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The Unexpected Benefits of Content Curation for Nonprofits
Beth Kanter, Trainer, Author, Blogger

Photo by MJK23
Beth Kanter: Master Trainer, Author, and ChangeMaker
http://bit.ly/lean-content-np
My nonprofit tech work
begins ….
Content Curation for
Nonprofits
circa 1994-1996
Are you a content curator?

Just 2 Words

Scale

1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10

Flickr Photo: An untrained eye
Share Pairs and Sticky Notes

What do you already know about
content curation?
What is your burning question about
content curation?
Content curation is the organizing, filtering and
“making sense of” information on the web and
sharing the very best with your network.
The Content Curator is a Sommelier . . .
The Base of Content Strategy

Tweets,
Facebook
Blog, Web Site,
Email Newsletter,
YouTube, Photos,
Webinars,
E-books

Coordination

Creativity

Curation
Nonprofit Curators

Femi Oke: Upworthy

Sarah Stanley: Cancer Commons

Axel Caballero: Cuéntame

Created by Will Coley
http://bit.ly/13ntccur8-videos
•
•
•
•

Transdisciplinarity
Sense-making
Social intelligence
Cognitive load
management
• New media literacy
Content Curation: The Process

Sense

Seek

Framework: Harold Jarche
Networked Learning Is Working Smarter

Share
Tweets links related to organization’s mission
and work as a bipartisan advocacy organization
dedicated to making children and families a
priority in federal policy and budget decisions.
SEEK

SENSE

SHARE

Identified key blogs and
Twitter users in each issue
area

Summarizes article in a
tweet

Engages with aligned
partners

Writes for Huffington Post

Tweets best of best

Scans and reads every
morning and picks out best

Helps him do his work
Share Pairs

• What struck you about the nonprofit curator stories?
• What have you thought about or already do in your practice?
What is the process of Great Content Curation?

Sense

Seek

Framework: Harold Jarche
Networked Learning Is Working Smarter

Share
Seek

• Define objective, audience,
and topics
• Organize sources
• Use discovery tools
• Scan more than you capture
• Don’t share unless it adds
great value
• Discipline
Sense

• Product: Blog post,
report, memo,
presentation
• Annotate, Archive,
Apply
• Add values to your
nonprofit
Learn from Observing the
Master Curators

http://masternewmedia.org

http://sco.lt/5axY9Z
Share

• Share at the right moment
• Feed your network a steady diet
of good stuff
• Comment on other people’s
stuff
• Recommend other curators
Small Group Exercise

Sense

Seek

Framework: Harold Jarche
Networked Learning Is Working Smarter

Share
Curating Efficiently: How To Avoid Getting Content Fried
Self-Knowledge Is The First Step
1. When you start curating information, does it make you feel anxious?
2. When you are seeking information to curate, have you ever forgotten what it was in
the first place you wanted to accomplish?
3. Do you add links to your Scoop.It or other collections without reading and thinking
and annotating the article?
4. Do you experience frustration at the amount of information you need to process
daily?
5. Do you sit at your computer for longer than 30 minutes at a time without getting
up to take a break?
6. Do you constantly check (even in the bathroom on your mobile phone) your email,
Twitter, Scoop.It or other online service?
7. Is the only time you're off line is when you are sleeping?
8. Do you feel that you often cannot concentrate?
9. Do you get anxious if you are offline for more than a few hours?
10.Do you find yourself easily distracted by online resources that allow you to avoid
other, pending work?

A few quick assessment questions
Add up your score: # of YES answers
What’s Your Attention Focusing Score?

Source: Lulumonathletica

0…1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10
Mindful Online………………………………………………………..Need Help Now
What does it mean to manage your attention while your
curate?
• Understand your goals and priorities and
ask yourself at regular intervals whether
your current activity serves your higher
priority.
• Notice when your attention has
wandered, and then gently bringing it
back to focus on your highest priority

Source: Howard Rheingold
NetSmart

• Sometimes in order to learn or deepen
relationships -- exploring from link to link
is permissible – and important. Don’t
make attention training so rigid that it
destroys flow.
A Few Tips

Manage Your Attention, Not Just Your
Time
Visualize on Paper
Establish Rituals
Reflection
Manage Electronic Distractions
Manage Physical Space
Just Say No
One Minute of Silence: What is one idea that you can put into
practice next week? Write down on an index card

Raffle!
Flickr Photo by John K
Thank You!

