Learning 'Just In Time'
We're being bombarded by information, and often at the wrong times!
Distractions like this have a major impact on our ability to manage and grow our businesses. So, here are a couple of ideas to keep you on track.
Have you heard of “Just in Time” manufacturing? Many big businesses (like car makers) operate on this basis – that is, they hold very little stock of anything and work with their suppliers to ensure parts are delivered direct to the production line just in time.
This avoids holding lots of parts that both cost money to buy and store, and may not be exactly what’s needed down the track due to ongoing changes in design etc. While there are risks associated with this method it’s proven to be a very valuable and efficient use of resources.
These same principles can be applied to us as we build our acorn businesses – particularly in the area of learning. It’s very easy to consume content from any number of sources these days, from blog posts you’ve signed up to receive, from videos on YouTube, podcast episodes, even Facebook and other social media platforms. And, let’s not forget offline sources like newspapers and magazines.
But, how much of that content is directly related to achieving the next task on your priority list. Remember, these tasks should be moving you closer to the “Beach”, so any distractions are simply delaying your ultimate freedom!
The problem is, there’s great content being generated and you get that “fear of missing out” feeling. I’m not saying ignore any content that isn’t directly related to your next task, it just can’t get your attention right now.
As with so many solutions at First On The Beach, just create yourself a system – in this case your own library! If you find a magazine article or newspaper piece that’s interesting and potentially helpful, rip it out and put it into a “reading” folder. Create an appropriate folder in your browser and bookmark online content in the same way. Copy and paste other items into tools like Evernote that you can come back to later.
Then you have two options. Leave the information in the library until you have a need. You know where it is but, if the need never arises, you won’t be doing anything with it. However, my preference is to allocate specific time once a week to review what’s in my library. Here I can make decisions – like read it now and action any ideas, delegate the item to an appropriate person, or delete it.
So, don’t ignore all that great information, but don’t get distracted by it either. Consider all the content you’re currently consuming... are you putting everything into action or are you wasting part of your life learning things you don’t need to know right now? There is a better way.
First On The Beach