I read through a P2 thread at work discussing Slack and productivity, and figured I should share my thoughts and practices here.
These were some ideas mentioned for Slack messages:
- Star if you need to take action.
- Mark as unread until you respond.
- Open the Slack archive page in a browser window.
- Slackbot reminders.
I’ve done the first two, but these all blur the primary purpose of Slack: communication and collaboration.
Embrace your task manager and calendar. When used properly, these are your spam-free lists of time-specific events, todos, and projects. When I’m unsure what I should be doing next, I check these.
Embrace your inbox, and “empty” it often
A colleague asks for a favor that isn’t time-sensitive while you’re in the middle of something. What do I do?
- Determine expectation — Ask/confirm when they need to hear back from me.
- Click the “Copy Link” icon of the Slack message.
- Open the quick entry feature of my task manager (Things).1 Keyboard shortcuts!
- Enter a concise name of the todo. e.g. Update En.Support “Shortcodes” page.2
- Tab to the Notes field, and paste the URL to the Slack message. Copy paste any other relevant URLs, plus a 5-second brain dump for additional context, if needed. (Consider: What do you need to consider when working on this item?)
- Save it to your Inbox.
Next, designate a few blocks of time daily to clarify the items in your Inbox3, which leads to organizing them out of your inbox. 😉
When you need to settle down for deep work, communicate that with your team, then work from your calendar and task manager!
Also highly recommended: The five steps of GTD Methodology