Now, even if you do both of these things really well, you may still find yourself constantly answering emails and Slack messages, and getting bogged down with other tactical work.
Let’s face it, even when you become a senior executive, this stuff still exists!
So I recommend creating short work blocks (in comparison to the 2hr blocks I recommend for deep work) to tackle these all at once. Instead of getting distracted by every ‘ping’, set aside time for email and Slack. Because guess what? The company is not going to fall apart if you answer an email in 3hrs vs. 45min.
A key element of doing this is also to set expectations. If you’ve set the expectation that you’re super responsive, everyone now expects an email back from you in 30 seconds. So let people know that due to the volume of emails you’ll be tackling your inbox at 10am and 2pm every day (or whatever times work for you) and if the matter is urgent they should pick up the phone and call.
According to Gloria Mark at UCI, it takes an average of 23 mins and 15 secs to return to the original task when you’re interrupted. Almost 25 minutes of wasted time!! So if you multi-task in this way, really think about the time you’ll save by being more intentional. It’s SO worth it.