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ISO Monday: Are you drowning in email, RSS feeds & Twitter Feeds?

Welcome to this Monday's edition of "Information Super Overload".  Last week, we asked:  "Information Super-Overload: Is information overload killing productivity?"  So when is too much information too much to handle?

The answer is- and it might surprise you - never.  Having information and data available is never 'bad.' It is how you deal with that information which is important.  The goal of this weekly series to to help you understand the dynamic of constantly streaming information in this period we call "the Information Age."  Our goal is to help you prioritize and organize information so it can be accessed as necessary and appropriate. We will also attempt to provide you with strategies for understanding mission critical data from other forms of potentially distracting information which may be informative, entertaining or enlightening, but not at the top of your priority list.  

Mission critical information must feed into a process which ensures that it never falls through the cracks.  All other information may be ignored, reviewed later or simply stored for search if and when that time ever becomes necessary. This distinction is extremely important and one that we all need to be aware of and attentive to.

Information allows us to learn and to make informed decisions.  If you believe in human intelligence and the capacity for reason like I do, then being able to tap information important to making smart decision for yourself and your clients is an innately good thing.  Hopefully, we can help you avoid being run over by the endless data bearing down on you as you navigate the information super-highway.

There is no such thing as too much information. It is how we handle or process that information which is important. Data does not distract us.  We allow ourselves to be distracted by data. The first step for dealing with information overload is understanding your priorities. The second step is to develop systems and processes in place to separate mission critical information for discretionary data so that the mission critical info is in your face, uncluttered by less important information.

Next week will will discuss how to tame your email in-box by (1) using folders to separate the mission critical emails from the rest, (2) treating your email in-box as a giant database receptacle and storage device, (3) maintaining multiple email accounts and (4) dealing with ever-troubling spam.

Comments

Management; information; feed readers; email; data

I have found that the amount of information is overwhelming at first because you are subscribing to more without knowing what will provide quality information. However, it is easy to determine, at an early stage nonetheless, what information is worthwhile. You can then prioritize the items you will closely monitor, review the lower quality information less frequently, and even eliminate some feeds after you determine their utility, or lack thereof.

Simply put, identify, early on, what you see as important information that requires further review or action. Even though you may start with more, you can continually organize the information into consumable chunks. Remember, although information is indeed power, you have to be able to recall it or quickly locate it in order to benefit.

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