Planners’ Picks — May 11, 2021

Planners’ Picks:

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

This week we recognize, appreciate, and nurture our team using play, intrinsic motivation, and simplification.



Do You Incorporate Playfulness Into Your Daily Life?

Listen in on a recent conversation with local Leadership Coach Darcy Luoma as she seeks guidance on how to incorporate more play into her life with the Escape Adulthood Experts: Kim & Jason Kotecki.

From Darcy: “For those of you just tuning in, my intention for this year is playfulness. I just celebrated my 50th birthday and realized that I had spent four months NOT being very playful. To kick off my playfulness challenge with a BANG, I invited Jason Kotecki and Kim Kotecki from Escape Adulthood to join me for Thoughtfully Fit Thursday. Nobody knows how to be playful like these two… you won’t want to miss it!”

How do YOU incorporate play into your everyday life?

The Number One Issue Remote Workers Face, and the Surprisingly Easy Fix

Remember when people were concerned that remote workers wouldn’t actually be working? If anything, the past year has proved the opposite: People working from home struggle to stop working.

I recently surveyed 2,000 of my readers and the data was clear on this issue. While 68 percent of remote workers want to continue working from home all or most of the time post-pandemic, over half reported that they’ve found themselves working constantly, neglecting to take breaks, and working well into the evening. This is from a survey group of CEOs, executives, managers, and individual contributors–a wide range of employees.

Many remote workers enjoy working from home, even despite this pain point. But if we can fix this overworking issue, we can get better results for ourselves, and our teams. Here are three strategies to create better and healthier boundaries for remote work.

Research: A Little Recognition Can Provide a Big Morale Boost

As organizations large and small face the twin challenges of increasingly strained budgets and burned-out workforces, what can managers do to keep employees engaged — without breaking the bank? In this piece, the authors share new research on the power of symbolic awards such as thank you notes, public recognition, and certificates. They find that these simple interventions can significantly improve employee motivation, but clarify that to maximize their effect, it’s essential to customize these rewards to your unique context. Specifically, the authors draw on prior research to highlight five key considerations for managers looking to implement symbolic awards: the most impactful messenger, the best timing, whether to make it private or public, attention to detail, and the importance of starting small. While these interventions are no substitute for fair monetary compensation, especially when cash is limited, symbolic awards can go a long way to demonstrate your appreciation for your employees and keep spirits high.

Using the Pomodoro Technique for Time Management

Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo It’s particularly helpful for big tasks that can, at first, seem overwhelming—whether that’s writing a board report on a complex issue, or going through performance reviews for staff, or designing a course, etc., etc., etc. We featured this method of short breaks in past CSN sessions of Managing Priorities with Jenny Faust.

Check out this Linkedin post with some basic details on this time management tool.

How To Simplify At Work So You And Your Team Can Accomplish More

Many people are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out by work, whether their workplaces are fully in-person, completely remote, or hybrid. There’s too much to do, too much going on and expectations on all sides seem to be running higher than ever.

But there are ways to reduce the feeling of being overloaded, according to Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and the new book Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most. McKeown suggests that if we “take on a new mindset and the practical tools that go with it, we can find an easier path [and] get breakthrough results without burning out our teams and our organizations.” If you’re looking for ways to help your people focus and perform better, these seven approaches can help manage both busyness and bureaucracy.

How to Motivate the Unmotivated by Simon Sinek

We should not assume that a lack of motivation is an intrinsic problem. As leaders, we should first evaluate whether or not we’ve created an environment that inspires our employees. In order to spark motivation, people must feel seen and valued. Watch this short video post by Simon Sinek.


Nominate Someone for the IT Recognition Awards!

We work with excellent people who do awesome things. It’s time we tell their stories and recognize them for how amazing they are. Below are the award categories to use when writing your nomination(s):

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion / Community Engagement / Team Achievement / Lifetime Achievement / Transformational Achievement / Rising Star / Unsung Hero

You can read the detailed description of each award here.

Nominations are due by May 21, 2021, and should be no more than 500 words. Check out our guidelines for hints on how to write a great nomination. Then complete the nomination form. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of your peers. Awards will be presented as part of the IT Professionals Conference June 3-4, 2021. If you have questions about the awards or process, please contact


>>>  “The conductor doesn’t make a sound. He depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful. I realized that my job was to awaken possibility in other people.“ – Orchestra Conductor Benjamin Zande