I get work messages on two email addresses, on Slack, text, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Wunderlist, Twitter, Skype, an antiquated HR system, Drop Box, Confluence, Salesforce, Trello, Evernote, WebEx, Google Docs, Concur, and Tripit. My phone hardly rings any more.
For every productivity challenge out there, an app exists that aims to solve that inefficiency. Often the entry point for these apps is free, so a proliferation of new apps slide into the workplace. You get drawn into them because different department or project leads manage through their preferred eco-system of ‘productivity’ apps.
Using so many apps has definitely reduced my productivity. I forget to check all of them regularly, I forget login details, and get distracted by the constant hum of alerts throughout the day. When I want to message a colleague I now think about their preferred means: JC - text; Alana - WhatsApp; Meaghan - Slack; Juliette - email; Byron - Skype; Chuck – pager (c’mon Chuck catch up bro!).
It’s so important to be able to focus in order to get more work done, and to be present in order to have quality thinking time. It’s all too easy to turn up to work and float through the day responding to the myriad of messages without actually getting anything real done. Call me old school, but there is no app that substitutes starting each day with a handwritten list of what you want to achieve that day, then crossing each task off as you complete it. Not only do you stay focused, get more done, you end the day happier because of your sense of achievement, or you realize that you didn’t achieve all you set out to which sharpens your focus for tomorrow.
Seeing your daily priorities written in your own handwriting has a powerful effect on your mind, which no app can do.