How To Optimize Information Management For Business
Is our brain ready to manage the information we receive today? The answer is no. The surprise is that it has not been prepared now, nor in the Middle Ages with those libraries of so many monasteries, nor in the great libraries of antiquity.
How to manage all the information we need in our life and work today?
What happens when our brain reaches its processing capacity? Well, the same thing that happens to a computer with too many applications open. Everything slows down and errors increase. As our brain has a limited processing capacity, when information overload occurs, the quality of decisions is reduced.
It is clear that the information we handle is too much for our brain. If to this we add that we have to process a lot of complex information, and that information has to be understood, shared, compared with other synthesized information to make decisions, it is clear that we need help.
If he were a monk from the Middle Ages or a librarian from Alexandria, he would write an encyclopedia. Today we have other tools. We must organize the information to access what is needed when it is needed, and try not to be dispersed by a multitude of stimuli that distract our attention.
Among other current proposals, it is essential to classify the information with tools that allow it to be shared.
There are many tools that allow you to share information at different levels: corporate, departmental, or in work teams. All information can be shared and accessible (with the appropriate levels of confidentiality). By increasing the visibility of different sources of information, such as plans, documentation, and status reports, you reduce the time spent searching for information and allow you to focus on individual objectives.
Today there are tools that allow you to have a single source of knowledge and reduce the uncertainty about which is the latest version of a document. Everything from corporate information to client meeting notes to technical documentation can be shared. If we promote in the organization the idea that all information should be shared, everyone will be able to have other types of information such as successes achieved or lessons learned. It is a useful way of fostering communication and breaking down separate structures in organizations.
Also with these tools, information sharing can be taken even further: for personal blogs within the company, for customer files, lessons learned, values, people, and much more corporate knowledge. Since working remotely, it’s a great way to stay in touch with colleagues: people share their favorite recipes, stories about how they spend time during the pandemic, photos, etc.
You also have to avoid distractions. Information management is important since having information organized in itself avoids many interruptions by not having to ask our colleagues for information that we can get ourselves.
However, we are subjected to a multitude of events that distract our attention: news, non-urgent emails, messages on the mobile … Distractions drain our brain. Experts say that working with concentration consumes less energy and makes us more productive.
Managing notifications may sound easy, but it takes willpower to make it happen. We can set time periods for concentration work and configure the settings so that, in certain periods, it silences notifications or non-urgent emails.
It is also essential to use the web properly. The Internet is a tremendously useful tool for gathering information, but web content is optimized to grab and hold our attention. Going online to watch the news at lunch is easy, quitting can be more difficult.
The strategy in these cases is willpower, but using a few tools can help. There are apps that allow you to bookmark articles for later reading which makes it easier to stay focused on what you are doing.
Experts also recommend letting the brain recover by resting from the information overload we are subjected to, but putting down our smartphones for a while after work is easier said than done.
You have to develop plans that make it difficult to pay attention to the phone: take a long bike ride, cook, do DIY, play sports, or do crafts with your children. These breaks give your brain a neural reset, which means it will be smarter and more productive when you return to work.
In short, the only possible solution to manage the enormous information available and turn it into useful information for making the right decisions is to organize and use tools that help us organize the information and be able to share it among the members of our teams, with the rest of the company and, even, with our clients and suppliers. Using these tools makes us much more productive and allows us to make the right decisions based on the data.