Processing and organising information is real work

David’s Allen’s latest Productive Living newsletter [1] arrived in my email box with a pertinent reminder: (paraphrasing) processing and organisation information is real and valuable work, so make time to do it, and reduce your stress in not doing it. As David says “most people behave as if this stuff is relatively unimportant, and frankly a pain to have to deal with. I argue that it’s where much of their primary value lies. Knowledge workers are paid to bring their intelligence to bear on input, and improve things by doing that. The decision about what to do with an email and its contents, what it means in terms of the work and standards at hand, is knowledge work.”

And for the challenge of having too many flows and topics of information to manage, I remember the sage advice of John Naisbitt in his book, “Mindset – Reset your thinking and see the future“: Don’t add unless you subtract. As John says “Focus on what really meets your needs and interests … [the] goal should not be to create cemeteries of information but cradles of knowledge and inspiration.”

[1] “What do you consider your work”, Productivity Living, 2 June 2011, David Allen

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Helen Palmer is Principal Consultant at RHX Group. She thinks critically about knowledge work, and ways to ensure  knowledge isn’t wasted. She revels in tackling the big processes of change and learning so that ideas become impact.   With her colleagues at RHX Group, Helen helps teams make better use of their people, knowledge and information.


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