Thursday April 14th, 2011, 3:00 pm
Information overload is a prevalent disease of 21st Centuary business life, often predicated by email overload. We live in a predominantly push rather than pull information culture: this is one of the main causes of this disease. However, we have it within our personal power to change that culture and be far more vigilant about what information is thrown at us and often by email.
I have just sent out a reminder email about forthcoming some Brilliant Email Master Classes and was pleased to see that ten people ‘unsubscribe’ from my mailing list. No I am not a sadist, but simply delighted to see people taking my email best practice medicine.
To manage the risk of catching the information overload virus you need to be be ruthless about the emails which reach your inbox and hence reduce the email overload. In the first instance that means ‘unsubscribing’ from any mailing lists (internal and external) from which you receive information which you feel is not useful to you personally.
If that can not be done perhaps because either your mail server does not let you access the website or the sender has provided no unsubscribe mechanism then take alternative avoidance action. Try using:
- ‘junk’ mail filters to block the relevant emails;
- rules either to delete automatically the emails or send then to a folder for reviewing latter.
Simply deleting unnecessary emails is both a waste of time (click here to check for yourself) and makes you very vulnerable to the information overload virus.
Eighty percent of what you really need comes from twenty percent of the information you receive. However, only you can identify which is the twenty percent for you. Then you and only you must prioritise and take suitable measure to avoid being laid low by the email overload and hence information overload disease.