“Information is power” Or is it?
How much information do you receive during a work day?
Is it empowering or overwhelming?
In my last corporate role, I received over 70 emails per day. As the leader of an international team that covered every time zone from New Zealand to New York, I felt a sense of duty to read all of them, in case I missed something that was important. I realised this was a problem because I spent the day working with my team and early mornings and late evenings reading and responding to emails. I was exhausted.
Technology has enabled us to be accessible 24/7 and, if you work in a global team, a co-worker will be sending you emails and messages during their work hours, which may be during your sleep hours. Some managers expect you to respond within their work day. This creates unrealistic expectations if your manager is in New York and you are in Melbourne.
Technology also creates a need in us, as individuals, to instantly respond to notifications. Who can resist the impulse to check mail after receiving notifications? Multitasking has become the default. However, the research around this show that we are less productive than if we focus on one task at a time.
We simply do not have the brain capacity or time to read the amount of information that we receive. So it’s essential that we use our limited capacity wisely.
As a leader, your ability to consciously choose your focus is critical in delivering delivering your key business outcomes.
So, how do you fight for your focus?
Do you consciously choose how to use your brain capacity?