I’ve been doing a number of things during the last week of 2021 to get ready for 2022, and I really enjoyed and highly recommend the post by Chris Lema, Planning Your Next Year Right. He dives into what I also feel is an important topic, motivations.

A lot of people create new resolutions for their next year because they want to achieve something. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s what’s under that want that will impact whether you’re successful or not.

Chris Lema

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My uber-motivation is managing the plethora of communication channels I have to deal with from everyday work at Cloudways, to being a director at Big Orange Heart, to making sure I’m on top of all the news from everything on the internet and sources like Post Status.

Like many of you we traverse multiple platforms like Slack, Trello, Google, social media, email, and many more which often do what to some degree what another platform also does. The biggest time wasters are the dreaded notifications on your mobile devices or dedicated computer.

What’s the solution? Everything goes through email (Google Workspace). We often forget how powerful email can be with filters and Zapier workflows. More importantly, email is accessible almost anywhere with any device. I don’t need an app for that.

Let’s address one caveat, that you need to be reached immediately for a legitimate and severely urgent matter. We’ve been deluged with tools to do this but seriously, use the one you already have. Your phone number. Anyone who could honestly have an emergency that I would be able to help with or, frankly care about, has my phone number. Done. You can text or call. If you are on the allow list, it gets my immediate attention. Easy. Back to the noise.

I’m not saying you need to delete apps or quit them all, quite the contrary, leave them open get comfortable, just start with disabling the notifications. Everywhere, on every app, except email and messages.

Minimal notification iPhone screen
Look mom, minimal distractions.

Now I guess I could go through a number of communications apps and how they handle email but I think you can figure it out. What’s nice is that Zapier can handle a lot of those integrations, which I take advantage of wherever I can. I connect my app, i.e. Slack, and then select where it should be looking and for what. I create a custom email based on the notification and send it to my uber-email with a link to click (and open the appropriate page or app) to follow up on that notification if I need. Maybe I’ll dive into some of the integrations at a later date but suffice it to say that notification distraction is greatly reduced – just don’t open the email app anywhere until you are in your email zone.

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