The world buzzes around us full of noise, from the ding of our phones announcing a new text-message to the “You’ve got mail” announcement letting us know we’ve got yet another piece of doubtless important information. The phone rings, the TV chirps out commercials and admonishments, and the radio drones on endlessly about upcoming elections and what’s going on in the world of Hollywood. Information Overload Day reminds us that there’s such a thing as too much information, and sometimes this constant inundation can leave actually have a negative impact on our happiness and productivity.
History of Information Overload Day
Information Overload Day was established by a group of companies looking to bring awareness to what happens when you overload your employees and customers with far too much information. Research has been showing that productivity is actually being hurt by the sheer amount of information flowing through our lives, with the average employee receiving no less than 93 emails a day.
Combine that with the social media that rules our lives, the constant buzz of new text messages, and the old stand-by that is web browsing and getting overwhelmed is pretty understandable. What’s less understandable is that there is becoming a severe economic impact on the time spent on these things, and to be clear that’s time spent for business purposes, not personal.
Just think about the times that you’ve been deep in the middle of a project and suddenly your email dings and you take the time to stop, read through, and reply. Then you have to take a moment to get refocused on your project and start working again, hopefully before yet another email comes in. It’s these little pauses that are adding up to a $180 Billion dollar impact, so clearly something needed to be done.
How to celebrate Information Overload Day
First, stop checking your email every time it dings. Log out of your email client, and log in only five times a day to help limit the amount of interruptions you get in a day. Then turn off the ringer on your phone, including the vibration, and take those same stops to reply to text messages and return calls. These interruptions cost more time than you think, and you’d be surprised how productive you could be if you just eliminated them from your day. Information Overload Day is about taking control of the flow of information into your life, and limiting it when and if it’s necessary.