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There are many calls to delete Facebook from your life. But Cal Newport, a professor of computer science and author of Deep Work, suggests you go beyond that meme of the moment and embrace a more all-encompassing, slow-media approach.

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“This is problematic because once you allow one of these platforms into your life for any reason, they have a way of annexing your cognitive landscape well beyond the boundaries of your original intent. The average user now spends almost two hours per day on social media – at best a small fraction of this time is dedicated to the ‘important’ reasons most would list when asked why they need to use these services,” he writes on his blog.

So now he is suggesting instead a slow-media philosophy, based on these principles:

  • Only use a given social-media service if it provides valuable benefits that would be hard to replace. Use these services only for these purposes.
  • Delete all social media apps from your phone. After all, it’s unlikely those serious uses you list for a social media channel really require that you can access it wherever you are throughout the day. So limit yourself to going on social media once or twice a week through a web browser on your laptop or desktop.
  • When logged onto a social-media service, don’t click “like” or follow links unrelated to your specific, high-value purposes. “These activities mainly serve the social media conglomerate’s attempts to package you into data slivers that they can sell to the highest bidder,” he warns.

This slow-media approach clarifies why you are on the platform and limits you to that purpose, also preventing you from becoming what he calls “a pawn in their algorithmic attention economy games.”

Here’s a round-up of other recent advice on our gadgets:

  • To help drive clarity in your e-mails, consultant Gustavo Razzetti suggests adding one word in your subject line to help recipients understand what’s expected of them even before they click on the message. Urgent would signal immediate attention or action is required. Feedback indicates the item requires input, reaction or approval to move a project ahead. Opportunity signals that unexpected events present possibilities for the other person to do something, such as training, partnerships or time-limited offers. Update indicates a status report on some item. FYI would be for items that don’t require any action by the recipient. Inspiration covers tools, information, data or experiences that might assist the other person. “Just add one of those words (in CAPS) at the beginning of the subject. It will help recipients understand why they should care about your e-mail,” he writes on the Thrive Global site.

How to improve your interview performance

To improve your effectiveness in job interviews, Halifax-based executive recruiter Gerald Walsh suggests rating yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 on these 10 questions after each session:

  • I prepared fully for the interview by conducting research and anticipating the questions in advance.
  • I made a good first impression by shaking hands with everybody, maintaining eye contact and calling them by name.
  • I dressed appropriately for the setting in clothes that made me feel comfortable, confident and professional.
  • I answered their questions fully and with confidence, and gave lots of examples.
  • I asked good questions of them that focused on the organization, the job and the people.
  • By the end of the interview, I had made every point I wanted to make.
  • My body language conveyed the messages I wanted conveyed.
  • My closing comments were suitable and confirmed my interest in the job.
  • I know what the next steps are.
  • I sent a follow-up thank you note.

As well as seeing how you fared out of a maximum score of 100, he urges you to add any comments that will help you in future interviews.

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Quick hits

  • Some people spend more time and energy trying to weasel out of a commitment than they would in simply fulfilling it, observes consultant Alan Weiss.
  • One of the values of listening is that it encourages humility. “One way to practice humility is to let another speak their mind,” says leadership trainer Dan Rockwell.
  • · Bryant University Management Professor Michael Roberto recommends asking yourself about a job you are considering: “What aspects of this role do you hate?” 
  • Move your contacts with potential clients closer together. If you would contact the individual four times in a year, sales coach Anthony Iannarino suggests making those four calls every seven days or so, instead of 90 days apart, to show you are interested, persistent and have value to offer.
  • In golf, tennis, and baseball we’re told it’s important to “follow through,” which means not starting to slow down before you hit the ball. It’s the same at work, be it in customer service, a conference you run or a project, says entrepreneur Seth Godin: “If you begin slowing down before the last moment, the last moment is going to suffer.”
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