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Flourishing in an Era of Over-Communication

The future of business belongs to those who understand the importance of information and communication management

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We are confronted by staggering amounts of new information and communication every day. Career professionals in particular can be easily overwhelmed by the wealth of information which can lead to information anxiety.

We have access to a variety of information and communication tools, yet how do we narrow down tens of thousands of journals, magazines, newsletters, and blog posts at our disposal and manage information coming in?

How do we flourish amidst thousands of printed pages, not to mention millions of pages on the web, and hundreds of emails, phone calls and text messages?

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More Confusion

While we enjoy a growing capability to extract relevant information that supports our careers and our lives, most of what we encounter is of marginal value, at best, and often stands in the way of our goals and objectives.  We don’t have hours on end to contend with everything that competes for our attention; most days, it feels as if we don’t have sufficient time at all.

Fortunately, we can employ 10 strategies in a manner that will be productive and even enjoyable and fight that information overload:

  • Contemplate in advance the kind of information you seek.
  • Identify the vital information carriers.
  • Streamline your intake capability.
  • Beware of information crutches.
  • Establish a distribution system.
  • Be thoughtful when sending information.
  • Design responses.
  • Do away with paper.
  • Constantly review and update.
  • Acknowledge the benefits of remaining organized.

Contemplate in Advance the Kind of Information You Seek 

Have a reasonable idea of the type of information you want and need to gather. Such information encompasses news about your industry or profession; notable product and service developments; significant regulations and new legislation; client, customer, or consumer-related information; special applications; intelligence on competitors; and emerging trends and prospects.

Identify the Vital Information Carriers 

Identify the small number of key information sources, including publications, websites, blogs, and hard news sources, that cover what’s occurring in the field. You’ll really only need three to four sources; you’d be surprised at the amount of coverage overlap you’ll see.

Streamline Your Intake Capacity 

Once you recognize the kind of information you require and a handful of the best sources, you need to establish a methodical way of receiving, synthesizing, and applying such information that will benefit you, your team, and your organization.

Staying attuned to your goals and objectives and focusing on the kind of information that supports your efforts gives you the best chance to accomplish what you want. You might consider avoiding social networking, depending on your job functions. Your quest is to maintain a constant inflow of relevant information in as simple a manner as possible. Yes, on occasion you can give attention to peripheral issues. In general, however, focus on the information that will make a difference in your effectiveness.

Beware of Information Crutches 

Many people have a predisposition to collect and retain information that confirms what they already believe or know to be true. They don’t need to save such information; the practice is more like a reflex action. With the vast amounts of information on the Internet today and the power of search engines, it’s not necessary to hang on to much.

More vital is the ability to find what you need in a hurry, which often requires only a few keystrokes. Retaining piles and files of hard copy information is of diminishing value and can impede your effectiveness. Moreover, files and information that you retain for more than 18 months often can be deleted with no detrimental effects.

Establish a Distribution System 

As you rise in your career, don’t spend inordinate amounts of time gathering information. Much of what you seek can be identified, collected, and disseminated to you by junior staff. You can use them as information scouts and as a clipping service of sorts to pre-read for you.

Once freed from the constant task of identifying and assembling information, you’re better able to think conceptually in ways that will help to propel your team, division, or department forward. This is especially true when introducing a new product, service, or delivery system.

Be Thoughtful When Sending Information

Sometimes the staggering amounts of information is due to our lack of organizing guidelines. Such guidelines could otherwise spare us from unnecessary, excessive exposure to information that does not support our current challenges.

Learn to be more discriminating when exchanging information. Try to eliminate acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon that can lead to misunderstandings, and limit the length of your correspondence with others by including only what is necessary to know. Overwhelming our recipients with information is no more welcome to them than when they overwhelm us. We also must encourage one another to stop CCing and BCCing when it is not necessary, and avoid submitting “FYI” kinds of messages altogether.

