How do you manage all this information?

Blog Post created by ScottOrzechowski Employee on Dec 5, 2015

There is so much information coming at us - especially in the IT industry - that it can easily make you seize up and let your limbic system take over.  The first order of business is evaluate your mission - what are you charged with?  Next is to filter out everything that is impertinent.  That still leaves a mountain of data and not enough time to go through it.


I've started reading The Organized Mind, by Daniel J. Levitin.  He presents evidence that humans are ill-equipped for multi-tasking.  Think, for example, of when you're driving somewhere and looking for street signs,  You turn down the radio, because it is competing for your attention, making it more likely that you will miss the sign.  He suggests triaging information into what needs to get addressed right away, what needs to get addressed soon, and what ideally needs to get addressed some time in the future.  Another tactic is to externalize information - make use of resources available so that the information can be retrieved if and when needed.  You can store reminders on your phone, for example, or ask your spouse to remind you.  The goal is to move as much of the mountain of information out of sight and out of mind, and focus on the one thing that really needs your attention now.  When you have addressed that, you can go on to the next priority - refilling your coffee cup.