A recent survey showed that 70% of us have email and other messaging channels open all day. Receive, read, reply send, repeat. Add in time for meetings, and things get even worse, with only 1 hour and 12 minutes per day focused on actual work. We leave the office late, commute home and then continue the messaging cycle while eating, resting and spending less-than-quality time with family, friends and loved ones.
This affects your health, well being and fulfillment. It also hinders organisational growth and innovation. We recently spoke about the benefits of collaboration: To grow, compete and innovate you need to communicate. And some of that communication needs to be in person.
Instant messaging and email add value to individuals and businesses. But spending your entire day communicating virtually is neither productive nor healthy.
Here are some tips on how to free yourself and start adding more tangible value:
1) Designate time for digital comms
Consider setting time aside during the day to responding to comms. Why not first thing in the morning? Why not last thing before you leave? Or how about 10 minutes per hour? Setting designated times to respond means you have freed yourself up to get to work on the things that are important to you and your team.
2) Have useful in-person meetings
Talk to people in person, instead of hitting send. Tools like Kalido can show you who, from all of your networks, is around you right now. Send a quick message and get together for a meaningful meeting. More in-person interactions (up to a point, of course) will help you get more done and build deeper connections with your colleagues.
3) Turn notifications off
Constant notifications mean constant distraction. And once your concentration is broken, it takes, on average, 25 minutes to get it back. Turning off notifications allows you to focus. That goes for when you get home too. Use your resting time wisely.
4) Check before you send
There’s nothing worse than being a passenger on a never-ending email chain. Before you send a group communication, check that you have the right people. Kalido will tell you more about your colleagues than you would otherwise know: skills, interests, people in common, and more. If you need someone, don’t ask around, just ask Kalido, and it will match you with a relevant skilled person, if one exists in your networks.
While reading this article, how many times did you check your email, or respond to an instant message? Take back the control of your day and spend more time adding value, and building more meaningful connections with your colleagues and loved ones.