Tons of emails, meetings, conversations, projects, tasks…
Being inundated with information on a daily basis as a business professional is both overwhelming and frustrating.
You feel the pressure from all sides as your boss, clients, suppliers, and co-workers are expecting results, and you don’t know how to filter, distill, and convert them into useful actions to move forward.
The Paperless Movement® has developed ICOR®, a 3-layer ecosystem where information meets action that will put you on the path to success, feeling productive, and being closer to your goals each day.
In this article, I share the mental model you need to capture the right information, build an actionable system, and achieve your goals.
Let’s unlock your true potential!
What’s an Actionable System?
As a busy professional, you know the importance of having an Actionable System.
An Actionable System is one that encourages you to take action to reach your desired goals and objectives.
It gives you focus, clarity, and concentration to stay on track with your tasks, so executing the right actions at the right time becomes second nature.
With an Actionable System, you can trust that it will guide you toward reaching your goals without thinking about or researching each step every time.
Having an Actionable System in place allows for a smooth operation and puts you in control of daily productivity.
That’s the final result we’re pursuing: building a system that “just by letting it run on itself” tells you the right actions at the right moment.
You just need “to start it and follow its way”.
How to Know What Information You Should Capture?
The first step to building that system is knowing what information you should capture to feed it.
It’s ICOR®’s first stage: INPUT.
INPUT requires that you identify the alignment between your goals and the pieces of information you capture.
At this point, I recommend you try this simple exercise.
Take a sheet of paper or use a note-taking app or an outliner, if you’re 100% paperless like me.
Create 2 columns/sections:
- Pieces of information
Below “Goals”, write down your goals. For example: increase revenue 10%.
Below “Pieces of information”, put the last pieces you’ve captured.
Try to match goals with pieces of information.
If you start seeing the pieces of information you’ve captured not related to your goals, you’re not aligning your information with your goals. You may be distracting yourself from staying on track. As simple as that.
This simple exercise will force you to focus on the right information and distill it into actionable tasks driven by your goals.
It begins with a bit of friction, but once you start creating this habit, it runs on autopilot.
Quickly, for each piece of information you face, you’ll ask yourself: is this piece of information related to any of my goals?
If so, you’ll keep on creating actions based on it.
If not, you’ll leave it for the future, in case you need it, or you’ll tell yourself, “what the heck am I doing wasting my time with this piece of information?”, getting rid of it.
Embrace this mental model to unclutter your information overload and stay productive, focused on the information and actions that matter.
Capturing useful information is the first step in creating an Actionable System that propels you toward achieving your goals.
Once these specific and definitive actions are set, you will find clarity and organization in your daily tasks.
Little by little, building a system that encourages you toward goal-oriented productivity is within reach.