Many people refer to the present time as The Information Age. It is no wonder we fail to take it all in as there is so much of it. Yet we are still hungry to learn more from the burgeoning number of Web news services and digital news channels. Also increasing is the incidence of Web-surfing and business book sales.
However, the last category carries a revealing statistic. Despite the volume purchased, only 7% of them are read past the first chapter.
We want to know what the author has to say in a moment, but we do not have time to read the whole book. We want the message and what it means for us, and we want it now.
As information technology has played its part in speeding our business and personal lives, so it has conditioned us to want to know ever more.
Thus ensues a downward spiral that tells us we have to be aware of so much, or we will not be successful.
The big question is, how can we ensure we keep abreast of all we have to know while avoiding stress and overload, and without going completely mad?
Here are some answers, most of them drawn from personal experience.
There is a thin line between excess, overload and stress. Only you can decide what is important to you in your life and in your business. But do not rely on a business book to preach the negative consequences of overload and stress - it may be in the second chapter.
David Taylor's Inside Track, a provocative insight into the world of IT in business, is out now. The book is the latest in the Computer Weekly Professional series, published by Butterworth Heinemann: 01865-888180