THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- You can: There is time to read blogs

When I tell people at a cocktail party that I'm a blogger, they say, "I don't have time to read blogs." Here's what I am going to start saying to next: Only losers say they don't have time to read blogs.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. So it's not that you somehow are more busy than everyone else– no one is actually too busy for anything– the issue is that reading blogs is not high enough on your priority list.

So the real response, when I say, "I'm a blogger," should be "I stay away from blogs so I can shield myself from alternative opinions to mainstream media."

And you wouldn't want to be that person, right? In fact, you're probably not that person, because you're reading this.

But the problem of saying "I don't have time to read that" applies to anything– it could be blogs, but it could be those really long articles in the Atlantic that scream: "I know no one is reading this article! I only wrote it to get a book deal!"

The reality is that you have time to read everything. Here's what to do if you feel like you can't get a grip on your reading pile:

# 1 - Stop talking about information overload. That term is for weaklings. Guess what? Generation Y never talks about information overload. That's because they know how to process information better than anyone else. That's actually what they were doing when their parents told them to turn off the TV and the music and log off of IM and do their homework.

Information overload is actually the feeling that you cannot sort through the resources in the world in order to figure out what's important. If you feel like you are overwhelmed, it means that your career is at risk, because the best employees in today's workplace are information synthesizers. And information synthesizers don't feel overwhelmed by information. They either use it or they don't, but they don't whine that there's too much.

#2 - Stop talking about good and bad media. Just because you don't read it doesn't make it bad. There is not any type of media that is so stupid that you can categorically dismiss it. I have found that I learned things from romance novels, People magazine, and even books that, in hindsight, were time wasters. So instead of saying, "I don't have time for xx," talk about time like you have a grip on it. Say, "I don't have that type of media at the top of my list because of xx." It's a great exercise to make yourself talk this way, because good time management is actually about understanding your priorities, and you cannot explain your reading choices without also explaining your priorities.

#3 - Stop talking about time like you need to save it. You just need to use it better. Focus on meeting your goals rather than saving time. Information is not something you have time for or don't have time for. Information is either helping you meet your goals or not.

And, anyway, maybe your real time-management problem is that you are a perfectionist, you spend too much time doing research, or you work too hard on Mondays (yep, that's right, you should plan to do the most on Wednesday and Thursday).


Penelope Trunk has started several companies and worked for many more.