How do you stay focused when work-related chats, like Slack, constantly demand your attention?

Justin Rodriguez
If it’s during work, part of your focus is your ability to communicate with others effectively and efficiently, therefore these distractions are part of the job — hence you should always respond. However, blocking away time in increments of 25 mins should and is a reasonable thing to do.

In other words, slack is part of your focus and shifting your mindset to reflect that can help you remain on task. Donot view your responsibility to multitask as a distraction or feel guilty about it.

On the other hand, at home, do not tend to work after a specific time. Check in as early as possible in the morning.

Sebastian Poulsen
I just keep it on dnd, and I check it in between my pomodoro sessions just to see if there's a change in priorities. I try to create as much attrition as possible, so that if someone manages to reach out to me I will know it's about something important and I'll give it my full attention.

Also, my boss really likes when I happen to ignore other people to work on my priorities, and I think that's because it shows her that we share the same values and goals!

Still, sometimes interruptions are just unavoidable, by I try to do my best 🙂 I do what I can with what I have, and that's enough to keep me satisfied!

Claude Lowe
Hi. I would suggest you designate time periods specific for deep work (on work projects) for an hour or two a day when you will not answer “Slack”. I want to be careful here, because responding to coworkers and employers is important but if there is an urgency function you can select, I would tell your coworkers that you will be busy during certain times but if it is an emergency, they can type urgent to get your attention. A similar scenario is putting the “do not disturb” function on your phone, where only repeated calls and calls from VIPs override the system. Does this help?

Baltasar Rezende
I turn off notifications if I can, or block off time in my calendar as meetings so that I can concentrate with a “do not disturb” sign. I turn off all sounds from my computer and devices. I also don’t always jump straight into what they’re asking unless it truly is urgent and I respect other people taking a while to respond. I also choose email or other forms of communication for a lot of things.

Lineia Vieira
Slack can be the anti-productivity tool if you let it. I’ve found treating Slack, or any team chat or collab tool like email works best. Check once around 10am, respond to whats pressing, and check again around 4pm.

If that isn’t feasible with your teams communication flow, then set blocks of time where you “Slack Off” and snooze notifications to do your own project work without distraction

Emma Burke
There's a technique called Pomodoro that consist in 25 minutes of focus work and then 5 minutes of relax. I disabled the Slack, Facebook etc notifications on my computer and only receive them on my phone. Then I've an app called Clear Lock that has a timer and blocks all distractions during those 25 minutes. I always have a bit delay to answer when people write me, but I gained a lot on focus with my work. Finally I setted an emergency line with Telegram that I don't use for nothing else. Only my PM knows about that and she use it when she needs something really urgent from me, but it doesn't happen to often I've to say…

Nelson Lucas
My principle is simpel, I put my mobile in a ‘sleepmodus’ so I shut it down. And I have only apps on my mobile that I want to have and apps that do not take too much of my time or apps that make me energetic!

Eliza Nelson
I learned to block all the other distractions, and I have to focus on my work/project (actively) and keep track of the conversation on the chat, which is a more pssive task. Then, say you check the cahat every 10 messages(or 20 minutes, or 50 messages, you know how dynamic is your workplace). Now, you have to learn to keep yourself focused mainly on one task, and "press pause" on the other. You pause your work and readjust, if what you read on the chat makes this necessary, but when you get back to work you pause the chat. It s something that demands some practice, but it s not impossible and I encourage you to try, main thing is to give much more attention to the work than the chat, so it s easier to switch. If you can, use "priority call" or special ringtones on the chat, and only read/answer these messages.