Dealing with Information Overload

Information overload

Everyday we are confronted by a large amount of information. Training managers in particular can be overwhelmed by the large number of information related to data from competitors, new products, market changes and industry trends and end up being anxious over the number of information they are being faced with.

Although we have access to different types of information and communication tools, the question is how do we manage these large number of information.

  • Decide in advance what information is relevant

You need to have an idea on what information you are looking for and if you really need that particular information. These information should be relevant to news about your industry or profession; products and service development, customers, competitors and emerging trends and prospects.

  • Identify the vital information carriers

In every profession, identify a small number of key information sources, including publications, websites, blogs, and hard news sources that cover whats occurring in the field. You only need three to four sources.

  • Streamline your intake capacity

Once you organize the kind of information you require and a handful of the best sources, you would need to find a way to receive, synthesize and extract information that would only benefit you, your team and your organization.

Know your goals and objectives and focus on the kind of information that supports your efforts. You might also want to consider avoiding social networking, depending on your job functions. Your goal is to maintain a constant inflow of relevant information in as simple a manner as possible.

  • Establish a Distribution System

As you progress in your career, you should not spend unnecessary amounts of time gathering information. Much of the information you are looking for can be identified, collected and disseminated to you by junior staff. You can use these staff to collect information and sort them out for you.

Once you are free from the task of identifying and assembling information, you will be able to think conceptually in ways that will help to propel your team, division, or department forward.

  • Be thoughtful when sending information

Sometimes the staggering amounts of information is due to a lack of organizing guidelines. Guidelines can help you save time on sorting through unnecessary, excessive exposure to information that does not have any relevance to your organization.

Learn to be more discriminating when exchanging information. Try to eliminate acronyms, abbreviations and jargons that may lead to misunderstandings and limit the length of your correspondence with others by including only what is necessary. Sending too much information to recipients may overwhelm them. Do not CC or BCC when it is not necessary, and avoid sending FYI kinds of messages.

Your success and the success of your company depends on understanding information and communication management. Having these skills will enable you as an information manager to point your team and organization in the appropriate direction.