My (Unorthodox) Productivity Resolution For This Year — Be Less ‘Responsive’!

Being Unresponsive is Definitely Not The Flavor of the Day . And, If You Work for Yourself, it May Cost You Clients

  • I set a minimum scheduling notice of 2 business days (48 hours). That makes it impossible for prospects to book time on my calendar on the same day or even the next one.
  • I set event buffers of 30 minutes for before and after each appointment to prevent overrun, and, again, avoid general scheduling chaos.
  • “There’s a bug in your Calendly. It wouldn’t let me book a call in an hour.”
  • “We couldn’t speak today so I’m not interested. We would need somebody who is ultra-responsive for this role.”
  • I called three times this morning. You didn’t call back.”
  • “Hi, did you get my email from ten minutes ago? Can you call now?”

But Why Be Less Responsive? And What Is Low Responsiveness?

Yes, there’s a limit to how much un-responsiveness you can get away with
My haven of productivity / non-responsiveness

1: Why Be Less Responsive

  • The ingestion of large quantities of coffee, ideally extremely potent dark demitasse cups of Turkish coffee — no sugar or milk for me!
  • The sound of nature, the sound of me furiously hammering on my keyboard, my beloved white noise machine, Brain.fm, or all of these simultaneously.
  • Random / unscheduled phone calls;
  • Random / unscheduled delivery people showing up to the door;
  • WhatsApp messages and notifications pinging me every fifteen seconds;
  • Emails;
  • Other random interruptions;
  • The sound of screaming babies, “Happy Birthday to [Customer’s Name]” sung every five minutes, and other auditory affronts from the restaurant near where I work.
  • Trash out Medium posts like this, without any spelling or grammar errors, in an hour or two and in one or two drafts;
  • Comfortably get through $500 worth of billable work in time for lunch.
  • I make uncharacteristic spelling and grammar errors simply because my focus is divided between trying to work and trying to mentally filter the distraction I ‘m encountering. This always astounds me and is my proof to myself that the phenomenon is real;
  • I struggle to get through any billable work.

2: What I Consider Being ‘Less Responsive’ / Operating At Minimal Acceptable Responsiveness (MAR)

  • Fifty percent of emails are responded to within two hours;
  • Ninety percent of people will respond to an email within one or two business days.
My Rambox tabs. From left to right: MySMS, Todoist (custom service), WhatsApp x 3, Google Contacts (custom service), Skype, Facebook Messenger. Franz and Station offer similar functionality.
  • Scan through Rambox every three hours at most. This covers all communication channels, the most important, of course, being email. I try to only check my Facebook that frequently too (but, I must be honest, am currently doing a horrible job at that);
  • Always get back to clients for non-urgent matters within the same business day.

MAR Kaizen: Interventions So Far

  1. I started using flight mode liberally — when not in an airplane that is.
My Google account settings on my Android

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Daytime: writing for other people. Nighttime: writing for me. Or the other way round. Enjoys: Linux, tech, beer, random things. https://www.danielrosehill.com

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Daniel Rosehill

Daniel Rosehill

Daytime: writing for other people. Nighttime: writing for me. Or the other way round. Enjoys: Linux, tech, beer, random things. https://www.danielrosehill.com

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