Managing Through Buffets   Leave a comment

English: salad buffet Deutsch: Salatbuffet Mag...

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As some of my readers know, last week I attended a workshop in Chicago regarding utilization of social networking.  The workshop was extremely helpful and helped me understand much more about an area that I have only been dabbling in off and on.  One of the concerns that a participant raised was along the lines of…”How will I ever find the time to monitor, maintain and interact with all of these social network sites?”  The instructor, Tony Jones, provide a good response regarding discipline and being deliberate.  However, this morning I was thinking about this dilemma once again.  (By the way, I wasn’t the participant that asked that question at the workshop but I could totally relate to the person.)

It came to my mind that the internet, social networking, blogs, and electronic devices have opened up endless possibilities.  The downside to this is that it has also created issues in our time management and decision-making.  For me, I feel that it is very similar to when I go to a buffet or an all-you-can-eat  establishment.  In those settings, I struggle a lot.  I succumb to the sin of gluttony.  I begin rationalizing it on a very practical scale – I need to eat all I can so that I get my money’s worth.  Then as I stand at the table, or tables, which hold the food, I struggle with choosing what I will take and what I will leave behind.  There are so many options that I tend to want them all but then I know I will overeat and feel miserable.  So more often than not, I will avoid these locations so that I do not struggle with the choices they force me to make.

With all the opportunities to receive and share information these days, I feel the same as when I stand at a buffet table.  How do I choose which ones to sample?  Who am I going to follow?  What blogs will I read?  What social network sites will I place my profile on?  On my Kindle Fire, I even have the ability to monitor streams of information from news outlets, lifestyle publications, humor sites.  Yesterday, I looked at these options and felt lost in making decisions which I wanted to have on my stream in my Pulse application.  I am not good at these decisions!

Today as I sat in my office, I was thinking about all the possibilities and wishing that I knew exactly the right way to manage myself through the buffet of information.  I am confronted with a mixed blessing, the ability to obtain information and to engage in relationships are limitless but making good choices is a challenge.  It is a great temptation to just spend time with my computer, smart phone, or Kindle Fire.  However, there are people and responsibilities that should take a higher place on my priority list.  I think it is vital for any leader to be engaged in social networking and information sharing, after all, that is how we continue to improve our abilities and knowledge in our leadership.  Discipline seems to be one of the keys to manage my way through this display.  The other key is talking to others and hearing what resources they have found beneficial.

So if any of you have insights into how best to avoid gluttony at the internet buffet, please share it with me and the other readers.  Maybe together we can manage our way through this!


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