You can’t accomplish ambitious goals without the right kind of information—and the right amount of it. Be careful not to get buried in data that’s irrelevant. To become a conscientious consumer of news and information, follow this advice:
- Don’t read everything. You simply can’t absorb everything that’s out there. Concentrate on prioritizing data, handing it off to someone who can decide whether you need to digest it, and discarding what’s not useful.
- Assess your information sources. Identify sources of information that are essential and trustworthy. Weed out any publication, website, or professional association whose information isn’t of the highest quality.
- Scan for information. When you open a publication or look at a website, skim before diving in. Focus only on articles or reports that you need to read, not what’s just mildly interesting to you. Stick to what’s important.
- Highlight the important stuff. As you read a book or magazine, highlight or underline key messages. Save online articles in a special folder, and check it every once in a while. If you haven’t gone back to any saved material, discard it.
- Be an example. If you don’t want to get bogged down by long emails or voice messages, keep your own short. Let others know that they should keep their information as concise as possible—and remind them when they don’t.