Thank you so much for willing to reach out to me. I really appreciate it. This quick guide will help us to find each other in a conversation, not a mere connection. I’m looking forward to it.
The COVID-19 crisis and the ensuing lock-down has taught me quite a few things. One of the main insights is that I lost a lot of time with different types of attention-grabbing connection tools, tools most of you know as social media tools, such as email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, What’s App, and the like.
Rather than spend time on these platforms, I want to produce high quality work, I want to do “deep work”, as Cal Newton calls it. If I want to leave value in this world, and I do want that, I need to be able to block times were I can really get things done. Answering emails and connecting on social media is not – at least to me – getting things done. It really is about making a choice about how to use the limited number of hours I have each day.
My minimalist set-up focused on conversation, not connection
So I exchanged my smartphone for a Nokia 8110 4g, which allows me to call, to text and has great battery life. As a result, I am no longer reachable via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social media platform. I also limit the number of hours per day I handle email, which means I have to prioritise.
If you need to talk to me, the best way is to give me a call on my mobile number +32 475 85 51 85. If you cannot reach me, leave a message. If you want to send me some information but don’t need a live reaction, send me a text at the same number. I know its old school technology, but it works.
Within the Sodexo network, you can also reach out to me via Teams during office hours.
I may still send information or posts which I read or wrote and think are relevant to either Twitter or LinkedIn, but I am not monitoring these platforms. I’m also only dipping into What’s App once every week for an hour at the most.
As to email, that’s a hard one. I try to follow email as much as possible, but I’m often inundated. So I have to prioritize or I will be responding to email more than doing actual value added work. So if it is urgent, please call or text me and we will set up a conversation as soon as possible.
I usually deal with email half an hour in the morning and half an hour right before close of business. If an email requires an action, I will plan it then based on priority and available time.
I’ve set up a rule which filters messages in which I am cc’ed, which I review once a week, usually on Friday. If there is anything actionable in them, you can expect a reply in the course of the week after.