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Overcoming Information Overload Anne Pemberton [email_address]
<ul><li>&quot;A weekday edition of  The New York Times  contains more information than the average person was likely to co...
Information Overload …  <ul><li>Having so much information available that you either cannot assimilate it all or it feels ...
Information Overload <ul><li>Overwhelmed by the amount of information </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t understand the available inf...
Research on IO <ul><li>Once workers are interrupted by an email it takes an average of 24 minutes to return to the suspend...
Info Overload Results In … <ul><li>Anxiety / Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Delay in Decision Making </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of J...
My Information Overload <ul><li>E-mails (urgency/time of sender) </li></ul><ul><li>Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Voice mails </li...
Solutions <ul><li>Organizational </li></ul><ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><li>Related to research </li></ul>
Acceptance <ul><li>Thomas Young  (1773 – 1829)  </li></ul><ul><li>English scientist, researcher, physician, and polymath <...
Organizational Suggestions <ul><li>Discuss “best practices” for your department: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What “method” will ...
Organizational Continued <ul><ul><li>Listservs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No need to maintain contact lists individua...
Individual Suggestions <ul><li>Organize your work space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything has a “home” </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Keeping Information <ul><li>Ask these questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I get this info elsewhere if I do need it? </li...
E-mail <ul><ul><li>How many accounts do you need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One personal and one professional (?) </l...
E-mail Continued <ul><ul><li>If you have to keep messages, create folders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Useful names </li...
Phone Calls <ul><li>Do not answer phone calls from unrecognized numbers (unless it is your job to answer the phone) </li><...
Technology <ul><li>Is your “Crackberry&quot; stressing you out? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take a day off! </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Taming the Web: RSS <ul><li>RDF Site Summary / Rich Site Summary / Really Simple Syndication </li></ul><ul><li>RSS is a st...
RSS <ul><li>Using a special program called a &quot;feed reader&quot; or &quot;RSS aggregator&quot;, you can easily track a...
Using RSS <ul><li>Look for small, orange icons (RSS or XML) </li></ul><ul><li>Most common:  Use a “reader”  (like  bloglin...
Other Tools <ul><li>http://www.nextfeeds.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.feeddemon.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://readitl...
Blogs & Wikis <ul><li>Let someone else do the work! Great for sharing information </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs Example:  http:/...
Research <ul><li>I happen to know some folks who can help … </li></ul>
Research: Alerting Services <ul><li>Let’s you know  (alerts you) about new materials </li></ul><ul><li>Books and articles ...
Alerting Services <ul><li>&quot;New book&quot; alerts  (will e-mail you when new books arrive) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to...
Other Tools <ul><li>Bibliographic Management Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EndNote or EndNote Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Personal Life <ul><li>Get rid of junk mail (save you and save a tree!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.stopjunkmail.org/ ...
More Resources on IO <ul><li>“ Death by Information Overload ” (article by Paul Hemp in  Harvard Business Review , Septemb...
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Overcoming Information Overload

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Overcoming Information Overload

