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The Effective Architect Part 3: Manage Your Information

by Michael Kilkelly , Principal, at ArchSmarter on March 27, 2019

In this 5-part series, we’re looking at 25 ways you can work smarter, not harder in 2019. In Part 3, get tips on how to better control your information flow and separate those important signals from all that noise.

Manage your information

Day in and day out, information is coming at you in a steady stream. From email to phone calls, office memos to meeting minutes, the flow never stops. Here are some strategies to help you keep your head above water when that river of information starts getting rough.

11 - Declutter

What does your desk look like right now? Are you a pack rat or a neat freak? Turns out that your work environment could be distracting you from getting work done. Take some time to clean up and put things away. Those drawings you’re going to review, that article you’re going to read? Put them out of sight and out of mind to stay focused.

12 - Limit distractions

Did you hear that? Was that a text? Who just posted something new? What does it say? That’s what your brain is doing in the background when your phone or computer pops up yet another notification. In order to get work done we need to focus, and that means limiting all the distractions that are clamoring for our attention. The problem is, our devices are really good at getting our attention. Here are some strategies you can use to fight back.  

13 - Minimize meetings

Meetings are disruptive and cost a lot of time. Are there better ways to get decisions made? Do you really need to gather 5, 10, 15 people in a room? Here are some ways you can rethink the traditional conference room meeting and maximize the times when you do need to get together.

14 - Process your email

Your email software isn’t just for sending and receiving messages; it’s a factory for processing information. Incoming email is the material you need to make good decisions and move your work forward. The trick is to handle it efficiently. Here are some ways you can clean out your inbox and save your sanity in the process.

15 - Communicate effectively

Communication is the key to getting things done. Be clear about what you need and why, and you’re much more likely to get it. Too often, we don’t spend enough time thinking about how we present our message, leaving it up to the recipient to decipher our meaning. From mind maps to infographics, to good old writing, here are some ways you can improve your communication skills. 

What’s next

In Part 4 of this series, we’ll take a look at your tools and how you can optimize them for maximum productivity. Stay tuned!

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In this 5-part series, we’re looking at 25 ways you can work smarter, not harder in 2019. Part 2 explores how you can proactively manage your most precious resource, your time.

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