Tips for Handling Communication Overload

One of the many challenges we face today is the number of social media platforms we are expected to deal with. This avalanche of input creates an overwhelming amount of noise that makes it virtually impossible to discern what’s important and requires action.

The pandemic has drastically accelerated digital transformation, with a massive shift to remote operations, and it will be nearly impossible to backpedal from this environment. To combat communication overload, HR teams must implement clearer, more effective channels. That’s why we’ve collated some strategies to help reduce the stress and keep you focused on your work and life, including business to business networking.

The Causes of Information Overload Today

The most common reasons behind modern information overload include the huge volumes of new information generated constantly, and the pressure to create and compete in information provision. This leads to a quantity over quality effect. Another reason is the exponential increase in channels receiving information by print media, websites, e-mail, mobiles, and social media.

As there are no simple methodologies for quickly processing, comparing, and evaluating information sources, we need a clear structure so we can focus on our work, and learn how to deal with the stress that overload creates.

Choose Your Communication Channels Wisely

We all need email, but if you’re trying to avoid communication overload, ensure you are choosing your own communication channels wisely and with intent. To do this, you need to check your emails at set intervals during the day. You can also close your inbox or turn off notifications so you aren’t prompted every time you receive an email. You can then use your time strategically, and focus on priorities in blocks of time through the day, without interruption.

Creating folders in your inbox can also help you to prioritise your incoming mail, in order of importance, such as urgent, action, resource material, and personal. This will help you manage your incoming emails and reduce the information overload of the overflowing inbox.

Strategies for Stress Reduction

1. Turn Off Social Media Notifications

This may at first sound impossible, but if you check how many times you are glancing at your phone during the day, you will soon realise just how much time this takes up. We tend to respond to Facebook and LinkedIn notifications as they happen, which heavily interferes with our actual work.

2. Get off the grid for a day

This may be something you have never considered doing, but temporarily unplugging entirely can greatly improve focus and relaxation, making more time for your thoughts. It’s a good idea to try to control your FOMO (fear of missing out), as it can negatively impact your level of self-care. Communication overload is a real thing. You can learn to switch off, and you will soon notice your stress indications reduce.

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