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Getting Out From Under Information Overload

By on August 15, 2011No Comment



Getting Out From Under Information Overload

Jena McGregor

Washington Post



In the 30 minutes it’s taken me to open this new Word document, read through three articles about today’s post, and decide how to start writing, I’ve gotten eight new emails. My TweetDeck browser has alerted me to 17 new tweets from the 300-odd people I follow. My phone has rung once, my laptop has popped up a small window telling me my antivirus software is updated, and a text message has arrived on my mobile phone. If the research that says that a 30-second interruption leads to five minutes of recovery time is indeed true, the entire last half hour has been lost, and then some.

And this was all after I decided what I was going to write about. That idea came from my RSS reader—yet another source for news—which pointed me to a blog post over at Leadership Now about the overwhelming amount of information most workers experience in today’s “knowledge economy.” The post offers a snapshot of a new book on the topic called Overload! by author Jonathan Spira, who runs a research firm that studies worker productivity in our constant-interruption world.

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