Reducing Information Pollution

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Task errors by emergency physicians are associated with interruptions, multitasking, fatigue and working memory capacity: a prospective, direct observation study

February 8, 2018 | Posted By

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.

Emails From Key Contacts – Alert Me

July 13, 2016 | Posted By

Being alerted when each and every new email arrives is now accepted as one of the major drains on our productivity along wit the general email overload it causes. Working efficiently means turning off all those new email alerts

Finding Time: How Corporations, Individuals, and Families Can Benefit from New Work Practices

June 5, 2016 | Posted By

An insightful book containing the definitive experiment on “Quiet Time” in a corporate setting.

“Constant, Constant, Multi-tasking Craziness”: Managing Multiple Working Spheres

May 15, 2016 | Posted By

This is the classic study that showed, with real data, that knowledge workers are interrupted and switch tasks every few minutes. Our study confirms what many of our colleagues and ourselves have been informally observing for some time: that information work is very fragmented. What surprised us was exactly how fragmented the work is. In a typical day, we found that people spend an average of three minutes working on any single event before switching to another event.

5 simple tips to spend less time on your phone

November 20, 2015 | Posted By

With the news that we’re now spending more time on our phones than with our significant others, it might be time to think about reducing our screen time.

In fact, 62% of recently polled Brits said they hate how much time they spend on their phones. If you also wish you were less addicted to your device, we might be able to help.

Daniel Levitin: how information overload is making us stupid

October 9, 2015 | Posted By

He outlines his concern about the effects on the brain in his book The Organised Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.

Levitin says each time we dispatch an email, we feel a sense of accomplishment, and our brain gets a dollop of reward hormones telling us we accomplished something. When we look at a Twitter feed or Facebook update, we encounter something novel and feel more connected socially (in a kind of weird, impersonal cyber way) and get another dollop of reward hormones.

Could a robot write this article?

October 9, 2015 | Posted By

Humans have feared the rise of machines since the 19th century, when textile workers known as the Luddites smashed the mechanical looms they thought would replace them.

Yes, machines have been replacing human workers for a very long time. Until recently it was manual laborers who had to worry about losing their jobs at factory or farm due to technological progress: robots can do many things humans can’t, more efficiently – and without complaint.

Motherhood, Screened Off

October 9, 2015 | Posted By

My mother’s address book is one of the small visual details of my childhood that I can perfectly conjure, although I am sure no photograph of it exists. Fake-leather-bound, filled with her formal, spidery script, it was, to me, barely legible, with addresses crossed out and replaced with new ones as friends’ lives shifted. I often was dispatched to grab it for her from a kitchen drawer. I knew when she was looking for someone’s phone number, which seems unremarkable, except that my own children do not know when I am searching for a phone number, because all they see is me, on my iPhone, intently focused on something mysterious and decidedly not them.

Talk to Each Other, Not Your Phone

October 9, 2015 | Posted By

My recent Sunday Review essay, adapted from my book “Reclaiming Conversation,” made a case for face-to-face talk. The piece argued that direct engagement is crucial for the development of empathy, the ability to put ourselves in the place of others. The article went on to say that it is time to make room for this most basic interaction by first accepting our vulnerability to the constant hum of online connection and then designing our lives and our products to protect against it.

​Put your information appetite on a diet with this 5-point plan

September 25, 2015 | Posted By

We all love to complain about information overload, but do we as leaders do our part to curb our own gluttonous appetites? Or does our typical meeting prep-work stack up like the first draft of a company’s 10-K form, with every possible bit of information included?

With intention, discipline and collaboration, you can curb your own and your team’s information appetite in order to get to what really matters and make better decisions. Here’s how:

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