•
•
•
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•

Blog: bethkanter.org
Order Book: amzn.to/measure-networknp
Twitter: @kanter
Facebook: facebook.com/beth.kanter.blog
Subscribe to my public updates: facebook.com/beth.kanter
Scoop.It: scoop.it/u/beth-kanter
Pinterest: pinterest.com/kanter
SLIDES and Resources: http://bit.ly/lean-content-np

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Scoop-It Dec. Meet Up: Content Curation for Nonprofits

  • 1. The Unexpected Benefits of Content Curation for Nonprofits Beth Kanter, Trainer, Author, Blogger Photo by MJK23
  • 2. Beth Kanter: Master Trainer, Author, and ChangeMaker
  • 4. My nonprofit tech work begins ….
  • 6.
  • 7. Are you a content curator? Just 2 Words Scale 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10 Flickr Photo: An untrained eye
  • 8. Share Pairs and Sticky Notes What do you already know about content curation? What is your burning question about content curation?
  • 9. Content curation is the organizing, filtering and “making sense of” information on the web and sharing the very best with your network.
  • 10. The Content Curator is a Sommelier . . .
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14. The Base of Content Strategy Tweets, Facebook Blog, Web Site, Email Newsletter, YouTube, Photos, Webinars, E-books Coordination Creativity Curation
  • 15. Nonprofit Curators Femi Oke: Upworthy Sarah Stanley: Cancer Commons Axel Caballero: Cuéntame Created by Will Coley http://bit.ly/13ntccur8-videos
  • 16.
  • 18. Content Curation: The Process Sense Seek Framework: Harold Jarche Networked Learning Is Working Smarter Share
  • 19. Tweets links related to organization’s mission and work as a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.
  • 20. SEEK SENSE SHARE Identified key blogs and Twitter users in each issue area Summarizes article in a tweet Engages with aligned partners Writes for Huffington Post Tweets best of best Scans and reads every morning and picks out best Helps him do his work
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27. Share Pairs • What struck you about the nonprofit curator stories? • What have you thought about or already do in your practice?
  • 28. What is the process of Great Content Curation? Sense Seek Framework: Harold Jarche Networked Learning Is Working Smarter Share
  • 29. Seek • Define objective, audience, and topics • Organize sources • Use discovery tools • Scan more than you capture • Don’t share unless it adds great value • Discipline
  • 30. Sense • Product: Blog post, report, memo, presentation • Annotate, Archive, Apply • Add values to your nonprofit
  • 31. Learn from Observing the Master Curators http://masternewmedia.org http://sco.lt/5axY9Z
  • 32. Share • Share at the right moment • Feed your network a steady diet of good stuff • Comment on other people’s stuff • Recommend other curators
  • 33. Small Group Exercise Sense Seek Framework: Harold Jarche Networked Learning Is Working Smarter Share
  • 34. Curating Efficiently: How To Avoid Getting Content Fried
  • 35.
  • 36. Self-Knowledge Is The First Step 1. When you start curating information, does it make you feel anxious? 2. When you are seeking information to curate, have you ever forgotten what it was in the first place you wanted to accomplish? 3. Do you add links to your Scoop.It or other collections without reading and thinking and annotating the article? 4. Do you experience frustration at the amount of information you need to process daily? 5. Do you sit at your computer for longer than 30 minutes at a time without getting up to take a break? 6. Do you constantly check (even in the bathroom on your mobile phone) your email, Twitter, Scoop.It or other online service? 7. Is the only time you're off line is when you are sleeping? 8. Do you feel that you often cannot concentrate? 9. Do you get anxious if you are offline for more than a few hours? 10.Do you find yourself easily distracted by online resources that allow you to avoid other, pending work? A few quick assessment questions Add up your score: # of YES answers
  • 37. What’s Your Attention Focusing Score? Source: Lulumonathletica 0…1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10 Mindful Online………………………………………………………..Need Help Now
  • 38. What does it mean to manage your attention while your curate? • Understand your goals and priorities and ask yourself at regular intervals whether your current activity serves your higher priority. • Notice when your attention has wandered, and then gently bringing it back to focus on your highest priority Source: Howard Rheingold NetSmart • Sometimes in order to learn or deepen relationships -- exploring from link to link is permissible – and important. Don’t make attention training so rigid that it destroys flow.
  • 39.
  • 40. A Few Tips Manage Your Attention, Not Just Your Time Visualize on Paper Establish Rituals Reflection Manage Electronic Distractions Manage Physical Space Just Say No
  • 41. One Minute of Silence: What is one idea that you can put into practice next week? Write down on an index card Raffle! Flickr Photo by John K
  • 42. Thank You! • • • • • • • • Blog: bethkanter.org Order Book: amzn.to/measure-networknp Twitter: @kanter Facebook: facebook.com/beth.kanter.blog Subscribe to my public updates: facebook.com/beth.kanter Scoop.It: scoop.it/u/beth-kanter Pinterest: pinterest.com/kanter SLIDES and Resources: http://bit.ly/lean-content-np

