It’s not merely information overload that’s overwhelming administrative professionals. The data fog is thickening at a time when many companies are asking people to do more.
A survey by Spherion Staffing discovered that 53% of employees had been compelled to take on extra tasks since the recession started, meaning there’s little respite from the dense data.
Another survey suggests that most employees think most of the information they receive is useless.
You may need more than an on-ramp to the information superhighway. Try these tips for weeding out unnecessary information:
1. Ask yourself if you’re approaching your work constructively or it’s just become another activity.
2. Set aside a few minutes, when you can, to regroup. It sounds like common sense, but it’s a rarity in most admins’ world.
3. Designate a separate device for distractions like Facebook and Twitter, recommends designer Aza Raskin. For example, make a rule that you’ll only look at them on your iPhone or at a home computer.
4. Embrace three principles to deal with data overload, say Derek Dean and Caroline Webb of McKinsey: Find time to focus, filter out noise and forget about work when you can.
— Adapted from “Too much information,” The Economist; “Duke’s Cathy Davidson Is Fixing The Future Of Distraction,” Anya Kamenetz, Fast Company.