Distractions

Today, I listened to a Foundr podcast about “doing your best work by working less”. In it, Jason Fried talked about the disruption that comes with being connected 24/7 and the subsequent real-time work chats. It’s something I’ve always hated.

Whatsapp has become like email for me, especially when it comes to work. There are always requests flooding your inbox, there’s always someone asking for your attention. I don’t always respond right away, and I don’t expect instant responses.

There are times when I’ve sent messages to someone who might be sitting right beside me, just so I won’t distract them from their task.

Friedman also mentioned that his company practices a policy called “no talk Thursdays” and to me, that sounds like heaven.

I’ve worked with people who don’t seem to understand the concept of deep work. I’d be in the middle of a task (sometimes with earphones on) and they’d speak to me anyway. A distraction is a distraction, no matter how important it may seem.

Lately I’ve realised that it’s the CEO or department head who does this (perhaps because they think whatever comes from them is highly important?) and then later complain that certain work isn’t done fast enough.

The other thing Friedman mentions is setting deadlines. While yes, I agree that people should be given the freedom to plan their own time, setting a deadline provides a set timeframe for the work to “be shipped”.  Otherwise, as Friedman said, there’s a tendency to keep tweaking.

For me, no deadline = not a priority. And I’ll keep tweaking.