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Know More In Less Time

Know more in less time

  Technology with Integrity

By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.


Being excellent at your job means staying current in your field. Change is happening at an increasing pace, and you are expected to do more in less and less time. Unless you keep up, your skills will be obsolete within 2 or 3 years.  As Steven Covey says, it is a good idea to take time every so often and sharpen the saw – take time to improve the skills you use to do your work. Here are some tools to help you stay up on what you need to know with less effort and time.

The key to managing needed information is to filter out what you don’t need, and have the information you are interested in come to you, rather than having to search it out.

Start with your inbox: Get good spam filtering software. Create separate email accounts for the different types of email you receive, including one specifically for newsletters and information that you want to receive. Set up your email software to send each type of email to separate folders. In outlook, you set up rules and alerts from the tools menu. Scan the informational email on your schedule – don’t let it interrupt your concentration.

At the very least, customize your home page to your needs. Nearly every major web site allows you to customize it to show only news of interest to you: http://news.google.com http://my.netscape.com http://my.yahoo.com http://my.msn.com .

Create RSS feeds, and locate sources of information that are relevant to your needs. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication – you select an information source, and it sends information to your RSS reader. Typically this is used to get news, or be informed of new content on a web site you are interested in. Break the habit of going to web sites and reading through to see what is of value. Let them notify you when something of interest is posted.  A RSS reader will allow you to see a continually updated list of information as it is updated all over the web, custom tailored to your needs. There are many RSS readers, check here for reader software: http://blogspace.com/rss/readers

An extensive list of RSS feed sources can be found here: http://directory.google.com/Top/Reference/Libraries/Library_and_Information_Science/Technical_Services/Cataloguing/Metadata/RDF/Applications/RSS/Directories

Take advantage of mp3 downloads and podcasts. This is a way you can use driving and waiting time to catch up on topics and news of interest to you. Use RSS to alert you to Podcasts of interest. Podcasts are simply an audio message someone has recorded and made available for download. There are podcasts on every imaginable topic. Here are some sites to start with: www.podcast.net  www.podcastdirectory.com . Also check for podcasts on web sites specific to your industry.

With a little time devoted to thinking about what you need to know, and how you can arrange for it to come to you, you can be a leader in your field.

Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development. www.toriangroup.com


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