Have you ever realized that really “smart” people seem to know something about everything? It seems like they’re always pushing the boundaries of their mind to absorb more of what’s happening around the world. On the flip side, people who are caught up with their personal lives tend to overlook the importance of staying on top of current events. These people often say they simply don’t have the time to read or watch the news.

Personally, I’m a fan of CEOs who have a TV in their office. I’ve seen many of them listening to business news in the background. Of course, not everyone has the opportunity become smarter watching TV at work, so here are 4 things you can do from your smartphone at any point in the day. And they’ll take up just 5 to 10 minutes of your time.

1. Install Apps for Business Tips

Have you ever noticed how the first few moments of the morning can determine the rest of your day? Well, if you’re set out to conquer the business world then reading a good tip can get you started off on the right foot. They provide so many little golden nuggets that can serve both as motivation and food for thought.

Try HBR Tips, McKinsey Insights, or PwC’s Strategy+Business Magazine. Any (or all) of these provide excellent business insights and literally take second to get a feel of what’s going on in the business world.

2. Subscribe to the Right Blogs

If you’re not reading blogs, you’re really missing out on an enormous chunk of news. Blogging’s no longer for individual news fanatics. Universities and businesses are all on board and you should be too. Decide what you want to read on – entrepreneurship, small business management, the technology world, and find the right blogs to read.

The cool thing is, you don’t have to go through each blog one. Can you imagine the amount of time that would take! Instead, download a blog aggregator like Feedly or Digg Reader and make sure to add LinkedIn Today, Steve Blank, and Guy Kawasaki’s How to Change the World. I promise you’ll have a better business day after reading these.

3. Read the News

If you haven’t tuned into a good international news channel lately, you really should. They all seem to have completely changed their visual strategy and have become more than “news reporting agencies”. It’s no longer about just the headlines, it’s about anything and everything that’s happening in all industries across the globe.

Download the BBC or CNN News app to get the summary and add interesting categories like business or technology. You don’t need to read all the articles – just go through the headlines.

4. Social Feeds

Now this one has the most potential to suck up all your time so you need to do organize it properly. But if you do it right it’s a two edged sword – knowledge and networking. Like blogging, companies and education institutes all have a presence sharing different types of knowledge for you to consume.

My recommendation is to pick one network for this purpose. Whether it be Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or any other, know the hashtags/groups/circles etc. that will get you the information you want.

Really, all it takes is 5 to 10 minutes a day to become smarter and you’ll have a lot more awareness of what’s going on in the world. It’s this growth of your brain which will help you grow in your own job and eventually stand out from the rest of the crowd.


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