Information Overload Technology Solutions

De-cluttering the Noise for Decision-Making

Today’s IORG Guest Post is from Ingrid Pope, Mind De-Clutterer and Executive Coach.  Ingrid’s mission is to de-clutter the world of everything that gets in the way of our effectiveness, our focus, and our life  by creating space to think, to work, to live.

One of our biggest challenges today is the overload of data and information, especially when we find ourselves with a decision to make. The expression “analysis paralysis” comes to mind, and it will probably feel quite familiar to many of us!

When I found out that the police (in the UK) had developed a model to address just that, I became curious and interviewed retired Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Craig Haslam to ask him about it. Effectively, this model has 5 steps:

  1. Gather the information and intelligence available (and this will be very fluid and likely to change all the time)
  2. Assess the threat/risk and develop a working strategy
  3. Consider the powers and policy frameworks
  4. Identify the options and contingencies
  5. Take action and review what happened

And at the heart of all these steps is the code of ethics, which guides every single decision and action that is taken.

We can apply this model to decisions that we need to take too, going through the steps and ensuring that our chosen path always reflects our values at all times.

What are you noticing in your decision-making? How aligned are you to your values? And how often do you take the time to review what happened and learn from it for next time

Watch the full interview here:

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RTFM… it’s a good investment of your time!

A student of mine once did a little research project to check what features of Gmail people were using. Her findings: he great majority of users were only using it to read, compose, forward, reply and delete. All the wonderful advanced features that could make them a great deal more productive were unused and unknown to them. They never bothered to investigate them… or to “read the manual”.

This shameful ignorance is of course common in all computer tools. When I was computing productivity manager at Intel I analyzed the email overload situation and one root cause I found was precisely this lack of knowledge of the productivity features of our email client (Outlook). I subsequently developed a Web Based Training module that all employees were required to take, which showed them how to use the tool – effectively.

I strongly recommend you do this: take 30 minutes to acquaint yourself with all the options and controls of your email client. You’ll save hours and hours every month, forever.

Read the f****** manual!

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