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When I first heard about Slack, it sounded exciting.
I was already acquainted with IRC from the early days of the web, and I’d had a good experience with it.
And, of course, the prospect of cutting down on emails sounded alluring.
With glowing endorsements from entrepreneurs, I follow, how could I possibly resist?
I jumped on the Slack bandwagon. But it wasn’t long before I started looking for an exit.
Experimentation is Important
I spend quite a bit of time experimenting with a variety of tools.
Some make it into my ecosystem. Most do not.
If it’s easy for me to access, log in, and use, then there’s a better chance of it becoming a part of my workflow.
A great example is Google Workplace (formerly G Suite). Most of us already use Gmail. And know it or not, that gives you access to Calendar, Google Docs, and a suite of other apps. Google Workplace is the same thing, except that you can attach a custom domain to your email address.
Google Workplace works relatively seamless across devices, and changes are saved online, so it’s basically a no-brainer, at least to me.
On the other hand, if a tool takes too long to learn, if it’s more power than I need, if it doesn’t naturally integrate into my world, it gets abandoned relatively quickly.
But I’m not closed minded. I will give everything a try, and I will even return to tools I didn’t like to give them a second or third go, just to see if there’s something I was missing.
Integrating Slack into My World
I’ve attempted to integrate Slack into my world a couple times. Doubtless I would appreciate it more if I had a bigger team. My attempts at trying to get my team to interact on Slack went over like a led balloon, mostly because I couldn’t personally commit to spending time inside Slack consistently.
As it stands now, Slack feels like “one more app.” And I don’t want to spend all day everyday switching between dozens of apps. I feel like that kills productivity and wastes energy.
I feel like I’ve got too many tools and apps dedicated to communication already – phone calls, texts, emails, Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE, Discord, Telegram, and so on. Plus, most social networks have their own built-in direct messaging system.
What am I doing with all this communication anyway? Is it making me a better person? Is it building my business? What am I accomplishing by staying connected all the time?
In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek (affiliate link), Tim Ferriss was quick to point out that most communication isn’t urgent. I have found this to be true.
SuperFastBusiness founder James Schramko says the first thing he gets his students to focus on is to get to inbox zero. He suggests unsubscribing from everything you can unsubscribe from.
Communication is critical, but it makes the point that we must have boundaries for it too.
Okay, so I haven’t had the best of experiences with Slack so far.
But here’s the thing.
This year, I’ve started interacting with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs inside a Slack group. And that’s something I care about.
I have a couple of friends that recently started projects benefiting worthwhile causes. They’ve asked me to be a part of their projects and have started their own Slack groups. Again, my resistance aside, I care about my friends and their projects.
So, I’m trying. I’m trying to get passed my own hang-ups and preferences to figure out how this darn thing works. I’m trying to make it a habit to check in on Slack, even if it’s only a couple times per week.
I have plenty on my schedule already, but I’m always making micro adjustments to keep it sustainable and effective. So, of course, I can adjust for the benefit of my growth and the projects and people I care about too.
I’m trying to like Slack, or at the very least, get to the point where I can leverage it effectively.
As I continue to absorb my business coach’s programs and courses, there’s one thing I’ve come to realize – I need to embrace the boring.
I tend to get caught up in the sexiness of content and traffic, but if you don’t have a well-researched strategy backing your work and business, you’re going to struggle, just as I did with Music Entrepreneur HQ.
Slack, to me, is boring (although I know it can be exciting). It seems a good a place as any to begin cultivating a stronger mindset and attention span for what shows up as boring to me.
Are there and business tools or apps that drive you nuts? Is there something everyone else uses that you can’t quite wrap your own mind around?
Let me know in the comments.
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