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Three Surprising Reasons Why
People Can’t Stop Being
Overloaded
Francis Wade
2Time Labs
Tune into the audio here http://go...
Context
A few things you may already
Know
Do
Believe
Know
Walking through a library doesn’t trigger a
feeling of information overload.
(But walking through the rain without an...
Know 2
A random stream of tweets also
doesn’t trigger a feeling of
information overload…
Know 3
Neither does glancing at someone
else’ email Inbox
Unless…. The “someone else” is your
boss and your name is on the subject
line!
Do
you discard a lot of messages – paying
attention to a handful and
acting on an even smaller number
You Believe… Perhaps…
The problem does not lie in bits and
bytes of digital content. In not
having time to somehow process...
You
A Thought Leader
(compared to your peers)
Our Journey
From – easy answers that prove we are stuck
To – having a fresh angle on the problem,
hopefully grounded in re...
Hypothesis:
Overload is a psychological
phenomena that has its roots in a
process.
But has tangible effects
Time Demand
A time demand is an internal,
individual commitment to complete
an action in the future
– A psychological obje...
Triggered by…
Just about anything – a thought, a call,
an email, a memo, a meeting etc.
Different from a task
By definition, a time demand is
defined by the agency or
ownership of the individual.
In our teens…
We discover a connection…
Between completing time demands
and fulfilling the vast majority of our
goals
An Inescapable Link
All except the simplest goals involve the
creation and management
of
time demands
So we teach ourselve...
In order to…
…“hold on” to time demands… to
prevent them from slipping through
the cracks
Overweight
Eating calories and exercising as if you
were a teenager
Overwhelm
Creating and managing time demands
as if you were a teenager
1950’s
Your teenage habits, practices and rituals
for managing time demands lasted a
lifetime
In a day, you see more infor...
2010’s
Your teenage habits, practices and
rituals are stale within months /
years
Because… you see more information in
a d...
Plus, there’s Technology
…supercharges our tendency to create
time demands.
So did the recession.
Leading to…
A backlog
We live in a backlog of time demands
(that we have forgotten we created
with our habits, practices and rituals)
For example
How many items can you leave as reminders on
your desk…
before that tactic becomes useless, and then
the sourc...
We try to cope by fixing…
• Our filters
• Our manager
• Our projects
• Our corporate employer
• Our world
Solution 1 – Improve Throughput
• Change the methods you use to manage time
demands – via the 7 fundamental skills*
• Star...
Solution 2 – Upgrade the Quality
What would stop you from creating new time
demands?
1. Better information at your fingert...
Solution 3 – Better scheduling
Moving beyond the use of
- infinitely long To-Do lists
- appointment calendars limited to m...
3 Surprising Reasons
We can’t stop being overloaded
1. We don’t know that we create time demands
2. We get stuck in idiosy...
Thank You
www.2time-sys.com
@fwade
Let’s continue the conversation after
the Q&A in the Information Overload
Network group...
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Three Surprising Reasons Why People Can't Stop Being Overloaded Information Overload Day

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Audio available at http://goo.gl/44xPsX. This 13 minute presentation was made on Information Overload Awareness Day to the IORG. It focuses on a single psychological object that is at the root of all information overload, bar none.

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Three Surprising Reasons Why People Can't Stop Being Overloaded Information Overload Day

  1. 1. Three Surprising Reasons Why People Can’t Stop Being Overloaded Francis Wade 2Time Labs Tune into the audio here http://goo.gl/44xPsX
  2. 2. Context A few things you may already Know Do Believe
  3. 3. Know Walking through a library doesn’t trigger a feeling of information overload. (But walking through the rain without an umbrella does make you wet…)
  4. 4. Know 2 A random stream of tweets also doesn’t trigger a feeling of information overload…
  5. 5. Know 3 Neither does glancing at someone else’ email Inbox
  6. 6. Unless…. The “someone else” is your boss and your name is on the subject line!
  7. 7. Do you discard a lot of messages – paying attention to a handful and acting on an even smaller number
  8. 8. You Believe… Perhaps… The problem does not lie in bits and bytes of digital content. In not having time to somehow process all of them.
  9. 9. You A Thought Leader (compared to your peers)
  10. 10. Our Journey From – easy answers that prove we are stuck To – having a fresh angle on the problem, hopefully grounded in research
  11. 11. Hypothesis: Overload is a psychological phenomena that has its roots in a process. But has tangible effects
  12. 12. Time Demand A time demand is an internal, individual commitment to complete an action in the future – A psychological object – with physical properties
  13. 13. Triggered by… Just about anything – a thought, a call, an email, a memo, a meeting etc.
  14. 14. Different from a task By definition, a time demand is defined by the agency or ownership of the individual.
  15. 15. In our teens… We discover a connection… Between completing time demands and fulfilling the vast majority of our goals
  16. 16. An Inescapable Link All except the simplest goals involve the creation and management of time demands So we teach ourselves habits, practices and rituals
  17. 17. In order to… …“hold on” to time demands… to prevent them from slipping through the cracks
  18. 18. Overweight Eating calories and exercising as if you were a teenager
  19. 19. Overwhelm Creating and managing time demands as if you were a teenager
  20. 20. 1950’s Your teenage habits, practices and rituals for managing time demands lasted a lifetime In a day, you see more information than your grandparents saw in a month
  21. 21. 2010’s Your teenage habits, practices and rituals are stale within months / years Because… you see more information in a day…
  22. 22. Plus, there’s Technology …supercharges our tendency to create time demands. So did the recession. Leading to…
  23. 23. A backlog We live in a backlog of time demands (that we have forgotten we created with our habits, practices and rituals)
  24. 24. For example How many items can you leave as reminders on your desk… before that tactic becomes useless, and then the source of a new bigger problem? 5? 15? 27?
  25. 25. We try to cope by fixing… • Our filters • Our manager • Our projects • Our corporate employer • Our world
  26. 26. Solution 1 – Improve Throughput • Change the methods you use to manage time demands – via the 7 fundamental skills* • Start wherever you are now, analyze it and make incremental, planned changes based on best-practices *The 7 fundamental skills are: Capturing, Emptying, Tossing, Acting Now, Storing, Scheduling and Listing Ref. Wade, Francis (2014.) Perfect Time-Based Productivity
  27. 27. Solution 2 – Upgrade the Quality What would stop you from creating new time demands? 1. Better information at your fingertips about the impact of current commitments. e.g. 3 hours of space left in the next 168 hours. Not just gut feelings. 2. Better estimates of the duration of time demands – reversing the planning fallacy
  28. 28. Solution 3 – Better scheduling Moving beyond the use of - infinitely long To-Do lists - appointment calendars limited to meetings - mental juggling of time demands To auto-scheduling our time, thereby living within our means i.e. a time demand diet
  29. 29. 3 Surprising Reasons We can’t stop being overloaded 1. We don’t know that we create time demands 2. We get stuck in idiosyncratic teenage habits 3. We focus on improving the wrong things e.g. our gadgets instead of the 7 fundamentals
  30. 30. Thank You www.2time-sys.com @fwade Let’s continue the conversation after the Q&A in the Information Overload Network group on Linkedin “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space we have a choice. In that choice lies our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl

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