Step away from the BlackBerry

The perils of information overload are discussed in the latest issue of McKinsey Quarterly, the business journal for senior executives.The ‘always-on' culture created by multiple communication channels can fragment our attention and impede effectiveness.  The article points to recent research that suggests that multitasking can actually slow us down rather than increase effectiveness.  Not only this, it can also hamper creativity and has been shown to be addictive.The authors argue that it is for senior managers to ‘reset' the information culture in their organisations.  They spoke to several senior managers asking them for their top tips for coping with information overload.  Interestingly the responses seem to mirror Peter Drucker's classic 1967 guidance on how to be an effective executive and could be summed up as follows:Focus, Filter and ForgetManagers should grant themselves blocks of time when they are not accessible and become more ruthless about stepping back and delegating appropriate tasks and decision-making.  Colleagues should be encouraged to self edit what they send to your inbox. Leaders should create an information culture that encourages and enables focused reflection as well as enabling efficient information flows.Perhaps we should start a new trend - an intermittent 'closed-door' policy