I get asked a lot “How do you stay up with all the developments in media, in technology, in financial markets?” and the answer, of course, is there are only 24 hours in a day. You have to sleep some of the time. I actually need a lot of sleep and I like to see my family. So you have to have some strategy for how are you going to ration the amount of information that you take in and how much of an effort you’re going to make.
I find that the best way to do this is work in an activity or a set of activities that interest you. Thompson Reuters was a wonderful company for me because I’m interested in financial markets, I’m interested in technology and I’m interested in the world around us and journalists who report on this incredibly variegated world.
So it didn’t take a huge amount of effort for me to stay current with what are the new developments in enabling technology, what are new models that people are trying to monetize news around the world. I would be attracted to read it not because oh gee I better read this because somebody else in my office will have read it and I won’t be knowledgable. I was essentially moving along the gradient towards my interest levels anyway.
So rule number one, which I suppose ultimately isn’t that helpful as a sort of an instruction is if you work at what you love to do you’ll find it’s a lot easier to stay up because it’s not extraneous information. It’s stuff that you have a passion in. If you don’t have that and you can’t change your job then I think you better have some filters and go to sources and pretty much for every industry whether it’s industry association or trade rags or online versions of it you know there are ways where you can get somebody else to digest for you what you think you need to get your job done and don’t be—above all don’t worry that you haven’t read every last thing because A) nobody else has and B) most of it you don’t need anyway.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock