Each year your business grows, the more knowledge you add to your repertoire, so you can make adjustments and improvements for years to come.
In order to make those changes and adjustments, you need to have the knowledge handy… and that means, it cannot live inside your head.
It’s easy to think, “I’ll just try to remember,” but when it comes time to actually remember, you won’t. Our brains aren’t meant to hold that much information at one time, and they shouldn’t have to.
Information and ideas spill from our minds onto sticky notes we can’t make out, voice notes with incomplete thoughts, and random scribbles of gold nuggets inside an assortment of notebooks.
Between all the above, it’s no wonder building a sustainable and profitable business can be challenging. But there’s good news… By shifting your approach to keeping up with information and knowledge, you might be able to take advantage of the total capacity of your brain rather than be exhausted by trying to recall endless details.
According to the New York Times, the average person’s daily consumption of information is equal to reading 174 newspapers worth of content. Imagine being told to read 174 newspapers in one day… Anyone would be overwhelmed.
But it’s what we do with that information that’ll make the difference. Many of us burden ourselves with the responsibility of remembering things we don’t need to when according to David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
So, what’s the first step? Stop holding the ideas in your head and other random places.
Action step → Compile your information
Try to find everything you’ve written down over the last year. (This concept can be applied to new quarters and seasons, too.)
Where would all of this information be hiding?
Here are a few places to start looking for information:
- Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram posts and threads
- Youtube unwatched videos and bookmarked links
- Sticky notes
- Notes in your notebook
- Digital notes in various google docs or digital sticky notes
Want to take it a step further? → Compile the books and podcast episodes you’ve consumed and highlight notable points you took from each of them.
Once you’ve got all of your information in front of you, it’s time for step two.
Consolidate and Sort Your Information
Start consolidating information by throwing things away. There may be quite a few random notes you’ve made that have one idea or task you’ve already completed. Be sure to toss these, so you don’t waste any brain power on finished products.
You want to keep the most valuable information, and once you do you can start sorting through all of it.
Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself when you’re sorting through all of your information:
- Why did you make note of this?
- How will it benefit you? What is the outcome?
- Does it still resonate with you?
- Is this something you can take action on in the near future or should it be saved for later?
- What action steps can you take?
- Is there any information that can be combined into one action?
Your list of items will likely be shorter than when you started, and once it is, it will make sorting the information into categories that much easier.
There are many ways to categorize information, but one way is the “PARA” system by Tiago Forte. Here’s how it breaks down:
P – Projects
A – Areas
R – Resources
A – Archive
Whichever way you decide to categorize your information, be sure to include your most actionable items and a place for things you’d like to come back to at a later date.
Can Your Information Be Digitized?
If you’re able to digitize your information, you can essentially create a “second brain.” Another concept taught by Tiago Forte says, “Building a Second Brain is a methodology for saving and systematically reminding us of the ideas, inspirations, insights, and connections we’ve gained through our experience.”
It’s a way of turning your ideas into a reality, but it starts with not holding your mind accountable for the actual remembering part.
But what tools are available to help you do this?
It starts with a digital note-taking app such as Notion, Evernote, Bear, or any other you prefer.
Once you’ve transferred the information you’re taking into a new year or quarter into your digital note-taking app, you can start breaking your tasks and goals into sub-tasks, so you can make aligned action.
Note: You don’t have to do this all in one fell swoop. Take your time so as to not overwhelm yourself. The whole point of this process is to set yourself up for success in the new year and in new seasons. Breaking this process into phases will ensure it’s a process you will complete.
2023 is right around the corner, how are you going to step into it?
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a strong desire to help people by creating strong personal brands and businesses. She’s personally launched dozens of books, e-products, and services; and hundreds of products and services with her clients. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website.
Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients.
And check out her book, Build Your Brand: The Distinctive Guide to Soul-Based Marketing. It will help you uncover your personal brand.