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

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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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