Transcript for Episode #158 ‘Move from Head Storage to Cloud Storage (Productivity)’
Host: Scott Weaver
Date May 4, 2022
Intro: Welcome to Arise2Live Podcast, episode 158.
Most of us struggle at managing information overload. Do you try to keep everything inside your head? This episode is about freeing your mind of a lot of information by using Cloud Storage and how we can help our brain to increase productivity.
Let’s jump in.
Scott R. Weaver:
“We’re not in an information age anymore. We’re in the information management age.” That insightful quote is from Chris Hardwick, a comedian. I tend to agree with that statement because every day so much Information, data, and facts are thrown at us and it’s overwhelming. Unless we somehow manage that information flow, our minds will spend all its time processing data instead of making decisions leading to action. This episode is about freeing our minds by taking advantage of cloud storage and better understanding how our brain works to hold information because ultimately, we need a clear mind to make good decisions.
Hello everyone my name is Scott Weaver, the Arise2Live business coach and thank you so much for listening today. I really appreciate it. Today’s episode’s goal is to improve your day-to-day productivity and focus by getting information out of your head and into the cloud. Please help this show grow by sharing this podcast with others.
EIDL Loan Update
Before we get started, I would like to let you know about an important update from the small business administration. If you are a business owner with a COVID EIDL loan, that’s the EIDL loan program, not PPP loan, you should be aware that their website, the Rapid COVID Portal, is closing down May 16, 2022 and you need to download a copy of all your loan documents. You should’ve received an e-mail from the SBA giving details. Just in case you missed the email, i wanted to let you know that there are big changes coming for the EIDL SBA loan, particularly that the Rapid COVID Portal is closing down May 16, 2022 and account action is needed. If I can get one person who didn’t know about it to now know about it. This announcement is worth it.
So Much Information
All right, back to today’s episode on getting information out of your head and into cloud storage. The problem that faces most business owners and leaders is that they have to keep track of a lot of things to run a company. There’s payroll, there’s customer requests, marketing data, there’s money to track, and for many owners who are skilled in their trade there’s answering employee questions about small details of how to do stuff. It’s a lot. It’s been my experience that most business owners have good memories and handling a few details is usually not a problem. However in today’s world and in a fast growing business, it’s not five or ten things to remember, it’s literally hundreds and hundreds of details to remember. That’s where the problem lies. It is just so much.
If all we had to do is just remember stuff, it would be okay to spend the brain power to remember all the details, but a business owner needs to do more than just remember things. Business owners need to make good decisions and create plans that actually work. Things like that are important to a business. Business owners like us, we can’t afford to devote all our brain power to details and lose focus on our goals.
Three Business Categories
To help remember things, it’s good to break up the details into categories, or buckets if you will. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote in his book called “Business at the Speed of Thought,” broke up business information into three sections. First one is what is called “knowledge work”, basically about the details of the job, what is needed to produce things to keep the customers happy, skill work if you like. The second section is information about “Business operations”, that is keeping track of employee hours, keeping track of the inventory, business metrics, what equipment is needed, etc. And the third category is “commerce”, sending invoices and getting paid, logging into your bank account, paying your suppliers, that interface between different businesses especially on the commerce or money side.
Each one of these three business areas of knowledge work, business operations, and commerce has a tremendous amount of things to remember. For a business owner to remember all of these things at the same time is difficult, if not impossible. Personally, I have to focus my mind in just one of the categories at a single time otherwise I can’t make good decisions.
That is the main point of this episode: Don’t waste brain power trying to remember and track everything inside your head. Use the tools available to help you remember things and store things, then grab the information when it’s actually needed. It’s like an on-site construction worker with a tool belt that only carries tools needed at that time. The rest of the tools are in the truck, accessible if needed.
Similarly, carrying only the information in your head for the immediate task or decision at hand and storing the rest of the information on the cloud, cloud storage, that is one way to increase your productivity and to increase your performance.
Having two places to store stuff and details is a good thing because it allows your brain to do two things it naturally does: create buckets or compartmentalize things and the second thing is to create something called Association Maps, or hash maps, which I’ll explain in a bit.
Have you ever noticed how mechanics working under a car just knows exactly where their tools are without looking while being focused on the work? Or the science behind why working on a computer with two monitors is more productive than working on a single monitor? One of the reasons is how our brain works. Our brain likes to compartmentalize things and to separate things by creating separate “Work area” and an “Information Area”. it can keep those separate allowing the brain power, the processing power to focus on the work area. When you do that you don’t have to analyze or think about the information, you just do. To be productive, we want our brains mostly in the “Work Area” and referring to the “Info Area” when needed. If there’s too much information in our heads at the same time, the brain stays in the ”Info Area” more than the “Work Area”. So having the brain compartmentalized is helpful when done right. Like Bill Gates three business buckets of knowledge work, business operations, and commerce.
