Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
When you’re immersed in your chosen industry, staying on top of news and trends can feel like a full-time job in and of itself. As a business leader, you want to make sure you’re always up to date on what’s happening; however, you still need to allow yourself time to focus on building and growing your business.
As experts in their respective spaces, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council have figured out the best ways to keep up with industry news while minimizing the impact on their bigger-picture business work. Here’s how they recommend tapping into your field’s latest and greatest trends.
Cut Through the Clutter
If you want to avoid the clutter, you first must engage it and clear out the lines of static. After this is done, set up feeds (RSS), Reddit, etc. Periodic industry-specific tailoring of the incoming information is a must. It’s daunting to think you must know the contents of all emails and contacts received. You only need to know what moves your business or your client’s business forward. – Michael Polk, Billboardology.com
Listen to Relevant Podcasts
On my morning walks, I am reading and listening to relevant business-related podcasts and articles. This helps ensure that I am hearing from the best leaders and executives on topics that are relevant to me and my industry. I also like to scroll LinkedIn to see what other people are posting. My network encompasses a diverse set of people inside of my industry of tech and healthcare. – Ed Buckley, Peerfit
Find Curated Recaps
Curated recaps from trusted sources are key! Faye Landes, a respected former Wall Street retail analyst, has a fantastic weekly newsletter called “Weekend Reading” with articles, musings and analyses of the latest retail, fashion and pop culture trends. It is widely enjoyed by people in the business of retail and consumer goods. – Melissa Shin Mash, Dagne Dover
Build Strong Peer and Competitor Relationships
There are great newsgroups and e-magazines that can give you great summaries of what is happening in your industry. I have also found that nothing beats strong relationships with peers and competitors. A quick phone call or lunch with a peer often helps you learn a great deal. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a competitor because many good things can come out of it. – Domenic Rom, Goldcrest
Scan the Headlines First
I subscribe to newsletters for news and read the headlines. If something looks truly interesting, then I read it. For trends, Instagram is really the way. Follow some tastemakers that you respect and let them do the work for you. Trends are visual, so a couple of scrolls a day should keep you in the know for fashion and culture trends. – Catalina Girald, Naja
Be Choosy About Your Newsletter Subscriptions
For me, the key is to subscribe to the right newsletters (but not too many!) and selectively spend your time on social media, assuming you’re following the right people. Keeping track of industry trends is an ongoing process, and an important one, but you can’t let it monopolize your time. – Dan Giuliani, Volt Athletics
Dive Into Reddit
Reddit (and its various subreddits) has become a valuable platform for us to stay on top of trends, breaking news and consumer tendencies in wellness and sports. I’d recommend identifying three to five subreddits in your niche and checking in on them at least twice a week, depending on posting activity. – David Tao, BarBend
No calls before 10 a.m. during the week. All that time is spent in deep work and in reading and writing. Those two things allow me to use creativity to create unfair advantages instead of pure grind. – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking
Use the Beginning or End of Your Work Day to Catch Up
It’s important to block off dedicated time to stay on top of trends and news. If you are weaving it into your day, it can become a distraction, but if you shift your mindset and focus on it at the beginning or end of the day, it can be a motivator and drive innovation in your own business. – Dan Healy, PickUp
Let Your Twitter Feed Curate Your News
Let other people curate the news for you. Follow the right people on Twitter and subscribe to the right newsletters that aggregate the top industry news of the day or week. Don’t feel like you have to see every bit of news; the most important things will rise to the top. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios