Sunday, 15 June 2008

Simplify & Focus - How to Manage Information

I was just sent a link to a speech given by Merlin Mann (founder of 43folders) at GoogleTech last year. In it, he talks about how you can de-clutter your life and manage, rather than be managed by, emails. He calls this concept "Inbox Zero" and he has also created a series of articles about the concept.

This reminded me of an article that Janelle Barlow, the President of TMI US and my co-author on "A Complaint is a Gift", wrote several years ago about "Coping with Information Overload".

There is no doubt that if you want to be able to not just manage your time, but thrive in today's fast paced business environment - and still have a work/life balance - knowing how to deal with the deluge of information is paramount. You have to be able to simplify in order to keep your focus and perform at the highest level. Starting by clearing out your inbox is probably the one task that will give you the most mental space and energy to tackle the rest of the tasks at hand. It can seem a daunting task, but if you spend a little bit of your time reading the articles and/or watching the video you will be able to make progress right away.

Janelle's article looks at the very important distinction between knowledge and information and how we can deal with the ever increasing amount of information. The article has a wealth of useful tips and ideas for coping with information overload, asks pertinent questions and provides some practical self-evaluation tools.

You can see Merlin's speech below or read Janelle's article here.

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