Editor's Notes

  1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevharb/5391858379/sizes/l/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjk23/3389791843/in/faves-cambodia4kidsorg/
  2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/socialgoodbrasil/8179199091/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  3. This webinar is based on the article I wrote for the June edition of the NTEN Change journal while on several long haul jet plane rides.The whole issue is on content curation and I’d urge you to read because the articles are great. They cover how nonprofits can use curation as part of their content strategy. My article focuses on the art and practice of content curation and an overlooked benefit: building up staff expertise AND eliminating information overload.Content curation is the process of sifting through information on the web and organizing, filtering and making sense of it and sharing the very best content with your network. Rather than another potential recipe for information overload, content curation can actually be a method to tackle this problem. With so much information coming at us from social networks, web sites, emails, and other digital sources, we can no longer afford to just whine about it – content curation can empower us to win the battle over too much information.
  4. I was lucky to have a front row seat at the beginning of the nonprofit tech field back in 1992 – when nonprofits were first exploring how the Internet could be used for activist and mission-driven work. I confess to being an early adopter – someone who overpaid for technology tools that didn’t work and still do that today.My first job in this area was with an online network called Arts Wire where I learned new technologies as they came out – like email, HTML, and created and lead trainings, provided online support. I was reflecting back to those days and I realized that part of my work included content curation, although at the time I didn’t call it that.
  5. I maintained a site called “SpiderSchool” in 1994 for about five years – where I searched the web, reviewed, and shared resources about how nonprofits could use this new technology. I was doing content curation – where I was making sense of the web. When I look back on it compared today, there is so much more information being shared – it seems like it was a lot simpler
  6. But I also taught many workshops where I included techniques on how to deal with information overload caused by using the Internet to get our work done …Fast forward to today, I link both these ideas, but have now realized that content curation – the good practice of it – can help reduce that feeling …
  7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/an_untrained_eye/2998277224/sizes/l/Poll Questions:1.) How are you using content curation for your organization?-Content Strategy-Professional Development Strategy-Other1.) What tools or techniques are you using for content or news discovery?Monitor RSS Feeds in NewsreaderFollow news and topical aggregation sitesFollow experts on different topics on social platformsFollow content curators on different topicsPersistent keyword search toolsOther4.) What content curation platforms are you using?Scoop.ItStorifyPinterestOther(Type name and URL into chat?)5.) What is your biggest challenge to doing content curation on a consistent basis?Time to sort through all the crap to find the gemsGetting overwhelmed with the amount of contentEfficient work flowContextualizing, reviewing, and reading discovered contentFinding good, reliable sourcesContent curation is not valued in our nonprofitOther Challenges (type into chat)
  8. Here is the definition
  9. http://www.flickr.com/pI also like the metaphor of a sommelier.   They know the grapes, the winemaker and their techniques, and vintages.  They taste many wines to find the best of the best to appropriately complement (even enhance) the food in the restaurant.  They can answer questions about the wine to help diners navigate a wine list to make the best choice.    The content curator does something similar, but with information.hotos/soavementeblog/6257528545/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  10. One reason content curation is becoming more and more appreciated is because of the huge amount of information available on the web (the equivalent of cheap red wine).  
  11. Which makes it hard to find more of this …
  12. You can be the Elvis of your nonprofit topic area … Doing content curation can help develop thought leader and brand visibility are the primary reason for nonprofit marketers to adopt content curationImprove Thought Leadership:  If your organization is curating content on a particular topic, it can help with branding your organization as thought leaders in the space. If your staff is trained in the techniques of content curation, this process can be a form of professional development, building their expertise in a subject area that can, in turn, have significant returns to your organization’s programs. Better yet, this professional development is a self-directed activity – and it’s free! Not only are they learning on the job, but getting work done, too.
