3 Keys to Overcome Email Overload – Part 6b: Meeting dysfunction

This is the 9th in a series of blog posts designed to help you recognise the profound and far-reaching impact email overload has in your life and to offer solutions to help you overcome the challenges it presents.

There are 7 Critical Impacts of Information & Email Overload (get the free Special Report here)

Impact #6: Organisational dysfunction

Looking beyond the impact of email overload on individuals, one can also see the ‘knock on’ effect it has on many aspects of an organisation and some of its more important processes. The second of these is . . .


Dealing with incoming phone calls and e–mail during a meeting is now regarded as ‘normal’, despite the fact that a Hewlett Packard study shows that 89% of people consider colleagues who answer such messages are extremely rude.

The reason it still occurs may be due to the fact that 30% of people believe it is not only acceptable to do this, but that they are actually being diligent and efficient in doing so!

One of the key aspects of an effective meeting is combining the creative and critical thinking of several stakeholders to discuss, brainstorm and problem-solve important business issues. This combined energy becomes dissipated when one or members are distracted by external communications. Organisations hold hundreds of meetings every month – a huge investment that is significantly wasted by information overload and the interruptive way it is able to reach us anywhere, at any time. 

So, what can do you about it?

Here are 3 easy ideas for increasing meeting effectiveness;

  • Agree to turn off all interruptive devices
  • Meet in non-interruptive location
  • Shorten meeting to increase focus eg: if you’ve got all day to get something done, how long does it take? If you have half a day, how long does it take? If only an hour?

The next blog post will look at the impact of information & email overload on workload manegement and planning in an organisation.

P.S. Would it help if we ran a 60-75 minute presentation on the 3 Keys to Overcoming Email Overload at your next executive team meeting or a conference? See details (including special 2 for 1 offer on selected dates) here.

  All the best!