  1. 1. Overcoming Information Overload Anne Pemberton [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>&quot;A weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in 17th century England.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>R.S.Wurman, Information Anxiety </li></ul>
  3. 3. Information Overload … <ul><li>Having so much information available that you either cannot assimilate it all or it feels too overwhelming to take any of it in </li></ul>
  4. 4. Information Overload <ul><li>Overwhelmed by the amount of information </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t understand the available information </li></ul><ul><li>Desperate to know if certain information exists </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t know where to find information </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to access information </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research on IO <ul><li>Once workers are interrupted by an email it takes an average of 24 minutes to return to the suspended task </li></ul><ul><li>2,300 employees judged nearly one third of the emails they receive to be unnecessary, but spend two hours a day processing them </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2009/sep/24/information-overload </li></ul>
  6. 6. Info Overload Results In … <ul><li>Anxiety / Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Delay in Decision Making </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Job Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Waste of Time </li></ul><ul><li>Working Longer Hours </li></ul>
  7. 7. My Information Overload <ul><li>E-mails (urgency/time of sender) </li></ul><ul><li>Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Voice mails </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper/News </li></ul><ul><li>Research for others </li></ul><ul><li>Research for me </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul>
  8. 8. Solutions <ul><li>Organizational </li></ul><ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><li>Related to research </li></ul>
  9. 9. Acceptance <ul><li>Thomas Young (1773 – 1829) </li></ul><ul><li>English scientist, researcher, physician, and polymath </li></ul><ul><li>“ Last person to know it all” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Organizational Suggestions <ul><li>Discuss “best practices” for your department: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What “method” will you use for communication? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Short messages: EOM (End of Message) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage brief messages (no more than 5 sentences) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use specific subject lines (not “FYI” or “tomorrow”) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resist replying to all </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid personal e-mails to colleagues on work e-mail </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SharePoint? Blogs/wikis? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File Sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Establish best practices for file naming (mins.docx vs. Curriculum Committee Minutes 10-12-09.docx) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Organizational Continued <ul><ul><li>Listservs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No need to maintain contact lists individually </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practice good etiquette (keep the personal out of professional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set limits for yourself and respect other people’s limits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You cannot be available 24/7 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t expect others to be either </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not have meetings without agendas, moderators, or a minute taker </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Individual Suggestions <ul><li>Organize your work space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything has a “home” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>File cabinet with folders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Book case for books </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You use it, you put it back </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set up time each week (15 minutes on Fridays) to weed, recycle, organize, clean, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You do NOT need to print everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You do NOT need to keep everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You do NOT need to read everything </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Keeping Information <ul><li>Ask these questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I get this info elsewhere if I do need it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is this something I really need? How will it help me? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now that I've read it and understand it, do I need to keep it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If I do keep it, where can I put it so that it is easily accessible and I don’t have to hunt for it? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. E-mail <ul><ul><li>How many accounts do you need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One personal and one professional (?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not leave inbox open all day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determine specific times that you will check e-mail </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail signature that reads “I answer e-mail at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. If you need a quicker response, please call.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Act on message when you get it (Respond, delete, file) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. E-mail Continued <ul><ul><li>If you have to keep messages, create folders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Useful names </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Once a week or month weed (put this on your calendar) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t save everything – be realistic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modify junk folders in your e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uncw.edu/itsd/services/communication/SPAM.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good gauge – mailbox size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uncw.edu/itsd/help/instructions/ManageYourEmail.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Store large files on SAMMY/TIMMY - not in your e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uncw.edu/itsd/help/instructions/Sammy.html </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Phone Calls <ul><li>Do not answer phone calls from unrecognized numbers (unless it is your job to answer the phone) </li></ul><ul><li>Do not answer phone if you are concentrating on something (they can leave a VM) </li></ul><ul><li>Tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.grandcentral.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.simulscribe.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://jott.com/default.aspx </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Technology <ul><li>Is your “Crackberry&quot; stressing you out? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take a day off! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave the technology at work (don’t check e-mail at home) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you REALLY missing? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Taming the Web: RSS <ul><li>RDF Site Summary / Rich Site Summary / Really Simple Syndication </li></ul><ul><li>RSS is a standard XML format for delivering content that changes on a regular basis </li></ul><ul><li>Content is delivered in small chunks, generally a synopsis, preview, or headline </li></ul>
  19. 19. RSS <ul><li>Using a special program called a &quot;feed reader&quot; or &quot;RSS aggregator&quot;, you can easily track any type of information that changes on a daily or even hourly basis from multiple sites </li></ul><ul><li>Lets you know when your favorite websites have been updated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Through your e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through the web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through “aggregators” like Bloglines </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Using RSS <ul><li>Look for small, orange icons (RSS or XML) </li></ul><ul><li>Most common: Use a “reader” (like bloglines.com or Google Reader ) </li></ul><ul><li>Can also use in your e-mail </li></ul>
  21. 21. Other Tools <ul><li>http://www.nextfeeds.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.feeddemon.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://readitlaterlist.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Firefox bookmark add-ons </li></ul>
  22. 22. Blogs & Wikis <ul><li>Let someone else do the work! Great for sharing information </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs Example: http://keptup.typepad.com/academic/ </li></ul><ul><li>Search for blogs: http://blogsearch.google.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis Example: http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Main_Page </li></ul><ul><li>Search for wikis: http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Software/Groupware/Wiki/ </li></ul>
  23. 23. Research <ul><li>I happen to know some folks who can help … </li></ul>
  24. 24. Research: Alerting Services <ul><li>Let’s you know (alerts you) about new materials </li></ul><ul><li>Books and articles </li></ul><ul><li>Most databases </li></ul><ul><li>TOC (Table of Contents) Service through IngentaConnect </li></ul>
  25. 25. Alerting Services <ul><li>&quot;New book&quot; alerts (will e-mail you when new books arrive) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to library website ( http://library.uncw.edu ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on “My Library Account” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on “Library Home” at top, right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on “Search the Catalog” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perform a search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on gray box (“Save as preferred search”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on the “Patron Record” button at the top (blue box) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on the “Preferred Searches” button on right (blue box) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click the box next to your search terms in the column labeled “Mark for Email” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click on “Update List” (blue box) </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Other Tools <ul><li>Bibliographic Management Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EndNote or EndNote Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zotero </li></ul></ul>Keeping Your Citations Organized <ul><li>Library Toolbar </li></ul><ul><li>http://library.uncw.edu/web/research/tools.html </li></ul>
  27. 27. Personal Life <ul><li>Get rid of junk mail (save you and save a tree!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.stopjunkmail.org/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can you keep work separate from personal? </li></ul><ul><li>Disconnect from technology </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t keep up on Facebook? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create lists (e.g. Important People) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you really need 500 friends? Really? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>http://www.digsby.com/ (brings all your contacts together in one place) </li></ul>
  28. 28. More Resources on IO <ul><li>“ Death by Information Overload ” (article by Paul Hemp in Harvard Business Review , September 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.managingio.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.iorgforum.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://communicationoverload.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slaw.ca/2007/06/26/combating-information-overload/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_90.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.xerox.com/information-overload/enus.html </li></ul>Anne Pemberton, Instructional Services Coordinator, RL [email_address]

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