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Are you an optimized chatter?

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We all work with Slack or Teams nowadays, but are you a great Slack or Teams user?

A few years ago, I read an article about distraction. Basically, the article quoted a study that found that it takes an average of 30 minutes to get back into focus after being distracted. Knowing that, we can assume with a fair amount of certainty that nowadays, it’s rare that we can truly focus.

When we tackle an important task, it should be clear that we need to turn off chats, but very few have that level of discipline. Obviously, you should practice that.

Nonetheless, I find that there are a few small optimizations that we can do to help ourselves minimize chat-related distractions throughout the day.

– If it’s more than a sentence, ask for a quick call and voice what you have to say.
– If it can wait, gather your thoughts and send it when it can no longer wait.
– When you get your answer, don’t reply with “ok”. React with an emoji instead.
– Don’t spend 10 minutes typing since the receiver might be waiting for your text to be complete.
– Include everything you have to say in one message.

That last point is crucial. Here’s an example:

“Hey Brian, I’m working on the documentation for the backend features we spoke about. I have a blocker and need to know if the invoice will be per client or company. Also, I have more to discuss, and I need to have a call with you by Thursday. I’m available at 10am, 11am, and 1pm. If that works for you, please confirm and I’ll send you an invite.”

See, this is complete. The receiver could send a simple answer, such as: “It’s per client, and I’m good for 10am.” Then, you ‘react’ to the message with an emoji.

This is being optimized.