this presentation - The Information Overload Research Group

What YOU can do about Information Overload
Information Overload Day 2013 group discussion
Oct. 21, 2013
This is a starter for your presentation to
your group – modify and expand it to
meet your needs!
Information Overload
• Worst productivity problem, the world over
– Comprising Email Overload and Interruptions
– Costs knowledge workers about 25% of their workweek
– Undermines creativity and organizational processes
– Makes us all miserable
• Time to do something!
– There are many fixes, once you know what to fix
– First step is to understand what’s causing IO in your group
– You’ll be surprised at what you may find!
Causes of IO to look for
• Work processes that generate unneeded email
• Lack of clear expectations related to response time
• Lack of guidelines – who to copy on what?
• Mistrust that causes behaviors like CYA and Reply All
• Lack of leadership
• ?
Group level solutions to consider
• Define a “group contract” about required response time
to email (especially outside of work hours)
• Agree on subject line hashtags, e.g. #Hot, #FYI, #Action,
#NRN (No Response needed)
• Define when to use To and when to use CC
• Limit use of “All hands” distribution list
• Remove the Reply All button from the interface
(quite doable – ask IT – and proven effective)
• ?
Personal tips to consider adopting
• Only read email in a few preset time slots in the day!
• Turn off all those distracting “You’ve got mail” alerts
• Never use your Inbox as a To Do list! Once you open a
message, handle it and move it out of there
• Look at the many software tools available to help you
sort, file and prioritize your mail
• ?
Driving the change: caveats
• Prepare and communicate a value proposition (business
case) for adopting the proposed change(s)
• Role model the desired behavior and lead!
• Assign an owner to track progress over time in the group
– this is not a “launch and forget” fix
• Look beyond the immediate issue to the underlying
cultural causes
• Ensure solutions you apply are matched to the
organization’s “DNA”
• Schedule a group meeting to discuss the harvested
Let us know how you do!
• The Information Overload Research Group wishes you
success – and would love to hear how you do
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• Good luck – and pass the word around!