Wouldn’t it be nice if our inbox magically managed itself?
Let’s go a step further.
What if we could live in a world without email?
Email overload takes a real toll on us – on our workflow, and on our brains. A study conducted by RescueTime found that most workers can’t go six minutes without checking email. That, combined with how inefficient we become when switching tasks, creates a gigantic loss of productivity during our workday.
Joke’s on you! I don’t use email. I use Slack instead. Ha!
Slack isn’t any better than email. Any platform that allows for endless back-and-forth communication will cause your productivity to plummet. How are you supposed to get any work done outside of Slack or email if you’re busy checking in every six minutes? Those constant notifications can keep you engaged with unstructured conversation to the point where the day ends and you’ve had no time to get actual work done.
Hmm, those days do suck. But how else am I supposed to communicate with my teammates when something needs to be done?
There are plenty of alternatives that don’t involve back-and-forth messaging. Cal Newport, third-time guest of the show, joins us to talk about these alternatives. His new book, A World Without Email, explores the pitfalls of the “hyperactive hive mind workflow” and the structures and systems workplaces have adopted to cut down on noise and increase productivity.
Cal gives us a brief history lesson on how email came to dominate the workplace, explains the inefficiencies and limitations with email, and tells us which mindset shifts to make in how we manage our time, energy, and attention at work.