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Daily Productive Sharing 151 - How to Work Asynchronously
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(The English version follows)
类似的例子有很多，尽管要一下子改变整个团队的工作方式很困难，但是我们可以从点滴做起。比如我们的产品经理非常尽心尽责，在开完一次会后就整理出一个表格，做成 Excel 文件要大家填写。其实这就是一个典型的同步工作方式，因为大家需要依次填写，然后任意一个人填写完都要发给产品经理，然后下面一个人再去填写。恰好我们使用 Confluence （一个文档协作工具），所以我就建议产品经理把这个表格放到那上面，然后把地址分享出来，这样大家就可以在方便地时候去填写，也不需要麻烦产品经理再搜集，再加上 Confluence 内置了文件历史功能，谁写了谁没写一目了然。一下子就把一个同步工作方式改成了异步工作。这也算是一个小小的 nudge 吧。
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Today's share discusses how to work asynchronously. What is asynchronous work? As opposed to synchronous work, asynchronous work emphasises the importance of each person working at their own pace and concentrating on their work, rather than being repeatedly distracted by the pace of their colleagues. For example, if you were concentrating on your writing and an email came in, if you were working synchronously you would probably open it, check the reply and then return to your original task. If you were working asynchronously, you could wait until you've finished writing and then check the reply to the email. This way, you switch tasks less, and you can ensure that you complete the writing task at hand more efficiently.
There are many similar examples, and although it's difficult to change the way the whole team works all at once, we can start with small steps. For example, our product manager is so dedicated that after a meeting she puts together an Excel file for everyone to fill in. This is a typical synchronous way of working, because everyone has to fill in the form in turn, and then anyone who fills it in has to send it to the product manager, and then the next person has to fill it in then. We use Confluence (a document collaboration tool), so I suggested that the product manager put the form on there and share the address, so that everyone could fill it in at their convenience and not bother the product manager to collect it again. Bit by bit, a synchronous working approach has been changed to an asynchronous one. This is a nudge.
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Forcing workers back to the office full-time isn’t going to solve the burnout issue, but neither will remote work alone.
Asynchronous communication involves a time lag between when one person delivers a communication and another person responds to it.
Constant connectivity chips away at focus.
Little effort has been made to protect people’s ability to focus and to unplug.
Async communication is about allowing team members to “consume and respond to messages on their own time instead of on the sender’s schedule.”
As a team leader, you’re in a position to change not only your behavior but help your team change theirs.
Figure out how you set up systems that put everyone in your team in the driver seat of their own productivity, not at the whim of other people’s preferences.
Substitute constant chatting with less frequent summaries.
She takes a similar approach with her boss, sending him “closing remarks” every Friday to summarize the week.
Try No Meeting Mondays, Deep Work Wednesdays, Focus Fridays. Or better yet, all three!
But people work much better when they’re trusted than when they feel constantly monitored.
Turning off your notifications is an essential first step to communicating asynchronously.
Don’t forget to take real breaks throughout the day: step away from your screens, eat, rest, and re-charge, rather than using email or a team communication tool as a diversion.
Delete apps like Slack or work email from your personal devices to make it easier to abstain from work stuff outside of work.Don’t measure who’s online, measure what’s getting done.
If you want a change in how you work, discuss it with your boss and propose a schedule, a way of tracking your projects, a meeting-free focus day, or one of the other strategies we’ve discussed.