Design Responses

Throughout the course of your workweek, you’ll receive many different types of requests. Many are routine, so you can automate your responses by using your email’s signature function. Most email software programs today support at least 20 different signatures. You can create and save signatures by category that enable you to respond promptly and effectively to customers and clients. The signatures that you’ve developed can also be personalized to address the particulars of a specific inquiry.

What kinds of signatures might you create in advance? Rosters, standard letters, product descriptions, service descriptions, price lists, background of your team or organization, credentials, organizational history—the more signatures you establish, the quicker and more productively you can answer questions from inquirers.

Do Away With Paper (When Practical) 

A variety of hard copy files and documents will need to be retained. Nevertheless, you can undertake a campaign to reduce the volume of paper you’re retaining, whether it’s in filing cabinets, desk drawers, or storage bins.

Evaluating each document you receive and consider whether it merits saving. Will a scanned version of said document suffice? If so, scan it and recycle the hard copy. Yes, scanning requires extra time and effort, but in the long run the payoff is more than worth it. When you effectively label each of the documents you’ve scanned, you enhance your ability to quickly locate them on your hard drive or online. Finding such e-documents is generally easier than finding the hard copy.

Constantly Review and Update 

Periodically review your documents. Is the information still relevant? Does it need to be combined with something else? Should it be reclassified? Your goal is to keep your holdings to a minimum.

Tackle only a handful of file folders at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Ask yourself, “What can be deleted? What should be merged? What can be extracted so that the few gems of wisdom crucial to my success can be applied as needed?” Think of this task with a project management hat on and take it step-by-step.

Acknowledge the Benefits of Remaining Organized 

Staying organized might make you anxious. Organizing is certainly not a glamorous task. Yet, in a world that overwhelms us with the volume of information and communication, becoming the master of your files, and maintaining them so they serve you, is more important than ever before. Information overload occurs when we let things pile up. The people who become adept at recognizing, gathering, retrieving, and applying the right information at the right time are valuable to their organizations and their teams.

The Future

The future of business will be dominated by ultra-productive executives who understand the importance of information and communication management.

Regardless of the obstacles they face, these adept information managers are capable of pointing their team or organization in the appropriate direction. Why? They have a well-developed ability to identify, assemble, and impart knowledge that they extract from information. Ultimately they can draw upon their knowledge to lead with wisdom.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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News

Nancy Pelosi: The Personification of Evil

Nancy Pelosi should be lead away from Congress in handcuffs and ankle chains

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Last year, Newt Gringich condemned Nancy Pelosi as the “most dangerous Speaker of the House we’ve had… She doesn’t mind abusing power. She doesn’t mind running over people.” Indeed! She praises Biden, downplays inflation, ignores the plight of her own constituency, deals in insider trading, and continually flouts the law and the U.S. Constitution. Has there ever been a Speaker more venal, more vicious, and more vindictive than Nancy Pelosi?

From her private hair salon visits – when everybody else was locked down – to her gourmet ice cream, to her embrace of riots that didn’t put her in danger, to her attempted civilization-destroying HR-1 bill, to her continual public persona of feigned sincerity, there is plenty to dislike. It seems as if the near octogenarian is evil personified, and getting worse each day.

Beyond Credibility

Ms. Pelosi is so out of touch with what everyday Americans experience that she is almost an anachronism. Her unbounded hatred of Donald Trump exceeded that of the typical leftist. From ripping up his whirlwind 2020 State of the Union speech, to all of the little acts that she’s undertaken, her phoniness is amply on display.

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On numerous occasions, while he was president, she said “I’m praying for President Trump.” Can anyone, let alone God, accept that as the truth? She pushed the impeachment button twice, and would do it a third time and fourth time, if the ‘opportunity’ were to arise.

The first impeachment was based on shoddy information and shallow rationale. Even far leftists should have been up in arms. Don’t they know that they’ve opened the wrong door and that this will happen to them, some day soon?

