“Wait a second: Can I just stop whining about information overload?

The flood of information that swamps me daily seems to produce more pain than gain.

Current research suggests that the surging volume of available information—and its interruption of people’s work—can adversely affect not only personal well-being but also decision making, innovation, and productivity. In one study, for example, people took an average of nearly 25 minutes to return to a work task after an e-mail interruption. That’s bad news for both individuals and their organizations.

There’s hope, though. Innovative tools and techniques promise relief for those of us struggling with information inundation. Some are technological solutions—software that automatically sorts and prioritizes incoming e-mail, for instance—designed to regulate or divert the deluge. Others prevent people from drowning by getting them to change the way they behave and think. Who knows: Maybe someday even I will enjoy swimming in the powerful currents of information that now threaten to pull me under.”

Death by Information Overload, Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2009