“Infomania” has been in the news over the past few months, starting for most people with the rather silly story about too much e-mail being worse for your concentration than smoking dope. More recently, and in a more serious vein, researchers from Microsoft, Google, Intel and other corporations gathered at a workshop to discuss what might be done to tame the relentless interruptions that plague the modern office life. From ways to better prioritize incoming e-mail to snooze buttons on interruption generators, these researchers brainstormed ways to help workers spend more time focusing on their primary tasks.
Living as we do in a sea of e-mail, Blackberries, cel phones, Twitter, instant messages, forums, RSS feeds, newsgroups, conference calls, WebEx’s, and videoconferences, web workers may be more familiar with infomania than just about anyone. Some people thrive on this, of course, and wouldn’t change it for the world. Others have, in the words of Dr. Strangelove, learned to stop worrying and love the interruptions. But the rest of us have had to evolve our own defense mechanisms to cope.
What’s your strategy for dealing with infomania? Do you limit your e-mail to specified times? Stick closely to the way of Getting Things Done? Keep a secret second cel phone that only the really important people get the number for? Here’s your chance to share your best tips with other web workers.