I’ve blogged before about my massive information overload problem. I’ve decided it’s officially a “problem” and two of my 9 quarterly goals involve tackling my information overload.
2. I will finish all my partially-finished books. Currently, I have 7 books that are all partially finished.
According to The Economist too much information begins to decrease effectiveness. In their article, they described giving a horse-racing handicapper five pieces of information versus 40. The successes of predictions was worse when given the 40 pieces of information versus the five.
Mark Hurst, the author of Bit Literacy wrote an entire book on how to manage massive information overload and make technology work for you, rather than you being enslaved to technology and the tyranny of the urgent. Given my Goal #2 above, I will not be reading the book just yet but it sounds like a potential fix for my information overload woes.
In a recent post on his blog, Ben Casnocha, the uber-boy wonder who wrote the book “My Start-Up Life” said “I see less and less value keeping up day-to-day”.
The author of “The 4 Hour Work Week” (which I haven’t read) suggests not reading anything besides the headlines to avoid getting overwhelmed with information. While this seems a bit drastic to me, it goes hand in hand with the idea of allowing free space in your head.
This will end up being a bit like my Clean Desk goal– two steps forward, two steps to the side but ultimately a bit of forward movement over time.
Another thing that I just heard about to cut down on email clutter is to give options in the email. So, for example, if you’re trying to set a lunch date – name the time, date, place of your first choice but also include 2 alternates. This cuts down on 3 or 4 emails about when and where.
I’ve tried it and it is working.
It’s all baby steps.
Carrie ~ Gigi says
Something to be said about reading the “Headlines” only in our busy daily lives. And when you need to be “heard” and sending correspondence-fast track to the “Executive Summary”~ state your purpose in the first sentence, leaving the less important points to the end. Some days I feel my mind is so cluttered with too much info, that I need to “simplify” my thoughts.
My photo doesn’t show my piled up boxes currently on the floor or the right hand side of my desk which is equally sad. I just got the book “Getting Things Done” (or something named similar to that) and once I’m done with my 7 partially-read books, I’ll tackle that book and see if it helps me in my drowning paper and information world. =)
Sounds like we broke down at the same time. I’ve been overwhelmed lately with similar issues and finally began tackling it yesterday by cleaning my desk which was just as bad as yours. You’ve got my 3 partially-read books beat though…