What I consider to be one of the key benefits of social media in organizations is this: It takes communications and collaboration into a whole new era.
But what if we’re not ready to take that plunge? Do we first need to declutter in order to reap the benefits of social media? I’m afraid yes. I have previously written about email being one of the biggest productivity barriers of our time. Well, how did email go from being the biggest thing since sliced bread (just 10-15 years ago) to becoming a real addictive nuisance to a lot of people? Well, like so many other addictions it’s difficult to deal with it rationally – simply because it’s all about brain chemistry. It’s not that we don’t understand the addictive nature of it, we just can’t help ourselves because we neeeed that dopamine rush.
So what’s the effect of adding a whole series of new social tools into the picture? Judging by consumer web 2.0 tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube things are probably not getting any simpler. My experience is that this generation of social tools is every bit as addictive as email (which can be both good and bad).
This is where life hacks will save you. According to Wikipedia “life hack refers to productivity tricks that programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data”, however today “anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way might be called a life hack”.
One of my favourite life hacks is still the one presented in Merlin Mann’s speech at the Google Tech Talks in 2007. It’s very very simple and yet not that many people actually do it. The clip takes almost an hour, but I tell you, it’s gonna be one of the best hours you’ve spent in a long time.
But I want to go one step further. I want companies to life-hack their inboxes and make room for some of the productivity-enhancing, joy-spreading and innovation-creating Enterprise 2.0 tools. And then I want them to life-hack their Enterprise 2.0 tools. I call it Digital Habits 2.0.