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Why You Should Ditch Email and Chat If You Want to Be More Productive At Work

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Why You Should Ditch Email and Chat If You Want to Be More Productive At Work

Email and chat are not good for a modern team to be productive, but not everyone has realised this yet. Here’re the key reasons why emails and chats don’t work so well nowadays.

1. Email communication is inefficient in a team

Do you know that the first ever email was sent by Ray Tomlinson to himself in 1971? It fundamentally changed the way how people communicate and it’s still so simple today that it usually works quite good for a number of things. However, when it comes to team talks and making real plans, it really isn’t that good:

  • You have to wait for a reply for don’t know how long.
  • You don’t have an overview for everyone’s progress.
  • You don’t know if the recipient has actually received your message or not.

So, people started to figure out another way – team chat, and then chat had got popular among teams.

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2. Chatting distracts your brain from focusing

Chat is a nice way to talk quickly, but it has one major downsize – you will interrupt whatever recipient is currently doing, and they will interrupt you too. It’s totally fine to have a casual chat with your friends about you guys’ next hang-out details, but it’s no good for team talks.

Our brain can’t really handle switching tasks very well, so when we are trying to get something done and then switch to chat and then try to continue to get something done, we are wasting a lot more time just to get something done. Horrible, isn’t it?

Both email and chat are terrible at leading people to real-life actions – even if you make a decision, it is so hard to keep track of it.

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For this reason, a new startup, Teeml is trying to change the way how teams and individuals work.

How Teeml Works

The new startup Teeml is trying to change the way how teams work. It’s not just the way how people talk to each other, but a complete set of tools and ways to really get stuff done.

There are already some interesting free tools available, but Teeml say they’re growing better every day because of customers’ feedback. Here’re some of the tools available:

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Wishlist

It’s like combining email and chat, but a “Wishlist” is built in a way that leads to real actions and won’t waste too much time. You will get new wishes only at some specific times during the day, so your brain stays happy and others get their answers. With this tool, members can talk in real-time or come back later. Every wish has a topic and leads to an action.

Meetings

One hour with 10 people takes 10 hours. Think about what those 10 people could do with these 10 hours! As it takes time to get to the meeting room and later switch back to your to-do list, it actually takes even more time. Every meeting should start with topics and lead to real actions in the end. With “Meetings”, you can limit the duration of a meeting and set topics for the meeting easily.

Smart feed

Quick flow of things are happening in your team every second. With “Smart Feed”, you know what is going on around you. It shows you things that most probably interest you and works automatically based on the team’s behaviors.

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Promises

Promises are like a to-do list, but instead of a list that’s only available for an individual, it’s public to the team. Team members will make promises – to themselves and the team, and they will commit to their promises to complete the tasks.

You can start to use Teeml individually and invite your team later; or just go all in and try it out together with your team.

Just go to http://teeml.com, enter your email address and you’ll be logged in right away.

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Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Why You Should Ditch Email and Chat If You Want to Be More Productive At Work

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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