  13. http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/09/food-pyramid-for-content-marketing/http://www.flickr.com/photos/oberazzi/974939987/in/photostream/Content curation forms the base of your content strategy pyramid.  It’s about curation, creativity, and coordination across channels.   Your content strategy is essential to the success of an integrated social media strategy.
  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-8cW1caQQg&feature=youtu.beVideo clips: Playlisthttp://bit.ly/13ntccur8-videos<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/P-8cW1caQQg?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/P-8cW1caQQg?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  15. Improve staff expertise:  It used to be that we could be trained to do our work and we wouldn’t need to update and synthesize new information on a daily basis.   That’s less true today – and the ability to keep with our fields – esp. through online information is really important.http://www.flickr.com/photos/elitepete/442095833/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  16. A good content curator has developed and honed 21st century work place skills. So investing in the skill and practice you are increasing the longevity of your nonprofit long term.Transdisciplinarity: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.   A good curator can appreciate content that is not, at first glance, related to their subject. Sense-making: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed. Social intelligence: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions. Cognitive load management: ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques. New media literacy: ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  17. http://www.jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/I’m a huge fan of Harold Jarche’s “Seek, Sense, Share” model for self-directed professional learning. The framework works well for content curation.Content curation is a three-part process:  Seek, Sense, and Share.    Finding the information (or “seeking”)  is only one third of the task, as Mari Smith points out in this video about why curation is important and some tools  for doing it.        Making sense of the information is just as important.  Sense-making can be as simple as how you annotate the links you share,  the presentation,  or what you’ve left out.      Sense-making can be writing a blog post using the links or summarizing the key points in a presentation.     But it has to support your organization’s communications objectives or your professional learning goals.   Finally, the sharing: it’s about giving the best nuggets of content to your audience in a format that they can easily digest and apply.Putting content curation into practice is part art form, part science, but mostly about daily practice.   You don’t need to do it for hours, but 20 minutes every day will help you develop and hone the skills.  It is best to do the seeking part in small bursts to avoid feeling overwhelmed.   
  18. Note: This is not only the big outcomes, but also the evidence of peer learning work. ]You all have been doing amazing work since we last got together and your growing skills and networks really paid off recently with regard to the Supreme Court’s decision on the ACA. In her blog, Beth highlighted this day as one of those opportunities to balance strategic communications with the spontaneity of social media. You all jumped on this historic event and demonstrated your social media smarts, including:Being flexible and keeping it simple;Using multiple channels and shaping content for each channel;Leveraging the organic sharing properties of Facebook;Having a broad narrative in mind in advance (win, lose or something in between);Getting your social media ambassadors and “super-users” to help spread your message;Curating content from trusted sources; andFocusing on the story after the immediate announcement and providing analysis.There was a huge amount of activity across our network on decision day and it really was a great demonstration of putting into action what we have been learning as a peer community.
  19. http://www.mlui.orgBILL PALLADINO, Senior Policy Specialist, is helping the Institute build a new collaborative marketing campaign to increase the amount of food that is sourced locally in the region. Palladino was previously an MLUI board member, executive vice president of business results for ISB Worldwide, of Dallas, and ran his own consulting service, Krios Consulting, in Traverse City. Ext. 21. bill@mlui.org
  20. http://www.mlui.orgBILL PALLADINO, Senior Policy Specialist, is helping the Institute build a new collaborative marketing campaign to increase the amount of food that is sourced locally in the region. Palladino was previously an MLUI board member, executive vice president of business results for ISB Worldwide, of Dallas, and ran his own consulting service, Krios Consulting, in Traverse City. Ext. 21. bill@mlui.org
