Tag Archives: information overload

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information highway

Information Highway and the Dangers of the Path

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Are you traveling on the information highway? Do you realize the path that you are on?

Many people believe they are on information overload. A problem that is created when so much information is available or forced in front of you the average person gives up.

They give up because it is too much to digest in too short of a period of time. Frustrated and anxious, they check-out, they cannot consume or absorb anything additional.

It is true for most of our mainstream news. It may be true on social media channels, true at conferences, true in our workplace meetings, and even true in classrooms and seminars. Overload, too much, too fast, and too ambiguous.

Information Highway

The thing of it is, most people don’t just shut down when they are on information overload. They try to make sense of it all. Often they do that through conversation and questions.

People sort, they sort through the waves of information and look for what they believe to be real. It may be confirmation bias at play. What fits their own personal narrative. Will it benefit them or make things more difficult?

Benefits are welcomed and absorbed, difficulties get set aside or ignored.

We are creatures of habit and ease. We often don’t listen well because listening requires discipline and takes effort. Most people prefer to listen for key words and decide if they’ll engage or daydream.

What Path Are You On?

It is all about the information and delivery.

What if you could make a difference today? Imagine sorting through the waves of information quickly and getting to the truth. Then imagine the ability to disseminate the important and truthful information while actually being heard.

The biggest danger of the information highway is the path of one-sided communication. It is the path without questions, conversations, or scrutiny.

Have more conversations, more dialog, and develop deeper meaning. Sharing in the story is a powerful way to tell it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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report data

Does Report Data Stand On Its Own?

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Have you examined the report data? Does it make sense, does it add up? Can it stand on its own?

Not without a story.

You’ve Been Informed

The technical conference wouldn’t really be a conference if the data could stand on its own. Everyone would just get the report and everyone would be informed.

Information overload feels like a chronic problem to many people. So much data and so little time for the empathy required to make sense of it all.

Stories change that for us. It changes it for you, and it changes it for me.

People often wonder, “What’s in it for me?”

That is precisely why data doesn’t stand on its own. Data needs a narrative, an executive overview, or a deep story to put it all into perspective.

Certainly, the story guides the belief and the future outcomes. It is a slippery slope when you consider how bias or stereotyping affects the story. Then the data may also come into question.

Data may be reliable, yet is it always valid? Consistent data doesn’t guarantee it is authentic, accurate, or valid.

Report Data

The information we receive is always brought to life through a story. The authenticity or belief behind the narrative guides the thoughts and opinions of those receiving the information.

Is this brainwashing? Someone may suggest, yes, it is. Others will argue that it is merely a presentation of the facts.

I guess it really depends on your personal narrative. What is the story that you tell yourself? What do you choose to believe?

Does your “gut feel” have something to do with your life experiences? Some will label it as instinct. Yet, what we know as instinct is also rooted in life experiences. Touch the fire, you’ll get burnt.

Report data doesn’t stand on its own. It is the narrative in front of the data that suggests how you’ll interpret its value or meaning.

Honest, unbiased observation is the key for the integrity of the data. It develops from the story.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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frame bigger

Frame Bigger or Smaller?

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Decisions we make are based on our frame. How our community works, based on our frame. Our World, political, and religious views, based on our frame. Should you frame bigger?

When you shun the input of others you are limiting your data. When your community doesn’t reach beyond the river, highway, or state line, you’re limiting your exposure. If you decide to watch only one news channel you are limiting your perspective.

Push Data

The internet is a great service. As a component infrastructure, it matters.

Use a browser to research a product or service. You’ll be reminded of it again and again. Look up something you’re interested to purchase from eBay, you will see a lot more of it in the margins.

This isn’t a coincidence.

What we believe is largely based on our experiences. It is what exists within our frame.

Bigger Frame

Your position on global warming, based on your frame. Your belief about the pyramids in Egypt, based on your frame. Political views, should you choose to engage, based on your frame.

Many people feel like they are in a World of information overload. Perhaps it is true, yet differences in thinking are often viewed as a false narrative, not an opportunity for a different perspective.

In a World where there is more information at our fingertips than we can possibly digest, we must wonder about the validity and reliability of our data.

Should we question the size of our frame? Should we allow more ideas to enter then filter, instead of filter and then allow entry?

