Saturday, 03 November 2007
Information Overload

I just have too much information to take in every day. At work I have about 50-100 e-mail's a day to cope with, then I have a constant feed of RSS traffic from just too many blogs coming into my RSS reader, Facebook traffic comes in at a constant stream and then my ISP email account and my GMail account never end.

You would just say I could turn off the RSS reader? The problem is the current project I am working on uses a Wiki for everything so every time people make changes or tag things for your attention my RSS reader goes nuts bringing in traffic. My work email account I have had for such a long time that I get all kinds of spam now and company emails going back and forth. As it takes me so long to read everything I just glance at it and use the Outlook flagging tool to mark it as important to read later. I don't think I could cope with another social network or information source and ironically enough when I want to get any work done at work I actually turn off all of these information sources. Its funny that all these information sources that are supposed to be such a "boost" and help in the workplace are actually a hindrance. Every hour at work I will start up Outlook and begin deleting the messages that are not important. Another interrupter at work is MSN messenger which we use for communicating across sites, I will also turn this off when I need to get work done and turn it on every now and again if I need to bother a colleague for help.

I realise a lot of organisations have blocked many of these "tools" and social networks on their firewalls to stop their staff from being distracted, I like to think I am good at self policing myself, but I realise why companies do this. Sometimes people just can't help themselves and I have friends who admit they have a weakness not being able to leave Facebook, Beebo or what ever social network they belong too alone while at work. I personally never use social networks while at work, as I know how distracting they are. Although one of things I say to people is while you are using them look at the clock on your PC when you first start and write it down. Then look at it again every now and again, you'll be quite amazed by how 2 minutes turns into 30minutes.