Recovering from information overload

Recovering from information overload

Always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy. For all the benefits of the information technology and communications revolution, it has a well-known dark side: information overload and its close cousin, attention fragmentation … no needed uninterrupted time to synthesize information from many different sources, reflect on its implications for the organization, apply judgment, make trade-offs, and arrive at good decisions.

What we hope to do in this article is remind three simple things. First, multitasking is a terrible coping mechanism. A body of scientific evidence demonstrates fairly conclusively that multitasking makes human beings less productive, less creative, and less able to make good decisions.

Second, addressing information overload requires enormous self-discipline. A little like recovering addicts, must labor each day to keep themselves on track by applying timeless yet powerful guidelines: find time to focus, filter out the unimportant, forget about work every now and then.

Third, since executives’ behavior sets the tone for the organization, they have a duty to set a better example. The whole organization’s productivity can now be affected by information overload, and no single person or group can address it in isolation.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Change, Information, Organizational change and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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