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If someone asked you to write a job description, would you include “information manager” as one of your roles? You should, because today everyone, whether you realize it or not, is an information manager.

Usually this is not a job for which you received training—or were given a raise or even acknowledgment. It is probably a job that increasingly occupies your time and attention as the amount of information you must process daily continues to grow. And no doubt the primary result of trying to handle this information overload is an ever-increasing level of stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

People everywhere are talking about their inability to keep up with the information that bombards them at work, at home, on vacation, out on the town, even while sitting on their sofas trying to relax. So widespread is this malady—commonly referred to as information anxiety—that companies, government agencies, universities, and organizations all over the country are conducting research to determine:

How well people are coping (not very)

What is working (taking control and setting limits)

What is not working (multi-tasking)

The important point to focus on is what is working—taking control and setting limits. But how do you take control over information when you are being inundated by:


Phone calls and voice mail

Piles of paper (newspapers, memos, magazines, faxes, journals, Web content)

Technology that changes before you have learned the last version

You will find the answers within the pages of Surviving Information Overload. The purpose of this book is to give you the training you need to succeed in your role (official or not) as information manager. As you read this book and do the exercises, you will be developing four important skills essential to this effort:





You will learn (1) to focus on how different types of information are affecting you personally and professionally, (2) how to evaluate the options for change, (3) how to decide what will work best for you, and (4) how to implement your choices.

My goal is to help you learn to make the best use of—even enjoy—the many advantages of this Information Age.

Whether you work in a large corporate environment or out of a closet-sized home office, whether you are a student or a stay-at-home parent, or some combination of these, you will find the exercises, checklists, and examples in this book to be eye-opening and, ideally, life-changing.

You can make information work for you, rather than against you.

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