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A conversation with Patrick – The Clog

By on February 10, 2012No Comment


My desk seems a bit clogged up...

Every week, I get the opportunity to sit down and chat with knowledge workers who are overloaded. Last week, I spoke with Patrick, a mid-level banking executive.

He refers to the problem of Information Overload as a “clog.” “We’re just bombarded with all sorts of stuff,” he told me.

I nodded knowingly.

“Technology,” he continued, “is supposed to help us but sometimes it is more of a hindrance.” He went on. “The inefficiency of our technology is just driving me crazy.” “It’s a bit of a touchy subject,” he tells me, “bandwidth is a problem and even getting to Web sites is an issue at times.”

“I spend a lot of time with e-mail,” he notes. “It’s one of the biggest drags on productivity.”

His observations: “People copy too many people, they use e-mail indiscriminately, they don’t read what others write…” The list goes on and on.

Patrick uses rules and filters in e-mail in an effort to keep the clog to a minimum but it’s not enough. His solution just to keep up? Working on weekends. He finds it a time when he can do what he has to do without any interruptions.

Patrick, of course, is one of the almost 100 million knowledge workers in North America and he’s far from being alone in his struggles with “clog.” The fact is that, every day, we are sending more – not fewer – e-mail messages and that is only increasing the clog.

Last week I spoke at a corporate meeting about Information Overload. At first, I thought everyone was going to be bored by my topic but, apparently, It struck a nerve. The Q&A session didn’t want to end – everyone was hoping for a wooden stake or a silver bullet.

To be honest, so are Patrick and I.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex and author of Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous To Your Organization.

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