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Tips for getting into a new piece of work?

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  • Tips for getting into a new piece of work?

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    Thought I'd throw this one out into the general section of the forum:

    Here’s the scenario; you’re engrossed in your morning’s work, let’s you’ve got a good block of time to work on a report that’s due in a week or two, which is not madly urgent.

    An email with attachment arrives, and you have to get an answer out in two hours time. The email is about a page long, with a six page excel worksheet attached. The topic is familiar, but the information and the attachments are wholly new to you.

    Question – what methods do you use to get your head around the new info/concept/instructions in the least amount of time? Mind map? Underline? summarize in your own words?

    Thanks

    Dave

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dave John View Post
    An email with attachment arrives, and you have to get an answer out in two hours time. The email is about a page long, with a six page excel worksheet attached. The topic is familiar, but the information and the attachments are wholly new to you.

    Question – what methods do you use to get your head around the new info/concept/instructions in the least amount of time? Mind map? Underline? summarize in your own words?
    Hi Dave. I'd say it depends on your style. Some people like printing and highlighting/marking up the document to "load" it into their heads. Others like creating outlines, either digitally or on paper, or as mind maps.

    Since you have only two hours, you can't do too much prep/planning, though... One thought: Is it *possible* to solve the problem in two hours? If not, providing a report of your analysis of it (even if there's no solution) might be of value. It would depend on how the person who sent it wants to do with it. Some back-and-forth (phone, not email) may be in order.

    Don't know if that helped...

    matt

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    • #3
      Off the top of my head:

      I'd call the sender and ask for more information. I'd then scribble notes on a piece of paper. That would probably be enough for me to wrap my head around it.

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