Opus Interruptus

By | 9th September 2009

In his article for The Harvard Business Review Death by Information Overload Paul Hemp cites research that reveals not only how our personal wellbeing but also our productivity can be affected by the ever increasing volume of information available to us. 

Hemp claims that the sheer volume of information to be assimilated threatens our decision making and our ability to innovate, and perhaps he is right as I am commenting on what I have read rather than being innovative! 

Apparently in one study people took 25 minutes to return to work after being interrupted by an incoming email!! Fortunately, we need not take this too seriously to heart because, guess what, there is technology on hand to assist with the problem! 

By a combination of clever software which seeks to limit and prioritise the emails you receive, and taking control of your “addiction coupled with a change of culture in the workplace” you can help to cure the malady. 

Sensible and appropriate use of technology to assist in unravelling the issues in a case as early as possible makes sense for litigators faced with ever increasing amounts of data from clients and third parties. Use of the technology must always be proportionate (and that is another issue) but failure to use it in appropriate cases is likely to lead to information overload. 

Disproportionate perhaps!  Just like the reaction of an overworked associate who has just received another email interruption?