overload and suggests remedies. The benefits from a business process-centric structure can be reduced by collaboration overload. It’s worth reading these materials to achieve your expectations from collaboration benefits. Marty B #IORGforum
When I started working on mitigating Information Overload at Intel, back in the mid-90s, it was all about email overload, and the solutions we worked on then were all about how to send less and better email, sort and process incoming email faster and more sensibly, and – once we figured out the underlying cultural causes – improving norms and expectations within the organization. Nobody even considered Mindfulness then…
Recently I was invited to give a keynote lecture at the XV International Conference on University Libraries in Mexico City last month. The conference was dedicated to the changing role of university libraries, and their place in the United Nations’ “Agenda 2030” program. My lecture, titled “Libraries and Knowledge in the Age of Information Overload”, took a close look at the impact of today’s pervasive state of Information Overload on the academic library, and vice versa. Read more…
Interruptions, multitasking and poor sleep were associated with significantly increased rates of prescribing errors among emergency physicians. WMC mitigated the negative influence of these factors to an extent. These results confirm experimental findings in other fields and raise questions about the acceptability of the high rates of multitasking and interruption in clinical environments.
Yet despite such optimistic views, trust in the media is still low (at 27 percent for newspapers according to the report) and new research that surveyed 19,000 American adults age 18 and older shows that people struggle with navigating through the abundance of information.
Overloaded inboxes can wait – it’s time for my productivity gut check for 2018. Here’s why we shouldn’t wait for our employers to seize the day, and why the digital skills gap factors in.