I've timed this blog to coincide with Information Overload Day, which was established by a group of companies aiming to heighten awareness of what happens when employees are faced with too much information. Research has shown that productivity actually takes a hit.
How many times have you been deep in the middle of something only to be interrupted by an email, call or text? By the time you've read it, replied and re-focused time is lost (rather like your train of thought!) Multiply this a few times over and the time lost starts to become much more significant.
However, this is not an issue faced by employees alone; it's not even an issue seen solely in the workplace.
It's been highlighted in the media recently that social media has a significant economic impact caused too much 'noise' in the workplace. The constant buzz of text messages, email notifications, LInkedIn, Tweets, Facebook notifications - arghh, the list goes on! - means that it's pretty easy to get both overwhelmed and distracted.
But we live in a world where everybody expects the turnaround times facilitated by modern technology.
So what can we do about this if we don't want to perpetuate this decrease in productivity?
Well, my tips would be these:
Consider turning off your phone at times when you need to be particularly focused. Setting up custom ringtones for key clients is also worthy of serious consideration.
Log out of your email client to cut out the distraction of incoming emails. If anything is THAT urgent, your clients will pick up the phone! Designate set intervals to check on your Inbox.
Turn your Facebook notifications OFF. Allow yourself set times for Facebook - an amount you feel comfortable with (after a spot of soul-searching maybe?)
The same applies to Twitter - unless you use it for business. Twitter is so fast-paced a quick response is expected (you see the problem again already?!)
If the above is starting to make you a little 'twitchy' it could be that the admin services of a virtual assistant to help manage your phone messages, inbox and notifications are what you are looking for.
I'd be happy to have a no-obligation chat as I'd love to help make you more productive.
Happy Information Overload Day!