  21. http://www.mlui.orgBILL PALLADINO, Senior Policy Specialist, is helping the Institute build a new collaborative marketing campaign to increase the amount of food that is sourced locally in the region. Palladino was previously an MLUI board member, executive vice president of business results for ISB Worldwide, of Dallas, and ran his own consulting service, Krios Consulting, in Traverse City. Ext. 21. bill@mlui.org
  22. http://www.jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/I’m a huge fan of Harold Jarche’s “Seek, Sense, Share” model for self-directed professional learning. The framework works well for content curation.Content curation is a three-part process:  Seek, Sense, and Share.    Finding the information (or “seeking”)  is only one third of the task, as Mari Smith points out in this video about why curation is important and some tools  for doing it.        Making sense of the information is just as important.  Sense-making can be as simple as how you annotate the links you share,  the presentation,  or what you’ve left out.      Sense-making can be writing a blog post using the links or summarizing the key points in a presentation.     But it has to support your organization’s communications objectives or your professional learning goals.   Finally, the sharing: it’s about giving the best nuggets of content to your audience in a format that they can easily digest and apply.Putting content curation into practice is part art form, part science, but mostly about daily practice.   You don’t need to do it for hours, but 20 minutes every day will help you develop and hone the skills.  It is best to do the seeking part in small bursts to avoid feeling overwhelmed.   
  23. http://www.jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/Keeping up to date in your field and finding content that will help you be more effective at work or build your organization’s reputation as thought leader Make sense of the information by creating a product or applying what you’ve learned.Exchanging resources, insights, and conversations with people in your network. Define objective, audience, and topicsOrganize sources Use discovery toolsScan more than you captureDon’t share unless it adds great valueDiscipline
  24. http://www.jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/Product – writing, report, presentation, memo, Annotate, Archive , ApplyMust add value to your workMake sense of the information by creating a product or applying what you’ve learned.
  25. Here is a review of 14 different ways to add value in sense-making. There are many more.Ross Dawson’s five ways of adding value to information are a good start at sense-making techniques, with my short explanations appended.Filtering: separating signal from noise, based on some criteria.Validation: ensuring that information is reliable, current or supported by research.Synthesis: describing patterns, trends or flows in large amounts of information.Presentation: making information understandable through visualization or logical presentation.Customization: describing information in context.In 1936, James Mangan, a most interesting character, identified several skills for acquiring knowledge (via Maria Popova).Practice: This is absolutely critical. It is primarily through experience – performance  – reflection that we learn.Get it from yourself: Sometimes it’s better to work things out for yourself than get a quick answer from someone else.Walk around it: Looking at something from a different perspective, especially away from the mainstream, can give new insights.Experiment: Use a constant probe – sense – respond approach with work and learning.Robin Good picked up on the theme of sense-making, and identified five more curation skills, with my comments:Comparing: With increasing complexity, and obfuscation by competing interests, being able to compare related items becomes more valuable. Imagine if someone could compare all your mobile telephone options in a clear, simple way. Good comparisons are quite useful.Finding related items: Collecting a series of resources on a subject over time can be useful, and save others time. For example, I have several bookmarks on shareable workspaces that I have passed on to many people interested in starting a work commons.Illustrating / Visualizing: Good info-graphics are very useful, but too often they obscure. Visualizing takes great skill but can be exceptionally useful.Evaluating: Being able to set criteria and evaluate from a neutral point of view can add real value to what otherwise would just be data. Nate Silver has made a living from this.Crediting & Attributing: While attribution may just seem like a nice thing to do, it is very important to trace how knowledge is constructed. With proper attribution to the original source, you can then make changes if evidence or circumstances change.
  26. http://www.jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/Product – writing, report, presentation, memo, Annotate, Archive , ApplyMust add value to your workMake sense of the information by creating a product or applying what you’ve learned.
