I don’t really like New Years resolutions for reasons beyond the scope of this post.
This year however, am going to try and make a few changes to how I communicate, in work and otherwise.
No Hello on instant messaging.
I hate being on the end of the Dangling Hello, and the 15 minutes of massively predicting what the person is wanting. But I still find it very hard to bundle in all up in the first message.
Equally, 4 notifications in quick succession can feel like literal torture.
You can still ask how people are doing, but you can just include that upfront, in a single message.
Hello X, hope you’re good, can you tell me what’s going on with TICKET-123Me, Slack, This Year
Priority Tagging, ideally lower
Low Priority exists as well as High Priority on emails.
Flagging a gossipy/catchup IM as such in the opening.
Clarify & Summarise
The discomfort at being That Guy who pastes back the summary of what you agreed is less than the pain when you discover that you weren’t all sharing understanding.
When half the team thought “advance by 2 seconds” meant delete 2 seconds, and the other half thought add 2 seconds..
Always a default
When arranging things, I’m going to offer a default, always.
“I’m free all day” vs “I’m free all day, how about 11”
Make it easier to say “Great” done.
Stick to Core Hours
I’m a freelancer, I work self-defined hours… but that’s not mine to share with others.
While it’s useful for me to get thoughts out of my head into an email, that doesn’t mean I need to get them forced onto other people…
- If I’m sending an email, I’ll set it to send later
- If it’s an IM, I’ll set Slackbot to remind me or maybe the person, during the next working day
We all drowning in a sea of notifications, if you can make yours just a little better, you make it easier for people around you to help you.