Diving a little deeper, the brain often operates by association. Thinking about one thing leads to another thing that is similar to the very first thing. In the computer programing world this is often called hash mapping or hash table. There is a topic “key” that points to the details about the topic. Only the “Key” topic is kept in memory, the rest is stored and only retrieved when needed. The brain works like that.
Perhaps an example would be the best. Let me say the words ‘Bluetick Coonhound’. You’re probably now asking something like ‘What did he say’? ‘That was random’. What does that have to with anything? That is an example of not having an association map.
However, if I first said the word dog, followed by the official dog of the state of Tennessee is the Bluetick Coonhound. Things start to make better sense. A picture comes up of a hound dog chasing raccoons and that is somehow a crazy tradition in Tennessee.
Another example of how an association map works. is what I personally use, when I tell myself I’m meeting my client in Nashville in an hour, my brain automatically forgets my west-coast client and brings up associated information about the Nashville client and now I have created a specific “Work Area” and “Information Area” in my brain so I can be at my best but it goes farther than that.
This is where I use Cloud storage to be useful. I let the cloud storage keep the information about my client’s contact information, things like that, what problem we are trying to address. Then I access that information through my phone when I’m traveling or my laptop, I don’t need to memorize addresses and phones, or even how to get to the meetings. I let my technology tools do the work. So instead, I’m thinking about who I’ll be talking to, how can we get the most out of the meeting without worrying about the details of how to get there. I use it so much that, this is kind of embarrassing, but last year or so I was off to a meeting and I’m halfway there realizing I don’t know where I’m going because I forgot to load it on my cell phone. All I can say is “Thank God for Siri for bailing me out of those times.” That is another reason to have easily accessible storage.
The point here is that storing information on the cloud can help your brain work better by creating an “Info Area” that is small and a large “Work Area”.
Here are some of the practical side.
So what is the cloud? It’s basically a far-away computer that you’re connected to through your internet router box or cell service. Though there’s more technical definition like it’s a network of servers and computing services on the Internet. However, this episode were specifically talking about big bad hard-disk that stores your stuff on the Internet, and we also use the words cloud storage.
Some common brands for cloud storage are DropBox, Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive, Amazon, etc. There’s also a host of lesser known such as iDrive or pCloud or Nordlocker. Just a brief research, there is over 90 companies providing cloud storage. Each one of these companies has their pluses and minuses. They will emphasize integration or just simply bulk storage. So think about what your company needs, what you need, and match up your particular situation to the company that will serve you best.
I am able to access my information from the cloud from my desktop, laptop, a web-browser, and my phone. More over, the folder (or directory) structure that I use is the same on each of those devices so I know exactly where to find my stuff and I don’t have to remember other than that one thing. I will give a plug for having a smartphone with a big screen here. I have found that very useful because I have access to my cloud storage and on my phone I’ve even updated websites and regularly do photoshop. It is right there in my hand wherever I am and that is very convenient. I am not worrying about, “Oh, I should have did this,” or “Do I need to go back to the office to get the desktop to do the heavy duty photoshopping?” No! I could do nearly everything wherever I am.
I personally use DropBox because it has some integration features across iPhone and Windows computers, and shared folders for my team, and fits my working style. My brother-in-law is big on Microsoft One Drive and always telling me to use that. My friend says Google Drive is the most convenient and I should be using that. The point here is that there’s a Cloud Storage provider that will fit your work-flow and just do a little research to figure which is the best. The best Cloud storage is the one you use. So definitely use the one you have available.
Okay, I better recap this episode before I get too deep into the technology weeds.
Again, in today’s world, we are just bombarded by so much information data that it overwhelms our brain. So information management is very important to stay on top of our game. By using the tool of Cloud Storage to store the excess information and details about our business, we are actually using technology to help our brain function better and when our brain functions better we focus and are able to make better decisions and better plans.
Our brain naturally creates buckets or compartmentalizes information and also creates association maps. We can take advantage of that with some preparation, we an increase our productivity by allowing our minds to have a large “Work Area” inside and smaller “Information Area”. That keeps us on track. We don’t want too much information in our brain.
By setting up a Cloud Storage work-flow that is very accessible we off-load that information that we stored inside our heads and that is a good thing. For this offloading is to organize folders in the cloud storage and the suggestion I’m making is to start with what Bill Gate suggested from his book and have three business information buckets of knowledge work, business operations, and commerce. Of course, pick folder names that best describe your business but remember to organize according to how your brain works.
My challenge to you is to review your information work-flow and see if you can gain productivity by taking extra information out of your brain and relaxing knowing you can access that information anytime you want. The trick is to get the technology to work seamless with your work style and your thinking.
When you can manage business information to your advantage, you arise-to-live.
This year has brought a lot of changes, but many business owners struggle to find focused time to update their future business destination and so start to drift off course. Your future business, your future company, and your employees are so important, you must have a solid vision to where you are leading your company. Scott has a vision story coaching package that speeds up the process and provides accountability on your focused time. If you know that you need to update your vision and where you are going, don’t delay any more, please reach out to Scott at Arise2Live.com/vision and get your company on the right path.