How many e-mails wait for you when you open your mailbox in the morning? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? Information overload is becoming a huge problem in business. Three out of four workers feel intimidated by the daily glut of information overload – this alarming fact from research in a thousand companies. In big companies knowledge workers spend an average of twenty hours a week just processing information.
We all know this deluge hampers our effectiveness. We can’t find the information we are looking for, we miss opportunities, deadlines slip by and the quality of our decision making worsens. Information overload will increasingly contribute to burn-out. Be warned: the information tsunami continues to grow exponentially, more than doubling every two years.
In the United States information overload already has been identified as a serious problem by companies and government. Since 2007 the Information Overload Research Group (IORG) is researching the problem. Not surprisingly IBM, Google and Xerox, interested in developing software for information management, support this think-thank.
The case of e-mail is particularly interesting. In many American companies the pressure is enormous since there is an unspoken 24 hour deadline to reply. Answering mails at 11 pm from home, or on a Saturday morning using your mobile device while standing alongside your child’s hockey field, is perfectly normal for most business women.
Do you answer business mails at night from home? How do you deal with e-mail overload?
For simple tips on how to deal with e-mail more effectively, visit http://iorgforum.org