Too Much Information? Ignore It - New York Times. This was an interesting article that I got from the always amazingly useful and informative (and nice!) Steven Cohen over at Library Stuff. It's something that I hear quite often 'I don't have enough time to read all this information, or to keep up to date or blah blah blah.' I don't really understand this at all. Admittedly my entire job is based on keeping up to date and knowing what's going on, but I can't do it all. It's simply not possible. As you know, Jill's not at all well now, so the amount of time that I spend doing work stuff is shrinking almost daily, but I still find time to look at stuff. So, without further ado, and created on the spot, here is my list of things you can do to keep up to date and informed.
1. Don't try - ignore it as the article says. Don't waste time looking at the news in detail (unless you particularly enjoy it and it's relaxation for you!) I listen to the radio once or twice a day, and I tune in when it's time for the news. If it's not in the 2 minute summary then quite frankly I don't need to know about it. I'll also take a peek at the BBC headlines once a day as well, and those are the only news items that I'm going to look at. I don't go out and find the news now, I expect the news to come to me. So I also
2. Set up RSS search feeds and email alerts. Google is great for this. (Yes, I do say good things about Big G now and then!) Anything I really do want to know about I'll set up a search for, get an alert sent to me, pull the RSS feed into Pageflakes and will look at that. It's personal to me, which makes it interesting and I want to look at it.
3. Read headlines. Speed reading is great. Don't read an entire thing. Go for the headlines, first line in a paragraph and so on. If you need more, then read. Chances are that you won't. A good writer can summarise. And who wants to read a bad one?
4. Don't download email. Most of my email I'll read on the server and delete it there and then. It's only if I want to actually reply to stuff that I'll download it.
5. Do it there and then. Don't put it off, cos it isn't going to work. OR - do put it off, whack stuff into a folder or bookmarks or whatever to come back and do later. Revisit this every month, delete everything in it because it's now out of date. After all....
6. Out of date is out of use. No point in keeping stuff that you've not looked at in your RSS readers. If you haven't looked at it in a couple of days then you won't. Just junk it.
7. Don't use email if at all possible. When I can, I'll get people to IM me. A client wants to know if I can work on the 19th - email 1. I reply to say no, but the 20th is fine. Email 2. She replies and says 20th is fine. That's email 3 and email 4 is me saying 'You're booked in'. I can do all of that inside 2 minutes on IM and we're all sorted.
8. Technology isn't always better. I put all my appointments onto a large wall chart/calendar. That's it. If I'm going to a meeting I'll make a note of when I'm not available in my PDA, but that's the lot. If someone wants to date then I'll get back to them. Technology just doesn't work for me here, and I'm not about to try and make it.
9. Mostly it doesn't matter. If it does matter, it'll come around again. People are really good, because they know my mind is elsewhere and will nag me to answer something or do whatever. If they don't, it wasn't that important in the first place. Sure, you do miss out on stuff now and then, but that's going to happen anyway.
10. Get into the mindset that 'it's not you'. Sure, there IS stuff that you need to know about, and that's your job to find it, and keep up to date with it. Everything else is the responsibility of people who want you to know. It's up to *them* to get to you. Mostly you can just ignore them, or send them a form email. I look at a lot of email from companies and people who want me to play with their products and write about them. I'll take a quick read through and either write about it there and then or just ditch it - it's not my problem.
Just a few ideas - try 'em out.