Take Control

. . . before too much technology sends you and your business over the edge.

In today's information age, strategic business data is your most potent weapon. It can also be your worst enemy. With pagers, fax machines, the Internet, e-mail and news available all day, every day, access to vital information isn't a problem. The trouble is, having all this information at your beck and call can easily lead to information overload.

I should know. I'm perpetually plagued by information overload. My voice mail regularly piles up with messages until it's ready to burst. And just when I think I've got the number of unanswered messages in my e-mail inbox down, here comes Monday morning--and another 72 messages to view.

And I'm not alone. According to Pitney Bowes, the average employee sends and receives a whopping 201 messages on any given day. Under these circumstances, even the most organized and diligent of entrepreneurs and employees may find themselves in need of better information-management strategies.

In today's business world, where knowledge is power, business owners would be wise to implement methods for combating information overload. Poor information management means lost productivity, and potentially lost sales. So get ready: It's time to start finding a way to manage your information--before it starts managing you.

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This article was originally published in the August 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Take Control.

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