Personal information management is becoming a real issue! According to an article I read recently , it’s been estimated that during 2013 approximately 507 billion – yes, BILLION – email messages will be sent each day. That’s one email every 0.00000035 seconds! Add that to the wave of tweets, Facebook updates, blogs and so on and there’s a real chance that we could all be drowning in a sea of information overload – unless, that is, we decide to do something about it.
According to the legendary slideshow “Shift Happens”, originally created by Karl Fisch, it’s estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. Fisch also suggests that there are more texts sent each day than the entire population of the planet.
Given this overwhelming tsunami of information we all need to adopt our own strategies in order to cope, survive and, most importantly, make sense of it all.
A while back I was interacting via Twitter with the backchannel of a conference and happened to mention a technique I used to help people with their time management. This technique received some positive feedback so I thought I would share it in this week’s post.
The technique is called GUTS. That’s:
- Give it away
- Use it
- Trade it, or
- Sling it
Here’s how it could work for you.
Give it away
As an expert in your own field you’ll immediately recognise information that you want to put on Facebook, tweet, or blog about. This is information that you give away.
Giving information away – as long as it’s quality and appropriate information – is a great way of extending your network and building credibility.
There’ll also be information that you’ll want to keep for later. Perhaps it’s some great research, a wonderful infographic or some facts that you may use in a presentation or report. This is information that you’ll use as part of your professional life.
Some information that you come across will have a real value to others in your network – not as some general “look at this”, but of lasting value to others. Perhaps it’s a report on the latest learning management systems (LMS) that, although not of immediate use to you, is something that you feel could be traded.
You can do this by saying: “Here’s a great report on the state of play in the LMS market. Feel free to use it – but I’d really appreciate anything you have on the topic of employee engagement.”
Not everyone will rush to send you something in return but some will and you’ll therefore benefit from the trade.
Not much more to add here, because everything else should be deleted – you just sling it. That’s it!
In the information storm that is the world in which we live, try using the GUTS technique which can help you effectively manage the plethora of data which comes through your inbox every day.
Call to action
Go on – give it a go! Try using GUTS to manage your information and do let me know how you get on.