How to avoid information overload at work


It’s true that today is a time when people have unprecedented access to information. With smartphones, laptops, tablets, web portals, and TVs all vying for our attention and subjecting us to an onslaught of ads, it can be difficult to filter out the information that is relevant from that which is not.

Given the highest level of mobility and our obsession with collecting information these days, one must make conscious efforts to avoid information overload. Overload occurs when you lack the necessary time or resources to be able to make decisions and act on information, which is often the case at work.

Avoid Information Overload

Follow these communication strategies to avoid being overloaded with information – you can click here to learn more.

1) Keep a lid on your email

Many people have overloaded email inboxes. You can avoid information overload by ensuring that you don’t miss anything important and that you don’t act on unnecessary things.

Here are a few tips to help you deal with your emails better:

  • Check your emails only twice a day

It’s easy to check our emails repeatedly throughout the day, especially when we’re waiting for them to get something else done or when we’ve been called for a meeting. However, it may lead to information overload if there are too many emails and it’s difficult to keep track of them.

  • Process your emails in batches

Some people have their own individual preferences as to how many times a day they should check their emails, but it’s recommended that you process them in batches instead. This helps you to stay focused and not get distracted. Processing all the emails within a period of one or two hours is a much more manageable task than having to do it throughout the day.

  • Training yourself to delete unnecessary emails

Getting rid of unnecessary emails is important, especially if you’re short on time and can’t process them all at once. You can train yourself by deleting unnecessary social network notifications and newsletters, as well as junk mail. These all cause information overload because they’re just so easy to check.

2) Provide teams with targeted information

If you are the manager of a team, make sure that the team members get only the information they need. Provide them with one-on-one updates and have one-on-one meetings with them to discuss important topics.

3) Use technology wisely

It’s very easy to get distracted by your smartphone, especially when it comes to social networks, non-work-related sites, or games. It’s good to manage these distractions and avoid using your device for these purposes during work hours. If you must use it for work purposes, make use of the timer or other features that limit usage.

Today, we have unprecedented access to information, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all relevant or even necessary. It’s important to filter out the information you get at work and learn how to manage your time so that you can avoid information overload. One way of doing this is checking your emails only twice a day and keeping each batch short, while deleting unnecessary emails so that they don’t take up too much of your time.

If you’re a manager, it’s also important not to provide your team with too many unnecessary details, as this may cause them to lose focus. Instead, encourage them to ask questions if there are things they don’t understand and give them more targeted information whenever possible.