We all have those moments throughout the day when we need a few minutes of procrastination before diving in and getting the next task done. Reddit? YouTube? Social media? Rather than beat yourself up about these momentary diversions, you can take the opportunity to actually do something productive. Here are five ways to increase your knowledge sharing and intake.
1. Comment on Q&A Communities.
It sounds simple, but one of the key tenets of knowledge sharing is the participatory element of question and answer forums. Yes, the comment sections on certain websites can be toxic, but there are plenty of opportunities to find thoughtful engagement. If you have unique insight into a particular topic, have a question about something, or even just an idea for a good resource, you’ve already begun the process of sharing knowledge organically.
2. Watch an interesting video/listen to an informative podcast.
There are thousands upon thousands of videos and podcasts on the web covering just about any topic you can imagine. This content has different values associated with it, but it is possible to find individuals with great stories and information to share. These formats are ideal for the sharing of organic knowledge, and there are a large number of resources that offer comprehensive lists of podcasts and videos.
3. Have a conversation.
One of the simplest ways to share knowledge is to have a conversation. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how new technology has enabled knowledge sharing today, but the purest form is to engage with someone face-to-face. Besides having the opportunity to share knowledge we possess, it is also an opportunity to listen. Listening is a skill, and it must be cultivated. Listening leads to understanding, which is when the true exchange of information takes place.
Deadlines, commitments and the accelerated pace of professional settings can lead to the loss of basic alone time, without a screen in front of you or a phone in your hand. Taking the time to disengage and reflect on your daily thoughts, something you’ve read, relationships, etc., can help provide situational clarity. Struggling with a tricky problem? Spend some time just thinking about it by eliminating distractions and multitasking. Some people enjoy meditation for this reason, but if that isn’t a good fit, a few minutes of quiet reflection can work just as well.
5. Take a walk.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve spent multiple hours in front of a computer screen or focused on a single problem, it’s time to get the blood flowing. Being seated for too long, or focused without a break can effectively limit your ability to be engaged mentally. Knowledge sharing depends on person-to-person engagement, be that in real life or via the internet, and if you find yourself unable to be fully present or contribute in a collaborative setting, simply stepping away to take a walk around the block – or even the office space – can jumpstart your cognitive processes again.