Slideshow 7 Ways to Ease Information Overload

Published
  • September 07 2012, 8:18am EDT

Here are seven ways to ease the burden of information overload on those who deal with the data.

1. Filter Information at the Source

Prioritizing, queuing and delegating are just a few ways to manage information overload. By immediately filtering each item you receive and making a determination to act on it, delegate it, delete it, or flag it for future, you can reduce the amount of unfiltered, unread information that’s weighing you down.

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2. Aggregate News Sources

Rather than trying to keep up with multiple news feeds, use a tool such as Google News to compile your favorite news sources and feeds.

3. Switch from Push to Pull

That is, download content on-demand versus a constant flow. Consider changing your email setting on your PC or smartphone to pull or to a less frequent push schedule during personal time.

4. Set up “Fasting” Times

This is all about maintaining creativity to avoid burnout. Certainly, a good idea during personal time, but this also provides a much-needed break for unproductive, overwhelmed brains during work hours.

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5. Don’t Shy from Organizational Tools

According to a LexisNexis survey, 72 percent of U.S. workers strongly agree that they would be more productive if they didn’t have to constantly switch back and forth between applications to get their work done.

6. Visualize Data

The human brain is not built to process data in a linear fashion, which is how most of the information we use in the workplace is displayed. According to recent research by UK-based Mindlab International, individuals carrying out common office tasks are 17 percent more productive and use 20 percent less mental resources when data is displayed more visually, such as through visual maps.

7. Keep Work at Work

Take control of personal time and establish rules for how and when work contact occurs. Keep clear rules about “offline time” at home.

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For more on information management techniques …

Click here for the full article on this topic, by seasoned software veteran and chief product officer at Mindjet Blaine Mathieu. For Information-Management.com’s site dedicated to news, strategy and trends in enterprise information management, click here. All images used with permission from ThinkStock.