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Tuesday, 29 May 2007 11:45

Do You Suffer from TMI?

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Do you suffer from TMI? What new disorder is TMI? You may know it as ‘Too Much Information’ syndrome.  TMI often surfaces when you are the recipient of more information than you care to absorb from another individual. Or information that quite frankly you could do without. Think about the co-worker who tells you their entire life story, starting from their earliest memory and ending with breakfast this morning. Ahhhhh – TMI!!

But there is another form of TMI, one a bit more insidious. A form of TMI that many assume has been eradicated. This TMI is due to true information overload. And one of the most common causes is exposure to too many pieces of paper. Now you can see why some people thought this was no longer an issue. Don’t we live in a paperless society? (OK, you can stop laughing now.)

Technology professionals are not immune to this disorder. There are plenty of desks with fabulous laptops and flat panel monitors surrounded by stacks of paper. Some of us even print and keep emails and other electronic documents. Paper clutter is a significant contributor to information chaos. If we cannot find the information we need, we create chaos for ourselves and others.

Here is some preventive medicine, to stop TMI before it infects your work space. With each piece of paper you receive, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is this?
  • Why would I keep it?
  • When would I need it?
  • Where would I look for it?
  • Who else might have a copy?

Honest answers to each of the above questions, will help you discard paper you do not need and correctly place the paper that you do need. (Of course you have to follow through with a filing system other than the corner of your desk.)

The best way you can combat paper clutter is to find the system that works for you. Think about business cards. Some people file them based on the name of the individual, some people file them based on the name of the company. Another approach is to file them based on the date when you met the individual. There are filing systems that are alphabetized, color-coded or sorted by date.  Do you know which one is best? The one that allows you to access the information you need, when you need it.

Read 9251 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 December 2009 18:14

My vision is to be instrumental in the development of individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; people who show others that it is OK to be human at work; who brings — and values — humanity to the office and thrives because of it. I want to create a world where peace and business co-exist.

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