Don’t confuse this with technology or sensory overload. Our technology is capable of bombarding us with so much information that our brain becomes a bottleneck for processing it all.
Because of this, we commonly delay to make decisions or we make wrong decisions. How does Information Overload happen?
You get lots of rambling e-mail messages that are sent to a large distribution. You get entire reports rather than the parts you really need. Some info you get has inconsistencies or factual errors that require you to do more research. Enough!!
Just one person can cause all this. They’re on Overload and they just pass on vast amounts of info rather than summarizing and relaying only pertinent information. This bogs down everyone on the project.
Leaders can prevent Information Overload.
Although there is not a simple solution, implementing these steps will make an immediate difference. Lead by example for your team to gain focus as you become focused.
Need to Know. Rather than gathering hoards of info that’s nice to have, focus on acquiring only what you need to know in order to make decisions. You can always get more information to substantiate your decision.
Infogineer. Be concise with communications. Why spend time composing a lengthy e-mail when a short one that’s to the point will do? Think about who really needs to receive your communiques and send only to them. Create quality information, not quantity.
Ask Direct Questions. Think about the specific info you need as you craft your questions. By doing so, you’ll get answers that are precise. Ask additional questions to delve deeper if you need further data.
Compartmentalize your time. When you really need to focus, it’s okay to ignore your e-mail and phone. It’s okay to stop disruptions. Use the Stephen Covey time management matrix to help prioritize what’s important and urgent and what isn’t.
“People often complain about lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.” ~ Zig Ziglar
~ Karen Bullard – I am on a mission to ignite leadership purpose and passion with people to help you become better at what you do. Claim your free cheat sheet “Good-Bye NINO” with tips for how to be positive in a negative world — you’ll be glad you did!