Synchronous vs Asynchronous.

This is definitely one of those “geek” terms, but the idea in plain English is this:

Should we communicate in real-time, or in our own time in a business setting — and specifically in a professional service firm?

In my view, real-time communication in teams should be reserved for the following scenarios:

  • Discussions on Strategy and Concepts (high level views)
  • Emergencies (i.e. I call you at 2am in the morning because there is a system error!)
  • Reviewing and finalizing plans

Everything else is almost always done better by writing long-form messages and letting others read and reply in their own time, so they can form full ideas and build on them.

This is a critical point to understand, because it promotes speed and productivity, without destroying a healthy balance between work and everything else. Most endeavors are not sprints, but marathons, and should be treated as such.

Shifting our thinking from hours, days, and weeks, to months and years has some extremely positive effects.

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