The internet means that we now have information overload in almost every area of our lives. This in turn can lead us to anxiety (have we missed a crucial report?) and procrastination (we wait for perfect and total information before taking an imperfect decision.) After many years I have found a simple, practical coping mechanism that helps me to be more effective and efficient.
Stop one thing
At work it is trickier. Why think about no longer reading a particular report that you never take action on?
Seize the opportunity
Firstly, it gives a space you can make choices with. By doing nothing it allows you precious thinking time which can be used to address other productivity issues. The biggest complaint in the workforce currently is around a lack of time to do a quality job. By stopping doing one thing, you might create a crack in time that you can just step back and review your work.
This is a good start but it doesn't end there. The following month you need to identify one more thing to stop doing, and so on for a year. Make sure you are constantly identifying areas in your life where you can stop being busy and really focus on quality, effectiveness and satisfaction.
De-clutter your life
Two very positive things are triggered by these actions. Firstly, you begin to analyse all the things you are doing and start asking yourself why and what is the beneficial outcome of doing this. Old habits die hard but the start of their demise is to begin questioning them. Secondly, you will become less keen to buy stuff. You start to do a simple cost benefit analysis on new "stuff" to check if it really will improve your quality of life. You also start to think about, if I buy this what am I going to give away or sell?
This is a slow but sure start to better quality work, life and - who knows - even happiness!