Work Smart – 3 Simple Tips For Managing Information

I’d like to provide some helpful tips to help you work smarter. If you asked most people, they’d tell you that they already work smart. But what exactly does it mean to work smart? Let me begin with a definition:

Working smart is a style of working based on the decisions you make and how you manage information in the process. flowactivo

This article is going to be short and to the point, but conceptual – and I’m aiming it at those of you who want to get more done with less. This article is for not those who reframe working smart as making money without working… there’s plenty written about that already. smartblogideas

Sometimes you just need some practical tips. There are some great blogs and web pages out there that cover practical tips that I don’t want to duplicate.

Let’s begin. From my vantage point, working smart and managing information converge on three basic practices I use. Strengthen any one and you work smarter. But why just do one, when you can do all three.

1. Use information (and time) with intentionality. Start your day with intentionality, and do it all day long. Using time and information requires you to think about your desired outcome and manage the information that will help you get there. Don’t worry about the rest. This is essentially a take-off on the idea of think before you act, but it has huge implications when it comes to managing information, since most of us are already overloaded with information. autoperformancepartsdirect

Here’s what this doesn’t look like – going through the paces, whether that is working as usual, putting your time in, dutifully reading through your email. Be intentional with how you manage life and information. But then that requires that you to think “What’s most important to accomplish today in terms of outcomes?” This doesn’t apply only to work, which leads to the next key.

2. Prioritize your focus. There’s never enough time to do everything. You don’t have time to put everything neatly away, there’s not enough time to stay up on all the topics of interest, not enough time to read all the email and blogs coming in. Manage information based upon what’s important – which is defined by the first step. Identify and live with intentionality. That helps to narrow the focus to what’s important, or as the movie “City Slickers” defined it, “know what’s number 1?” – and I would add to it, “know what’s number 1, and how you plan to get closer to it today.”

Your job is probably not to be the “library of congress.” To have everything neatly in its place, or to please everyone. It is, for the purpose of this blog, to work smart, to live smart, and when that comes to managing information, it means narrowing the focus based upon your priorities and desired outcomes. That’s where you want to spend your time, that’s where it’s most important to track and manage information. mommasays

I don’t need to get everything done, just the priority one items. And on important priority one items, I need a system that allows everyone who touches that to work in a coordinated, collaborative, up-to-date manner, anything short of that isn’t working smart.

3. Get green with information – recycle it! People that work smart recycle critical information. What do I mean by that? Think of working smart as documenting and tracking that high priority information in a way that is useful over and over – by numerous people. One input, multiple outputs. It’s capturing and storing information in a way that makes it available at your finger tips, but also capturing it in a way that it helps you and others plan, track, adjust priorities, allocate resources, review results… and the list goes on. gambleonlineblog

Not getting green with information, looks consistently like storing information in a means that is easiest at the moment – but unavailable without a lot of work to anyone else who might need it. Not being green means managing information in a way that requires little effort on your part, but is unavailable to anyone else who needs to collaborate or coordinate with you. Not being green means managing critical information in places like your personal todo list, your brain, in a spoken conversation, on a piece of paper. I can’t read it from over here, neither will the other people on your team, nor can I pull it up in a couple of clicks.

This is why we put such an emphasis upon using an information management and work smart capable tool. Because most of us need to take advantage of technology tools to work smarter – the payoffs are far greater.


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