Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Information Overload

Are you suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous information overload?

I feel your pain. And I'm not nearly as hooked up to all the social media and communications outlets as I either could be or should be.

We're not even talking about getting around to performing the job we are charged with doing to assist our client...or even to market ourselves.

It doesn't help, either, that after we've first checked Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn -- probably before breakfast -- for whatever "news" is being disseminated, we tend to stick around...just...a...little...longer to see what this buddy has to say about the game or what that girlfriend plans to wear to a party tonight.

Welcome to the September issue of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

CMSWire is an online magazine dedicated to all things content management; its audience comprises "CIOs, technologists, decision makers, vendors and analysts with a focus on information management practices, content, document and asset management technologies, web publishing, enterprise collaboration and a dash of social media."

Well, Chelsi Nakano, one of their writers, has a thing or two to say regarding that "dash:"

Information overload is hazardous to your organization.

A recent webcast hosted by Dow Jones, a leader in news and business information, and BrightTalk, a venue for online events for professionals and their communities, aimed to help us effectively fight information overload.

Here’s what we learned about the perils of information overload:

• A minimum of 28 billion hours is lost each year to information overload in the United States.

• Reading and processing just 10 email messages can occupy over half of a worker’s day.

• It takes 5 minutes to get back on track after a 30-second interruption.

• 66% of knowledge workers feel that they don’t have enough time to complete their work.

• For every 100 people who are unnecessarily copied on an email, 8 hours are lost.

To keep from contributing to information overload, here a few helpful tips we gathered:

Prioritize Your Workflow: Create thoughtful workflows that help workers make more intentional, mindful decisions about how they engage and collaborate.

Practice Mindfulness: Whether it’s reading e-mail messages more carefully before they are sent or maintaining an accurate status on your instant messaging client, simple tasks can make a big difference.

Advance Your Search: Use a variety of search engines and tools to help collect relevant and accurate content. Using advanced search options also makes us more mindful of how we search, which can save time.

Pursue Fresh Perspectives: It seems counterintuitive, but engaging with others to discuss solutions for information overload can help. Fresh perspectives can offer advice.

Information will not go away anytime soon. Rather than being buried by it, we can stand up and decide to manage our time and information more effectively.

So, boys and girls, what have we learned and what are we going to do the first Tuesday of next month? We shall disregard all our e-mail that day and read only the next installment of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips...

Joel Kweskin

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