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HBR: Sept 16th Tip

Management Tip of the Day
Today’s Tip 
Reduce Collaboration Overload
Collaboration is a good thing, right? Not when it leads to constant emails, video calls, and instant messages. Your team will never be able to make progress on important projects if they’re expected to be in contact all the time. Plus, they’re more likely to burn out and get sick. As a manager, you can encourage your team take the following steps to help them increase their focus:

  • Block out time to reflect based on personal rhythms. For some, this means answering emails and calls first thing in the morning and then having a two-hour block for deep-focus work. For others, it means doing creative work early on, followed by handling communications later in the day.
  • Timeblock email. Email begets email, and we all have a tendency to answer the quick request that we can feel good about solving. Instead, ask your team members to designate specific times during the day when they’ll tend to their inbox, rather than allowing constant disruptions.
  • Use “standing” meetings for team problem-solving. Handling one-off, non-urgent issues on an ad hoc basis — on Slack, email, and “quick” meetings — can cause excessive disruptions. Instead, ask people to use weekly touch points to go through issues together in a batch.