How to take an OFFLINE approach to information overload

1. Recognise that you cannot be all things to all people. Nobody is so brilliant or so efficient they can be expert in everything, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Dedicate a maximum of a couple of hours to email per day and do not become distracted by random communication. If you are required that badly, expect a call. Much more direct and much more personal.

2. Make sure you are informed on the key philosophies of thought leaders in your sector and beyond. Concentrating on your sector alone may be interpreted as very focused by some but very narrow by others. Unless information is time sensitive and requires your individual attention, pass it on and remember there is a major distinction between delegation and empowerment.

3. Specialisation has its merits, but generalisation is much preferred. Specialisation often necessitates a deep dive into technical issues. Generalisation suggests a curious mind and, typically, draws a wider cross-section of colleagues into your orbit. What can you outsource to third parties?

4. Read newspapers in hard copy not online. Hard copy is finite but online never ends. There is always one more link to follow, read or consider. Imagine all the key lessons and actions for your day were condensed into one sheet of paper.

5. List half a dozen experts you like and admire. Who are the great innovators in your field? Absorb their message and understand their influences in turn. In the banking and finance world, an appreciation of the words of wisdom of Warren Buffett and JK Galbraith would be a good start. They write accessibly and in an easily digestible style


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