The Loneliest Number

Based on one unidentified whistleblower, Pelosi initiated impeachment proceedings against President Trump, primarily as a result of a phone call he had with the Ukrainian prime minister.

Next, as The Washington Post has begrudgingly pointed out, Donald Trump had no impact on the Capitol riot that took place on January 6th. The riot had been pre-planned by members of Antifa, as well as some right-wingers. It didn’t matter what President Trump said on the Mall, these people had already planned to rush the Capitol and occupy it for however long they could.

To impeach Donald Trump a second time, after he was already out of office (which makes the quest absurd), Nancy Pelosi and the looney Left needed a valid rationale. The FBI report didn’t support them, nor did the timeline of events.

No One is Safe

Today, anyone who plans a rally or protest in Washington, D.C., or elsewhere, whose members are infiltrated by others, could be subject to the same erroneous charges. Thus by impeaching Donald Trump a second time, Pelosi was all but saying to the American public, your right to assembly, which can be upset by intruders, who plant a false flag (a familiar tactic of the Left), makes you liable. This is a flat out attack on the First Amendment.

Infiltrating the rallies, assemblies, and peaceful protests of the opposing party is straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a handbook on how to undermine and destroy America. Alinsky dedicated his book to the devil, and one can only hope that he became a permanent resident, for eternity, doing heavy labor, 24/7, in the hottest section of Hell.

A Cozy Cell?

When Pelosi’s time on Earth is over, and editors write her obituary, perhaps some will have enough objectivity to say that among all the Speakers of the House since the nation was founded, she did not serve with distinction.

She manipulated her office and the American public, on a continual basis, for her own personal power, for the wealth she could generate, and to diminish our freedoms as Americans. If this isn’t said about her, then whoever writes the obituary will be engaging in fantasy.

Nancy Pelosi should be lead away from Congress in handcuffs and ankle chains. She is a criminal and her crimes against America are vast and deep. The things she has done in the name of ‘democracy’ are so bogus that democracy itself cries out.

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The Issues that Will Matter Most in the November Election

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November is looming on the horizon. There are predictions of major gains by Republicans. But there are wild cards that no one can predict their impact—The war in Ukraine, the Hunter Biden investigation and potential litigation, new COVID variants and the resulting mask “wars,” “transgender” issues, ensuring a “fair election,” along with the Durham investigation that can impact both Hillary Clinton and others. The mainstream media and Democrats want these stories to fade into the rearview mirror, but Republicans will work to keep them front and center when they work to their advantage.

But what issues will drive the electorate to the polls this November? Here are ten issue that will be vying for attention in this critical election year.

Inflation: Inflation is advancing at an unprecedented rate acting as a tax on every American as the value of their dollars are less and less. With Democrats in power, money is being printed and our deficit is growing at an every-increasing rate. Democrats threw $2 trillion into an overheating economy on top of the $3 trillion bipartisan COVID-relief bill. They then passed another trillion-plus-dollar infrastructure bill. Inflation is reducing the value of each dollar, destroying the buying power of the very people they claim to support—the poor and middle class.

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Law and Order: Crime is a growing problem in America. From the threats of defunding police to lenient district attorneys unwilling to hold criminals accountable, citizens are more and more concerned about their own family’s safety. Progressive leaders have initiated criminal-justice reforms with the intent of rectifying the imbalance of black Americans who are arrested, convicted and incarcerated. But that does not deal with the reality of crime in our cities. White Americans make up 76% of the population with black Americans representing only 13%. Yet, in 2020, at least 9,941 black Americans were murdered compared to just 7,043 whites The No. 1 cause of preventable death for young black men is homicide, usually committed by another young black man. From brazen snatch and grab mobs to attacks on the streets, law and order will be a strong issue in the Fall.

