Information Overload is the Devil


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A presentation with ten tips on dealing with information overload, including separate technologies like email, RSS, Twitter, phone, listservs, groups, etc.

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Information Overload is the Devil

  1. 1. Information Overload is the Devil <ul><ul><li>Sarah Houghton-Jan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Futures Manager for the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>San Jose Public Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>author of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This presentation will be at </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. What does “Information Overload” mean to you?
  3. 8. “ We have become far more proficient in generating information than we are in managing it, and we have also built technology that easily allows us to create new information without human intervention.” ~Jonathan B. Spira
  4. 9. “ In an online world of small pieces loosely joined, librarians are among the most well qualified and highly motivated joiners of those pieces.” ~ John Udell – “Remixing the Library”
  5. 10. Top 5 Barriers to Dealing with Information Overload <ul><li>1) Lack of time (or perceived lack)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>2) Lack of interest or motivation </li></ul><ul><li>3) Not encouraged/threatened by management </li></ul><ul><li>4) Not knowing where to start </li></ul><ul><li>5) Frustration with past attempts </li></ul>
  6. 12. 10 Tips for Dealing with Information Overload
  7. 13. #1: General Organizational Techniques
  8. 14. <ul><li>Inventory your inputs </li></ul><ul><li>Inventory your devices </li></ul><ul><li>Think before sending/subscribing </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule yourself (including unscheduled work and tasks)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Use downtime </li></ul><ul><li>Stay neat </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a master waiting list </li></ul>
  9. 15. #2: Filter Your Input
  10. 16. <ul><li>Weed, weed, and weed again </li></ul><ul><li>Teach others communication etiquette (and stick to it)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule unplugged times </li></ul><ul><li>Unplug at will </li></ul>
  11. 17. #3: RSS & Twitter Overload Techniques
  12. 18. <ul><li>Limit your feeds and following </li></ul><ul><li>Use lists to organize feeds & Twitter friends </li></ul><ul><li>Use RSS when applicable </li></ul><ul><li>Use RSS to send you reminders </li></ul>
  13. 19. #4: Interruptive Technology Overload Techniques
  14. 20. <ul><li>Phones, text messaging, IM, Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Use these technologies when appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Check when you want to </li></ul><ul><li>Don't interrupt yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Use your status message </li></ul><ul><li>Lobby for IM or Twitter at work </li></ul>
  15. 21. #5: Phone Overload Techniques
  16. 22. <ul><li>Use the phone when appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Turn it off </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your number private </li></ul><ul><li>Let it ring </li></ul><ul><li>Work = work, home=home </li></ul>
  17. 23. #6: Email Overload Techniques
  18. 24. <ul><li>Stop “Doing Email” </li></ul><ul><li>Start scheduling email scanning time </li></ul><ul><li>Use email when appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Deal with email by subject </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your inbox nearly empty </li></ul><ul><li>Filter your messages </li></ul><ul><li>Limit listservs </li></ul><ul><li>Follow good email etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Delete and archive </li></ul><ul><li>Work=work, home=home </li></ul>
  19. 25. #7: Print Media Overload Techniques
  20. 26. <ul><li>Just because you can touch it, doesn't mean you should keep it </li></ul><ul><li>Cancel, cancel, cancel (‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Weed what you do have </li></ul>
  21. 27. #8: Multimedia Overload Techniques
  22. 28. <ul><li>Choose entertainment thoughtfully </li></ul><ul><li>Limit television viewing </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule entertainment time </li></ul><ul><li>Use your commute to your benefit </li></ul>
  23. 29. #9: Social Networking Overload Techniques
  24. 30. <ul><li>Schedule time on your networks </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a primary network and point other sites toward it </li></ul><ul><li>Limit your “in-network IM” </li></ul>
  25. 31. #10: Time and Stress Management
  26. 32. <ul><li>Use your calendar (!)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Take breaks </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate stressful interruptions </li></ul><ul><li>Look for software help </li></ul><ul><li>Balance your life and work to your own liking, not your boss's or spouse's </li></ul>
  27. 33. Further Resources <ul><li>“ Being Wired or Being Tired: 10 Ways to Cope with Information Overload” by Sarah Houghton-Jan (from Ariadne )‏ </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;How to Stop Your Inbox Exploding&quot; by Cory Doctorow </li></ul><ul><li>Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us by Jonathan B. Spira </li></ul>
  28. 34. Questions? Sarah Houghton-Jan web: IM: LibrarianInBlack Skype: LibrairanInBlack Facebook: Twitter: email: [email_address]
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