After the global pandemic began back in february 2020, my work life changed a lot. The main reason was of course the requirement of working from home office. For our big team this was a very new thing, due the fact that we used to work together from the company’s offices only. This change brought a lot of changes in every aspect, but why I am writing this post is communication – one of the most crucial requirements in our business and in any bigger team.
I don’t want to focus on evaluating how we used to communicate before. This could also be an interesting topic to examine, but it’s important to say that it wasn’t ideal. It could be described as “constant disturbance”. On live-op project with regular weekly content updates is some level of smaller or bigger problems, which have to be solved immediately, daily routine. What I started to realize during the first weeks of quarantine was how I enjoyed quiet and calm to focus more deeply into challenges, which this work offers. I can’t remember how long it takes, but after some time I started to notice something weird. Time, which I spent answering on Slack increased dramatically. The second effect was that my mental energy invested into this communication missed somewhere else. I accepted the new normal – the permanent availability through online messaging tools.
During summer I came across two podcasts, which mentioned similar problems. The first is hosted by Juraj Bednar, the entrepreneur and hacker, who discussed the topic of importance of asynchronous communications in teams, especially now, when members can work literally from any place in the world. The second was Petr Ludwig, who talked about the importance of minimalism and how it can affect our happiness. These two impulses encouraged me to start thinking more about connection among communication, work performance and overall satisfaction (it is very hard to separate work stress from personal life, so maybe the most important thing for me was improving the level of overall “happiness”). So I started to look for more informations and resources. One of them was book by Cal Newport – Digital Minimalism.
In this book author introduce the philosophy of the minimalistic approach in using modern technologies (especially smartphones, which is the most available piece of interactive hardware in our live). Is important to say, that this philosophy not recommend to stop use them at all. The main idea is to use them to create real values, values which are important for you and your family and friends. Similar to the document “Social Dilemma” Cal describes how technology is used to “steal” your attention, use it for their profit and the way, how to fight against procrastination connected to use this technology. But the most interesting part for me lies in others chapters – chapters which give you answers to question “why”. Why do you need sometimes to spend some time alone only with your thoughts, why the permanent availability though social networks will not improve our relationships, and why informations all around us will not help us to be smarter. When you will start thinking more about essence of this philosophy, you will be able to use them both in personal and also work life.
I have to say that I’m not planning to do 30 days of Digital Declutter as the author recommends. There are more recommendations which I don’t plan to implement in near future. But it’s ok. Everybody has different goals and different ways to achieve them. Important is to start thinking about them, try and evaluate, if it helps you go where you want to go. Maybe it can be just a small step, like turning off Slack notification, when you have an on-line meeting, or you want to finish a challenging task (it really works!).
Mentioned podscasts & books: