Remember the cartoon G.I. Joe back in the 80’s? At the end of each episode, they’d present a scenario to teach viewers a life lesson of some sort, followed by the same tagline, “Now you know…and knowing is half the battle.”
Knowing may be half the battle, but it won’t win the war. The only way your knowledge will do you any good is if you put to use what you learn.
How many times have you gone to a conference or run across a website filled with tons of great information, but you didn’t apply what you learned? Here are three tips to help you be a doer – not just a hearer or reader.
- Identify the one thing that’s most critical for you to implement now. A good book or training is sure to yield a laundry list of action items, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you can act on them all at once. Pick one thing and give yourself a deadline for putting it in place.
- Download a software program like Evernote to manage your new discoveries. Evernote lets you “clip” articles, pages and URLs, tag them, and organize them in folders in the cloud. You can even download an app for your iPhone or Android device. And the best part? It’s free!*Bonus tip: Next time you’re in a meeting where lots of data is captured on a flipchart or whiteboard, take a picture of it with your mobile phone and upload it. Be sure to follow proper information management guidelines if you’re dealing with confidential data.
- Relentlessly prioritize your life. If you’re already stretched to capacity, you’ll be hard-pressed to integrate newly-learned actions into your routine. Get clear on your most important priorities and clear out activities that don’t line up so you can focus on improving your effectiveness where it matters most.
It’s time to toss out the cliché that knowledge is power – applied knowledge is power. By following these three tips, you’ll begin to reap the rewards of your focus on professional and personal development…and maybe justify the expense of attending that conference in the islands!