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.

  • […] Brilliant information filtering. Given information overload, a critical skill is learning how to brilliantly filter information to get to the right data at the right time for the right thing. […]

  • Mick says:

    I’m with you in not having the answers to brilliant information management, but I definitely agree that it will be a critical skill now and in the future. We have access to seemingly infinite amounts of information around the clock. The vast majority of it is useless to us and is often actually “counter-productive”.

    Training ourselves to ignore the unnecessary and unimportant is pretty difficult, especially when distractions from our daily routine are welcome. I know I’m guilty of being too easily drawn into unproductive information, but sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid. I’m weak!

    • Scot Herrick says:

      I just think “brilliant information filtering” is the right words for the right job skill needed now to focus on the right work.

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