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 event buffers of 30 minutes for before and after each appointment to prevent overrun, and, again, avoid general scheduling chaos.
  • “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

As a writer (with an added measure of sound sensitivity — and here I must point out that this might be a sign of genius) focus rather than time is my most precious commodity which I vigorously try to guard.

  • The sound of nature, the sound of me furiously hammering on my keyboard, my beloved white noise machine,, or all of these simultaneously.
  • 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.
  • Comfortably get through $500 worth of billable work in time for lunch.
  • I struggle to get through any billable work.

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

I’m fond of inventing unnecessary acronyms, so let’s call the lowest amount of responsiveness that you can get away with in your line of work, or in your job, your Minimal Acceptable Responsiveness — or MAR (Minimal Viable Responsiveness, or MVR, would be fine too!).

  • 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.
  • Always get back to clients for non-urgent matters within the same business day.

MAR Kaizen: Interventions So Far

To conclude this post (because, you know, I really need to actually read my inbox again!) I will list out the other interventions intended to reduce distraction and heighten productivity, all of which are fairly new to me (as in, from the past year):

My Google account settings on my Android



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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.