Your frame will not only condition what you believe, it will also determine everything that happens next.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Productivity Habits – The Tools, Addictions, and Information Overload

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Many people believe that they must find ways to accomplish more in the same amount of time. Some blame too much information and too many distractions. Could it all be related to productivity habits?

productivity habits appreciative strategies

Tools

When you stop to think about all of the tools available today in the office arsenal it seems counterintuitive to believe that we have any productivity concerns.

Of course the expectations might be different today. Stamping out word representations in a clay tablet certainly would be time consuming, so would chiseling a hieroglyph in a rock. Clearly we’ve improved.

The Microsoft Office Suite alone is probably responsible for a lot more productivity. It also might be responsible for more data, some of it fresh, some of it borrowed and duplicated. Do we really have a productivity issue? Do we suffer from information overload or is it more about being distracted?

There is a pretty good chance that our habits are involved. Some suggest it might be addictions.

Addictions

Can you put down your smart phone during a meal?

Do you check your messages and alerts as soon as you open your eyes in the morning? Do you feel a sense of panic when you are without your phone? If yes, you might have an addiction.

Information is powerful, and the quest for the latest news, the most recent information, the gossip, the drama, and the presidential tweet. It all might be an addiction, or just really bad habits.

Productivity Habits

As a professional business consultant and coach I would suggest that change is within you. If you are hungry for a change, you’ll be more likely to stick with a plan or appropriately pivot to something better. Your habits will have a lot to do with your success.

Habits, procrastination, and decisions all impact your productivity. It might not be so much about information overload blocking progress. It probably isn’t a lack of quality tools, or the speed of your download.

Being addicted to distractions might be a problem.

Most of all, you just might have to get out of your own way.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are You Suffering From Information Overload?

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Many people insist we are now a society which operates on information overload, too much information and too little time.

information overload appreciative strategies

Some might argue that writers, bloggers, and social media fanatics add to the problem of overload. Many of the top social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn rely heavily on carefully constructed sharing methodologies as well as specific algorithms for feeding information to friends, followers, or connections. Much of this might be an attempt to minimize redundancy and maximize interest, and some of it is to please shareholders through advertising, post boosts, and other pay-for-display promotions.

Do you feel overloaded?

Information Overload

Today knowing the answer to nearly any question is perhaps just a cell phone away. While there are many aspects related to how each individual person might manage their own information a few of the most common points of consideration include what we read, what we watch or listen to, and how we store what we want to remember. Some might suggest that there isn’t as much need for memory. Today you only need to know how to search for it and retrieve it quickly. Perhaps the development team for the IBM Watson would agree.

The Right Information

Many of us want to be sure we find the right information. We jump on “the internet” and choose a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) and away we go. Suddenly we have millions of possible results based on our simple search words. How do we know what information to use or believe? Since I’m assuming you are not researching for an academic paper, or a master or doctoral thesis, you might be able to utilize just a few simple tips to help you narrow your search.

  1. State your problem. You must know and understand exactly what problem you are seeking additional information about.
  2. State your goal. Finding a picture and some information about a strange bug you saw on the sidewalk is different from building research data for a marketing strategy. Have a clear goal.
  3. Watch for push. So many people are pushing information at you, often trying to entice you for more. Balance all of the push information with pull information. Pull information is what you find and pull towards you. Push is someone else shoving it your way.
  4. Get specific. This one is simple, the more you refine your search parameters the less information you’ll retrieve. Filter what you want to see, read, watch, listen to, and otherwise take in.
  5. Verify sources. Academically this is absolutely critical, but again if you aren’t writing an academic paper or a book based on research you can relax your standards somewhat, regardless look for knowledgeable and trusted resources.
  6. Limit choices. Today, without a doubt you find more than what you can digest. Balance is the key to obtaining more information but not becoming overwhelmed by too much.

We can add many other things to this list such as not believing everything that you read or conspiracy theories that insist others are attempting to alter your state of mind. The list is certainly long, some of it might be true, some of it might be made up, but the key is not to get overwhelmed.

One last thing to consider for improving the use of your time and for minimizing information overload, if you are sharing information with others use links and share buttons, instead of recreating or cutting and pasting information, and in your office consider the effect of courtesy copy or blind courtesy copy on email communication. It seems that nearly everyone wants information, but not to be overloaded.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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