As a freelancer, most of the time I’m surrounded with far more information than I can ever absorb, let alone use.
Not only does every newspaper, magazine, and television shows offer up their particular flavor of advice on how best to succeed – now there is also advice from the Internet to deal with. On the Internet new advice can appear practically every minute.
Much of the advice being offered is sound, too. It’s good advice, if only one had the time to put it all into practice. (Yes, I’m aware that there’s a lot of bad advice out there too. Discerning good advice from bad advice is the topic of a whole other blog post… )
What’s a freelancer to do?
You want your business to be successful. You want to work efficiently. You want to offer the best to your clients. But, there’s no way that you can absorb, let alone follow, all of the various pieces of advice that are currently available.
In fact, it’s all too easy to be overwhelmed by the information explosion that surrounds today’s freelancer.
You don’t have to let the information explosion leave you with a defeated feeling. There are ways to manage information to your advantage.
Here are four tips to help you not only absorb at least some of the information being provided, but also to put it into use:
As a freelancer, you probably already have good prioritization skills that help you effectively prioritize your work projects. You can use those same skills with new information that you receive. When you receive new information ask these key questions (and others) to determine how useful that information is to your business:
- What does my business stand to gain from using this information?
- Will applying this information help me to save time?
- Can this information help me to earn more?
- Does this information increase my quality of life?
Under this approach, a freelancer picks one, or several, leading information providers (perhaps focusing on leading bloggers for their field) and concentrates on following mostly the advice of their virtual mentors. (A drawback can be that your mentor’s situation may be quite different from your own. What works for them may not work for you.)
You are probably already familiar with this approach and don’t realize it. Users of this approach don’t let the available information dictate what they do. Rather, they use the information as a research tool. An example of using this approach would be when you want to join an affiliate program. You use the search engine and magazines to research your options. You find as much information about your topic as you can possibly find. Then, you base your decision and actions on the results of your research.
Piece By Piece
Many successful people use an approach of learning something small, but useful every day. Over time, the sum of the effort adds up and the results can be as great as if they had made a more major effort. This can also be one of the less stressful approaches to information management. Once you have absorbed something useful for the day, you can relax and focus on other things.
Whether you use one of these methods of information, or a combination of all of them, there is no need to feel overwhelmed or defeated by today’s information explosion.
What do you think? :)