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Chapter 18. Sorting the Information to Keep > Staying on Your Data Diet

Staying on Your Data Diet

If you have ever been on a food diet, you know there are a million reasons (excuses, really) for falling off. It is the same on the data diet. You will be pressured by deadlines, competition, peers, interruptions, self-doubt, you name it. The following are some final tips that can help when you feel yourself giving in to an information binge—trying to take in too much in too short a time:

Just say, “I don’t know.” This is as important an information-filtering strategy as any. No one can keep up with the deluge of information today, so give yourself permission not to know. The next time someone asks for your input about material that you have not had time to read, be brave; do not fudge or fib. Say something like: “Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to review that yet, but I’d be interested in hearing what you think.” (Chances are the questioner has not yet read it either and was hoping to pass the buck!)

Change your information filters as necessary. Your information needs change; do not forget to change your resources to match. If you change jobs or are working on a new project, or the search engine you have been using is not giving you quality information lately, take the time to revamp your filtering strategies. Again, sometimes you have to spend time to make time.

Walk away. When you feel the frustration building and you feel you may collapse under the onslaught, take a break. Even a short time-out will give you a new perspective. Believe it: You cannot afford not to take a break.


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