Productivity Tip: Turn Off Instant Messaging

It seems so simple, so innocuous, but in reality instant messaging is one of the most evil sinkholes of productivity. I have a few different programs and websites, to manage the different lists of people I talk to, as everyone seems to have a different preference. I’ve even worked at jobs that had its own Jabber server and network, adding one more to the pile.

The corporate instant messaging platform was so we could turn off the rest, and be able to focus on work, but the reality is that all instant messaging needs to be turned off to really get a good amount of work done. Any interruption to your focus, or what I call my “groove”, will distract you from your goals, stop you from getting things done, and cost you time and energy that could have been put into work tasks.

Writing conversations, even just in short form instant messaging takes much more concentration than talking on the phone to someone, as it uses both your sense of sight and touch, where talking via an audio medium, through Skype or the phone, only uses your hearing.

The biggest productivity tip I can give you is to turn off your instant messaging programs during your blogging time. Schedule when you will be available to be accessed through such means, and let people know they can e-mail you, or if it is an emergency or very high priority, they can take the time to call you. I know calling can be a distraction as well, so make sure they realize that it is only in extreme situations that calling would be acceptable.

Instant messaging tools are productivity killers, and in this highly competitive world, the last thing you want is to be unproductive. If you have any tips like this, contact us and let me know.

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  1. Ali says:

    I love this site and read when I can, a little slow on the comments… anyhoo…yes please… I’m in a tiny office and we can all hear each other breathe… why the heck to we need im if we can just talk to each other!!!!! That way I can say “leave me the hell alone” without it being stored somewhere and come back and bite me in the ass later!!!!! Love and Hugs!!

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