The importance of your information is vastly overrated. And it is mostly overrated by you…Your information and your agenda are extremely important to you, but not nearly as important to others.
Automated email notifications seemed like a great idea when they first came out, but if you are getting dozens of automated emails every day with important notifications you realize something is wrong.
The same thing is true with your mobile phone and notifications. While you have some control on notifications, it is definitely part of the culture of importance and immediacy.
When you need an answer, waiting sucks. Getting the answer you need, when you need it is very important to you, but not as important as it is to someone else.
Being reachable through multiple modes of communication presents all kinds of problems. There might 5 or 6 different ways to reach you via different queues. It is like the checkout line at most supermarkets (multiple servers, multiple queues versus multiple servers, single queue).
By limiting who has access to which queue, that is one way to set priorities on these different queues. Only the most important people know my cell or text so these are the messages I will deal with first, and then maybe you work your way through email.
Gmail and Outlook both attempt to filter your email by default with different tabs for updates, promotions or focused vs other. While this helps in some ways, it is a source of other problems.
Tools that try to move all your communication into one queue keep you from jumping around from tool to tool and from device to device, but these queues can get pretty long and they are challenging to work through since each mode of communication has its own styles and protocols.
So in the knowledge economy, it is constantly an exchange of batches of information. The size of the batch varies widely. The importance of the content in these batches also vary. Finding a balance in the importance of your information is critical for navigating the knowledge era.