Leading Change
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Saying No to Good Things

“We now inhabit an environment (at least in much of the developed world) of abundant options and boundless, inexpensive information. That has triggered our dopamine-seeking instincts to pile too much onto our professional plates.”–Dan Pink

Leading change requires a shift from a scarcity to an abundance mentality with information and people. Reliable and specific information on any topic can now be found within a few minutes of online research. Twitter, Facebook, Quora and LinkedIn allow connections with experts on issues around the world.

The natural response as Pink mentions is to pile as much people and information on our plates as possible, and hope for the best. Saying no to abundant and cheap information is a relatively new problem that must be solved in order to be effective.

Simple Ways to Get Started on Saying No

  • Create a list of people you are most interested in following on Facebook and Twitter. Start your time checking this list before anything else to get in the habit of using social media for a purpose instead of to kill time.
  • Try out 2 task management solutions for 1 week each: I recommend either Getting Things Done or The Action Method. I’ve found that it takes multiple exposures and attempts at a task management system before it sticks. Trying two different ones will also mentally free you from feeling committed and pressured to make one work.
  • List as many things as you can remember you did last week at work, and approximately how much time you spent on each. This often brings clarity (and pain) to what is either pressing in on you, and what you are actually doing.

How do you manage this new era of abundance?


  1. Hey Brian!

    Great post! This is how I first really getting on board with social media and information consumption. Though, I didn’t do the last point on the list. How long do you think it would take most people to sit down and start up like this?


      • I haven’t really, though our regional director helped me think through this some when he was on my campus and I was a student. I am pretty interested in helping others do some of these things. Because I know that it is totally overwhelming.

  2. Really great quote and post. When I am on my game, I try to start the day on what is most important or giving me the most stress before I check email or look at the rest of my task list.

    • good thoughts Ryan. having some open space at the beginning of the morning really makes a difference in my day as well.

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