  27. http://www.jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/I’m a huge fan of Harold Jarche’s “Seek, Sense, Share” model for self-directed professional learning. The framework works well for content curation.Content curation is a three-part process:  Seek, Sense, and Share.    Finding the information (or “seeking”)  is only one third of the task, as Mari Smith points out in this video about why curation is important and some tools  for doing it.        Making sense of the information is just as important.  Sense-making can be as simple as how you annotate the links you share,  the presentation,  or what you’ve left out.      Sense-making can be writing a blog post using the links or summarizing the key points in a presentation.     But it has to support your organization’s communications objectives or your professional learning goals.   Finally, the sharing: it’s about giving the best nuggets of content to your audience in a format that they can easily digest and apply.Putting content curation into practice is part art form, part science, but mostly about daily practice.   You don’t need to do it for hours, but 20 minutes every day will help you develop and hone the skills.  It is best to do the seeking part in small bursts to avoid feeling overwhelmed.   
  28. http://www.flickr.com/photos/waferboard/4153245628/Becoming “content fried” is a potential hazard for content curators, and that can get in the way of being efficient. In addition to the technical skills and tools described above, it is also important for staff to incorporate techniques into their daily work life that reduce distraction and stress.The seeking part of the work is a fast-forward, swimming-in-the-stream experience.   I can’t possibly read everything, but my content curation skills help me pick out the best stuff to give more attention to.  I find I can only do that work at certain times of the day or only for so long.       The biggest difficulty I experience is the shifting from this forward-flowing process of consuming, curating, and sense-making of content to learn versus to get something done.   The latter requires a different type of attention, so it is good to schedule accordingly.
  29. We can’t simply blame the problem on a lot of informationIt is also mindless consumption of information We all need to go on an information diet – and practice mindful consumption and sharing of info – and that is at the heart content curation
  30. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tzofia/270800047/sizes/m/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/5724696305/sizes/m/in/photostream/
  31. 1.)   Manage Your Attention, Not Just Your Time: Don’t just create a to-do list, lay it out on daily and weekly schedules, breaking down key tasks of the project into chunks.   Consider the level of concentration and focus that each type of task or chunk requires – and schedule accordingly.   For example, if I have to do some writing that requires a higher level of attention for me than does scanning Twitter or reading and responding to email,I schedule my writing time during peak concentration hours in the day.   (I’ve charted those – so I  know when they occur).   I also use a timer when I’m scanning my networks and limit those activities to 15-20 minute bursts.2.)  Visualize On Paper: Over the past 10 months, I’ve made a return to paper and markers and using mind maps or visualization techniques to reflect, and plan my week or day.     I use this as a pre-writing exercise as well as a reflection exercise.       It’s why I felt the need to dive into visual facilitation and thinking techniques as a way to cope with getting “content fried.”3.)  Establish Rituals: Rituals in your work life are valuable. The mind map offers a lot of good suggestions for rituals – from decluttering your workspace to healthy habits like sleep and exercise.4.)  Reflection: Reflection doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time to be effective.   I’m taking ten minutes every morning to practice some visual recording skills like drawing to create my “3 Most Important Things for Today List.”    At the end of the day, I look at it, reflect on what I did – and plan for tomorrow.       The advice is not to go online or check email until you get your three things done, but that is very hard for me – given so much of my work is online.   What I do is try to avoid email first thing in the morning.5.)  Managing Email and Other Distractions: I’ve turned off notifications that pop up on my computer screen or send me a text message to my mobile phone.6.) Managing Physical Space: When I see clutter in my physical work spaces, I try to take that as a sign that I need to hit a pause button.   Usually it is because I’m doing too much.7.) Just Say No: Maybe you are going to say no to social media for a day and go to meet with people, take a class, read a book, or take a walk.     When I’m feeling most overwhelmed, I take a break.   Even if it is just to get up and walk around my desk.