Welcome to Issue 84!
I joined the async movement this week.
Member 6,128 of a growing community who believe in the power of asynchronous communication to transform how we live and work.
Asynchronous – the new business buzzword, which OED defines as ‘not existing or occurring at the same time’. Meetings are the exception, not the rule.
Companies like GitLab, Doist, Zapier, Trello, Gumroad, and Automattic have worked this way for decades, so we can learn a lot from them.
Research shows that async brainstorming results in more novel ideas than real-time approaches.
Join the async movement here.
Scrolling through the member forum, I see we’re struggling with the same stuff: deep work and flexibility, slower productivity, working seasonally, and being free from the meeting monster.
Great initiative and ideas from Doist to help you rethink your relationship with work and educate yourself on new ways of working.
Convince your boss and sell it to your teams
It’s challenging to ask your clients to adapt their routines and work differently, especially in big companies. They expect you to adjust to them, which causes friction.
I’m taking baby steps towards a (mostly) async way of working – show not tell. Documenting everything, sending links to Google Docs or Dropbox, asking for the goal/agenda of a meeting before agreeing to it, and sending Loom videos for visual work.
Clients love a weekly round-up email: “I really like this way of working.” They can see what you’re up to, and if you have too much on your plate, work can be reallocated.
Daily bookends – do the thing in the morning when I have the highest energy. Writers’ Hour (4 pm GMT) to wrap up and reflect in good company.
Slowly chisel away at it…let’s break the 9-5 apart.
Send them the async toolkit 🛠
It feels like a more intentional, focused way of working. But I’m mindful of not letting it overspill into my life – micro-actions and community are important and help me feel connected.
It’s convenient to drive to the supermarket, listen to a podcast and self-serve at the checkout, speaking to no one. Or I can walk there, help someone do their shopping and chat with the cashier. I have a choice and I know which one will make me feel better.
PS. Here’s one tiny action you can take to help spread the async movement – steal this email signature.
Designing an async-first workday (The Async Review), Almanac’s excellent magazine.
What happened when we stopped having meetings and sending emails (GDS) – great to see Government is reevaluating ways of working.
Onboarding at GitLab is self-driven, self-learning while remaining as async as possible to help people settle in.
Cal Newport on slow productivity as an antidote to burnout and chronic overload. These ideas boil down to: Do fewer things. Work at a natural pace. Obsess over the quality.
Contact me if you have a project to share, a link suggestion, or just want to say hi.
Enjoy reading this? Why not buy me a glass of Prosecco? 🥂