Dec 17, 2013
So we’ve reached the end of our series on dealing with information overload. Our final post will examine one of the most established strategies: filtering. Defined as paying attention to just the most important and helpful information, and leaving aside any other sources, filtering is something we do every day, consciously or subconsciously.
Filtering can be viewed in two ways, depending on the flow of information you are dealing with. It can be seen as a process by which you search for information that is useful to you, or a process by which you block information that is not useful to you. Either way, filtering is a necessary tool for sifting out the useful from the useless.
Dec 4, 2013
Habits require little thought or planning because we’ve done them repetitively over a period of time and have become second nature. Simple domestic habits might include making a cup of coffee, opening or closing curtains, taking a shower, or brushing teeth. Only when we think about it do we know that we have performed these actions; but at the time we were probably on auto-pilot, paying little attention to what we were doing.
Habits are essential for productivity for that very reason. Activities that have become habits require little in the way of planning or mental energy. We don’t have to think about the possible ways of accomplishing tasks that have become habits, nor do we need to analyse the potential outcomes. We don’t have to learn tasks each and every time we tackle them. We just complete them the way we always have, giving us more time to get on with other things and leaving our brains to function more freely. Habits make scheduling and planning easier as we can build our days around established rituals.
Nov 13, 2013
It’s time for the next part in our series on strategies for coping with information overload, and this week we’ll be taking a look at ‘shifting’. Defined as ‘changing one’s perception of situation by accepting it as part of the job,’ shifting means accepting that the world we live in is fast-paced and data-rich, and that information overload is a fact of life.
Whatever industry you work in, and whatever your position is, you will have to cope with information overload. Employers expect us to perform a variety of tasks at lightning speed and to deal with whatever is thrown our way. Failure to keep up in the workplace can have serious consequences.
Oct 30, 2013
Some have a problem with saying “no.” You can recognise them easily: they work late every night, spend all their weekends helping friends and neighbours with DIY projects, and have permanent shadows beneath eyes and a face that ask‘how can I help you?’
Refusing is an important coping strategy for dealing with information overload. Learning how to say “no” to more tasks when we’re already over-stretched will help us to become more productive.