30 Career Management Tips — Brilliant Information Filtering

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Sep 09

This month, I’m providing a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: Brilliant Information Filtering.

To be fair, this was not on my original list of career management tips. But 43 Folders notes in the article "One reason your boss is so twitchy" that:

I think one of the emerging leadership skills of the next five years will be learning how to do brilliant filtering — either programatically or by delegating information-sorting to others. To ultimately become someone whose system accounts for incoming data in smart ways and who never has to make excuses about too much stuff.

Now, the 43 Folders context is management (indeed, the article notes an interview with Stanley Bing...), but it applies to cubicle warriors as well. When we work in cubes there are hundreds of data points that hit us in our work every day. Dozens of e-mails, multiple tasks, more projects, long hours, multitudes of reports, and the constant beeping of our Blackberry calls us to be beholden to the information overload that accompanies our positions.

Outside of dealing with the volume, we need to know what is critical information compared to what is simply not relevant. Without knowing the critical pieces of information for knowing our work is on track, we will drift and choose to work on the next shiny thing rather than the next important thing.

I don't have answers as to how to do "brilliant information filtering." But I agree that it is a critical skill: how to know we are working on the right thing at the right time based upon the critical information we have filtered from the electronic mess.

More to think about.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.