Information Overload – Boon or Bane?
There was a time when ‘information’ was a rare commodity and privy to a handful of people. But this key resource now flows in abundance thanks to the ICT revolution. However, too much information can also lead to a crisis-like situation.
Information overload is a reality for many senior executives nowadays. There are emails to answer and social networks to scan regularly to stay connected with customers and stay updated on latest trends. Apart from this, there are meetings to attend, travels to make, events to attend, etc!
So, how does the C-suite manage this overdose of information? If the first answer that popped into your head was multitasking then you aren’t alone. Most people believe that by doing several things concurrently they can get a better handle on all the information flowing towards them.
Counter-intuitively, according to a McKinsey Research Report, multitasking can adversely affect productivity, creativity, efficiency and decision-making processes. When people consistently switch between tasks, they are more prone to making errors and can take twice as long to complete a task vis-à-vis those who pick up one task at a time.
So if multitasking is not the solution, what is? Addressing information overload requires copious amounts of self-discipline to follow the basic but timeless guidelines – find time to focus, filter out the unimportant, and disconnect from work every now and then.
The simplest and best way to shut out the relentless deluge of information is by disconnecting. But as easy as it sounds, it may not always be possible to keep out the noise.
As with time management, delegating tasks is also a basic tenet of information management. Empower people in their positions, and trust them to do their job. Engage personally only on issues that require your expertize. Also, find yourself a capable assistant who can manage your email and social media accounts in order to weed out unimportant stuff.
We at MYB believe that you don’t need to get bogged down by information overload. Set your information objectives and prioritize what’s important for you. Ultimately, it’s you who chooses what to do with your time to create the space you want.