It’s Not Fair (In A Great Way!)
Work to Get The Advantage
This GIF is one of my favorite “visuals” of what it feels like to rework a process, learn and apply something new, or simply “connect the dots” to become exponentially more effective with a task or process.
Over time, advantages accumulate to the point that you start to feel that “it’s not fair” that you have these much more effective routines and processes that others aren’t benefiting from. Of course, it is fair — you worked hard to get yourself to this point, so enjoy the advantage while you have it (and keep searching / implementing more!)
How Can You Do This?
With technology today, these types of opportunities are everywhere (literally, everywhere…). All that is missing is the attitude and energy to embrace the unknown, get out of your comfort zone, and start learning without a guarantee of where it will pay off (but a faith that it will!).
So where can you focus your efforts to get these level of advantages? Here are 6 areas to focus on based on my experience over the last 20 years (or so) in the business world — and these are things you can do yourself, you don’t need the company to do anything for you!
1 — Digital
This one is easier said then done — eliminate the paper workflow! Here are my basic recommendations:
- Don’t worry about history, start the process going forward. That way it is not daunting.
- Educate yourself on working with digital documents — Adobe PDF, mobile, cloud, etc.
- Develop a digital workflow — naming conventions, storage and text searchable documents. The advantage lies in being able to search and find your content seamlessly.
- Take advantage of mobile. Seriously, take advantage of the smartphone and tablets that you are using!
- Scan and convert paper — that never seems to completely stop — as soon as you get it. Store it and forget about it (Evernote, OneNote, Google Apps, etc.). Put it where you know you can always get it.
2 — Eliminate the Need to Remember Anything
Once you are digital and now that you are carrying a computer with you ALL the time (that is your smartphone!), you are literally on the cusp of not needing to remember anything!
- Password management — use a password safe that is accessible from any of your devices. Get serious about using passwords that are secure (I like nonsensical 20 character passwords that are automatically generated) and eliminate keying in passwords. Going forward, copy and paste is the maximum effort needed. And you only have to remember a master password!
- Store EVERYTHING in one or two digital homes! I use Evernote for anything I need to recall and I populate it on my mobile devices 80–90% of the time. Receipts, reminders, notes, etc… all gets dumped into Evernote! The reason I say “one or two” is that you don’t want to remember where you stored something — it quickly becomes naturally to remember “I remember seeing it…” and find it quickly.
3 — Master Search Techniques
to be continued
4 — Access Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
to be continued
5 — Become Proficient at Managing Data
to be continued
6 — Build Your Network
to be continued…