Border Security: Biden’s immigration policies have created the worst immigration crisis in American history. In Biden’s first year as president, a record 1.65 million Illegal migrants were intercepted crossing into the United States, doubling the encounters in 2020. As with President Trump, over 50% were expelled under Title 42. Those apprehended, instead of being expelled, were held temporarily and then released or bused to cities across the country. President Biden’s plans to let Title 42 expire could limit expulsions and result in as many as 18,000 apprehensions a day allowed to stay by Customs and Border Protection. Candidates calling to stem the tide of illegals, to finish the Southern border wall, and to reinstitute Title 42 and the “Remain in Mexico” policy will echo strong in November with many frustrated Americans.

Energy Independence: Under Biden, America as gone from energy independence to energy dependence relying on oil from less than friendly countries using less environmentally sound drilling practices. Alternative energy sources are currently unable and may never be able to sustain our economy. By ending construction of Keystone pipeline and curtailing drilling on government land Biden has put our future at peril and added to our inflationary spiral.

Self-reliance over Government Dependence: America was formed to protect individual citizens from government overreach and oppression. From the beginning, the focus was on ensuring the pursuit happiness, not hiring politicians to take from one’s neighbor to pay for what one should earn themselves. Fewer people are working; they are looking to Washington for their next government handout. The Foundation for Government Accountability calculated that the enhanced unemployment payments and monthly child tax credits have added to existing benefits for lower-income Americans. That translates to about $3,700 per month for a two-child family, or $44,300 per year in payments. Why work? Such largesse contributes to our labor shortage. Campaigning on less government and letting working citizens keep more of what they earn instead of subsidizing those who don’t work is a winning issue.

School Choice vs Government Controlled Education: Teacher unions are investing heavily to keep public schools in control of education in America. Unions would like to extend that control to pre-schools. Popular charter schools are under attack. Parents are increasingly concerned that Critical Race Theory and sexual preferences/sexual practices curriculum will be forced on their elementary school children. Many minority parents want to get their children out of under-performing public schools. School choice would give parents the dollars to make their own choice of what school to send their children.

Racial Equality: Shouts of “Black Lives Matter,” “Critical Race Theory,” “White Privilege,” and “Black Reparations,” are beginning to be shown for what they are—another form of racism. America is built on the God-based value that all lives matter. We will always need to work to further that ideal, but policies that attempt to put one race over another must never win the day. There are racists from all races. It’s time responsible citizens stand for equal rights for all.

Fair Taxes: With allowances and child credits, more and more Americans seem willing to make their hard-working neighbors pay for their free ride. To say that the wealthy do not pay their fair share is not supported by the facts. The top 1% paid about $615 billion in federal income taxes in 2018, which accounted for about 40% of all federal income taxes paid. The bottom half of the income distribution paid about 3% of federal income taxes that year. Recent results now indicate that 57% of Americans pay no federal income tax. It’s time to stop making the IRS a welfare agency; all should pay some tax.

Clean Environment: There is evidence that economic freedom is the answer to the environmental goals of cleaner air, water, and a sustainable planet. In a C3 Solutions report called “Free Economies are Clean Economies,” it can be shown that “mostly free” economies, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Index, scored twice as high on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index than “mostly unfree” economies. We don’t need more government regulations and controls; we need the freedom to unleash American innovation.

Limiting Abortion: It has been estimated that over 62 million children have lost their chance to live at the hand of abortionists since the passage of Roe v. Wade. Speculation is growing about whether the high court will hear an abortion case in this term that could result in the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. If that occurs before November, such a ruling would clearly make abortion a key election issue. States are already acting to limit abortions; in those states, this issue will be elevated.

Issues aside, there is another reality that cannot be dismissed in November. The party out of power normally makes significant gains in the mid-term elections. For example, with the Obama administration, Republicans picked up 63 seats in the House and 6 seats in the Senate in his first mid-term election. Joe Biden is no Obama. Similar results would produce a change in power in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Conservative Republicans can hardly wait to make that a reality.

Terry Paulson is PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contact him at [email protected]

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