Intentional Ignorance

IntentionalIgnoranceI like to think of November as a quiet month. Everything is winding down. There are no big holidays to host (if you’re Canadian, anyway), no costumes to dream up, and not a lot of programs to prepare. It feels like November is quiet space to lead us into the busy month of December where there are parties, and shopping, and eating, and planning galore to make everything seem simple and easy, right?


November is just as busy as any other month. It’s the perfect time to try “Intentional Ignorance”. I heard about this term on a favourite business blog I read by Sarah Von Bargen. It sounded interesting, so I clicked the link and read the article. Turns out, this is exactly what she wants people to stop doing. Intentional ignorance is the purposeful ignorance of all things that are taking up too much head space, and too much time—things that are, in fact, stressing us out more than helping.

Take your Facebook page, for example. It’s a time waster, right? You log on, just to get a quick status update on all of your friends, or post those photos from the craft show the day before. But twenty minutes in, and you’re reading articles about magical cleaning solutions, saving recipes that others have posted, and sharing photos and posts about things you really believe in. Has it made your life better? No. Now you’re just behind getting ready for work.

The art of intentional ignorance is about seeing posts in your newsfeed, or emails in your inbox……and clicking delete, or ignoring them altogether. How about not even opening your Twitter app for the day?? Or pretending you forgot to post pics to Instagram, even though you had them all edited and ready? Instead of reading articles that might help make your life work better, or your blog posts find more readers, simply click off and take a break. Read a book. Go for a walk. Unplug….even if it’s just for a half hour a day. Try your lunch hour for starts. You’ll be amazed.

Sure, you’re going to feel a bit stressed about it at first. Will you miss something important? Probably not. And practicing this idea at regular intervals each day will actually gain you time to do other things that might also be stressing you out. Clean that bathtub. Put a load in the wash. Rake some leaves. Your whole life will seem more organized, and eventually, you’ll enjoy taking that break.

Intentional ignorance. I’m going to give it a try.


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