We’re not talking about TMI in the typical sense – someone reveals too much about themselves. We’re thinking about information overload.
Something we all know about. It takes skill to manage all this information. You don’t learn that skill in school. So here are some thoughts on how to manage it all.
Establish times when you you’re available, or when you’re NOT. Some occupations require more accessibility than others. But everybody can set limits.
You don’t have to read every e-mail when it comes in! Set times to view it.
For example, you may check it first thing in the morning. Then again around lunch. Finally look it over near the end of your day.
Do what works for you, but don’t become a slave to your incoming messages.
Turn off your alerts, so you don’t see every incoming message. Use filters to automatically divert some types of messages – like those that are fun or personal – to another designated place.
If you’re like most people, it’s easier to resist temptation if you don’t see it.
Also spend a pre-determined amount of time reading and responding to e-mail. This will force you to write more efficiently. Short and to the point!
Now, let’s look at another “Inbox” – the one on your desk.
Set up three Inboxes – low, normal, and high priority, like you have with e-mail. Let the person placing something in your box establish the priority. You’ll see who the abusers are soon enough.
How about those pesky phone calls? You need to filter them, too.
Use voice mail as your virtual assistant. Then you can listen to all your messages at one time and respond accordingly.
Many people spend their time on what’s in front of them, instead of focusing on what’s most important.
Take some advice from Stephen Covey, as described in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Ask yourself two questions:
- Is it important?
- Is it urgent?
Obviously, if it’s important AND urgent, you have to react.
The more time you spend on important, but NOT urgent activities, the better. You’ll have fewer important AND urgent items on your agenda over time if you focus on these important, but NOT urgent things.
You’ll also have opportunities that are urgent, but NOT important. It’s in front of you, and it may even be important to someone else. You know … they have an emergency. But it’s NOT important to you.
So here’s our question – aren’t you too important to deal with anything that’s not important?
Important people work on important things because
that’s how they will become even more important.
We’ve barely scratched the surface. We need more information!
Our Bigg Quote today is by Erma Bombeck.
“I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer.
It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.”
So don’t lock up – scan your system for fragments of information that you don’t need so you can run more smoothly and efficiently.
There’s a lot of talk about a coming recession. We’ll offer some tips on surviving, and thriving, a recession next time. Just in case!
Until then, here’s to your bigg success!
55 The Communication Debate: E-mail, Phone, or Face Time?]