Information Overload? Embrace “Intentional Ignorance” & More: This Week in Productivity – Feb 12, 2016

Welcome to This Week in Productivity, our weekly round-up where we share the best productivity insights from around the web. This week, we’ve learned how to maximize your impact as a boss, how “intentional ignorance” can combat information overload, and how to set boundaries to be more productive. We also discovered the soft skills needed to adapt to technological change and how to create a culture of well-being in your company.

Information Overload? Embrace “Intentional Ignorance”
by Allison Stadd (@AllisonStadd)

Key Takeaway: Information overload is inevitable these days. Ignored emails, unread articles and missed messages all build up over time, messing with our focus and our ability to get things done. One powerful approach to combat information overload is ‘intentional ignorance’.

Tips and Tricks:
Here’s how you can use intentional ignorance to fight information overload:

  1. Set a monthly reminder to clear out all your saved articles, except those that you plan to read right now.
  2. Ignore all blog posts, news articles, newsletters, etc. that don’t directly assist you in reaching your current goals.
  3. Consume less information in general. Unfollow, unsubscribe, mark as read and delete things as needed.

How I Realized the Incredible Impact That Great Bosses Have
by Vivek Wadhwa (@wadhwa)

Key Takeaway: Bosses that have the greatest positive impact are able to bring out the best from everyone in their team, accomplishing the seemingly impossible and consistently achieving success.

Tips and Tricks:
How can you maximize your positive impact as a boss?

  1. Hire for intelligence, creativity, and flexibility. Take raw talent and build self confidence.
  2. Set challenging but achievable expectations, motivating and supporting your team to deliver results.
  3. Coach, inspire and mentor your team members, customizing your approach with each person based on their needs.
  4. Foster teamwork and build healthy competition.
  5. Delegate and trust your team.
  6. Take an interest in each of your team members’ and their success, providing them with exciting opportunities both within and outside the organization.
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How and Why to Master the All-Important Skill of Setting Boundaries
by Annie Mueller (@AnnieMueller) 

Key Takeaway: A lack of limits will flood you with useless information, overload you with meaningless tasks, and erode your motivation and focus. If you want to manage your time and attention more effectively, it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. 

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Question your boundaries and how they affect you. Are they useful or are they hindering you from achieving your goals?
  2. Look for unprotected spaces. Check for excessive distractions, busyness, obligations and other things stealing your time and attention. Specifically, keep your calendar in check and allow only important events into it.
  3. Be conscious of your boundaries and consistent with implementing them. It’s the only way to protect yourself from slipping back into bad habits.
  4. Boundaries are not set in stone. Evaluate your boundaries regularly to assess if they are still helping you, and change them if they aren’t.

Four Ways to Create a Culture of Well-Being
by Michael Jones

Key Takeaway: The increased pace and ‘always-on’ culture of today’s business world has created a clear need for organizations focused on both internal and external well-being. Reach beyond corporate needs and establish a culture of ‘well-being for all’.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Balance career growth with ‘growing down’, or a homecoming to a life purpose.
  2. Create connections with the community around your business.
  3. Align your actions with the forces that are greater than your company.
  4. Celebrate successes and be generous.

The Soft Skills of Great Digital Organizations
by Alexandra Samuel (@awsamuel)

Key Takeaway: The adoption of new technology in any organization is dependent on having a workforce that is capable of adapting to change. Ensure your team has the required soft skills that will enable them to comfortably use and benefit from these new technologies.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Goal-centric thinking. Let your team choose tools that will assist with their goals. Never force technology on them.
  2. Collaboration skills. Sharing tools work best when people actually share and work well with each other. Foster a culture of cooperation, trust and openness.
  3. Communication skills. Teach people to tolerate differences in online and offline communication styles. Encourage offline communication if things get heated or when misunderstandings arise.
  4. Learning skills. Each person learns in their own way so provide support in a variety of formats, from webinars and tutoring to manuals and instructional videos.
  5. Troubleshooting skills. Each person in the team should be encouraged and taught to troubleshoot basic problems. Google helps here immensely, saving time and frustration.
  6. Playfulness. Make technology less stressful and more enjoyable by using tools that are fun as well as easy to use.