Papers that measure the average number of messages that are sent via email and
daily received also show an increase in communication received per day: from
fifty emails a day in 2005, 5,
up to sixty-nine by 2006,6
to ninety-two to ninety-two 2011.7
A recent report from an industry research company known as the Radicati Group
I have predicted that in the year 2019. The year that I began this chapter, it will be completed.
the average user of a business would make and receive up to 126 calls a day.
In total, this research records both the rise and decline of the
real-life hyperactive hive mind’s working in the sector of knowledge over
over the last 15 years. However, the studies mentioned provide only a few glimpses of
the current scenario, which includes the standard experiment of observing the most likely to be
A couple dozen employees for only few days. To get a better idea of the company,
A complete overview of what’s happening in the typical office networked,
We’ll take a look at a smaller company that makes productivity software known as RescueTime is a small company that offers a variety of productivity software.
In recent times in recent years, with the assistance of two dedicated data scientists, the project has been
The company is quietly generating a stunning data set that provides an unimaginable view
into the particulars of ways in which contemporary knowledge is communicated.
— The main software from RescueTime is its time-tracking software that
is running in the background of your devices and tracks the amount of time you spend on your devices.
use different applications and use different websites and applications. The story of the company’s birth
It all began in 2006 after a group of developers for web applications became dissatisfied with their work.
by the satisfaction of working all day long and not feeling like they did
There is a lot of actual output to prove it. I’m interested in finding out where they are?
As time went by and they whipped up some programs to track their
behavior. According to Robby Macdonell, their CEO at present told me how they behaved.
the experiment gained traction within their social circles: “We were hearing from
increasing numbers of people that wish they could understand the implications of their work could bring to
The actual use looked like.” It was in the fall of 2008 the concept was accepted by
the renowned Y Combinator incubator, and the company was founded.
The primary goal for RescueTime is to supply individual users with
specific feedback on their actions so that they can figure out ways to improve their behavior.
productive. Since the tool is a web-based application all the information is
The data is stored on central servers and are accessible via central servers, which allows it to combine and analyze
the behavior of hundreds of thousands of people. After a few failed attempts,
RescueTime became serious about ensuring that these analyses were accurate. In 2016, they
employed two full-time data scientists who turned the raw data into
The best way to study trends and ensure privacy. Then, reached
try to figure out how modern, productive people work.
Knowledge workers actually spent their time. The result was
A report in the summer of 2018 examined anonymized data on behavior
of more than five million active customers of the software. It has more than fifty thousand active users of the software.9
It is a way to reveal
about half of them were using communication apps, such as email
and Slack each and Slack every six minutes or less. In fact, the most popular norm is to use Slack every six minutes or less.
Checking time was every minute, and it was over a third of people
Checking their inboxes each three minutes or less. Remember that these are not the only ways to stay informed.
Averages are probably exaggerated since they are based on lunch breaks
and one-on-one sessions in which the subjects were likely absent from
their computers. (Gloria Mark’s study, in contrast, did not count
time spent in formal gatherings in calculating the subject’s average
To understand the real limit of uninterrupted time the
The data scientists at RescueTime also determined the longest time for every
The user was able to work without having to do checking their inboxes as well as instant message. For half of users
Examined, the longest continuous period was not more than forty minutes.
with the longest duration running just twenty minutes.
Over two-thirds of the users have never had one hour or more
uninterrupted time throughout the time that was studied.
To help make these observations more concrete, Madison Lukaczyk, one of
The data scientists that were involved in this report, released the chart that demonstrates one
the entire week of her own information about the use of her communication tool. All through the day
Lukaczyk was working for the span of seven days. There are only eight
blocks of 30 minutes or more, that did not include checks for communication
–which is averaging to just a bit more than one of these small, unretracted
block per day. (And that’s someone who earns money by studying
In a report that was similar in a related report, the RescueTime data scientists attempted to make connections
This message is designed to improve efficiency by limiting their focus to the specific time
were engaged in activities that participants self-reported as “productive.”10
user, they divide the productive time into five minute buckets, and then
The buckets were identified which did not contain the examination of the email inbox or an instant
messenger application. These buckets isolated by size represent an approximate
uninhibited productive work. The average user of the study only had fifteen minutes of
These buckets indefinitely totaling no more than one hour and fifteen minutes, in total.
minutes of uninterrupted productive time per day. For clarity, this is
not one time of an hour, fifteen minutes not even the entire amount
Uninterrupted productive work is conducted throughout the day.
The significance in that RescueTime information set is quite striking in the current
The knowledge worker is rarely longer than just a couple of minutes from
either receiving or sending some kind of electronic communications. We can say that we
checking email all the time is an understatement. The fact is that we’re making use of
These tools are constantly in use.
The only thing that’s not present in the data sets that we’ve just talked about is a sense
What’s inside the emails we send all the time all the time?
day. To fill the knowledge gap I surveyed those who
I completed my reader survey in order to pick the most recent representative day of work and
classify the emails they received throughout the day. I gave seven
Categories: Planning (setting the agenda for meetings, making calls, etc. ),
informational (which I have defined as not needing an answer) and administrative.
Work discussion, communication with clients personal, miscellaneous, and work discussion.
I was curious to find out what kinds of emails were dominating my inbox.
readers’ work. Surprised, the result was the same for all kinds of readers. The
Average number of administrative, planning working discussion clients
email messages, as well as miscellaneous emails were sent between eight and eight
between ten and ten emails per day and ten per day, personal emails falling between ten and ten per day.
less. The only exception was the informational emails, which totaled 18
every day in an average.
The combination of these observations gives us an unambiguous and
disturbing picture of interaction in the contemporary office environment. It’s not anymore
it is accurate to view communications tools as occasionally interrupting work
The most realist model is one that has experts are the only ones who know.
divide their attention into two tracks, one for working on tasks for work.
and the other coordinating an ongoing, constant and constantly-changing, overloaded
Electronic conversation on the issues. The people who wrote the 2011
Australian study demonstrates this: “Our findings lead us to concluding that
That’s why there’s a difference between primary work and communication
interruptions] is not a valid strategy in a space that is suffused
Communication media that constantly demand attention from employees.” But not
Only are we in communication constantly however, as explained in my reader
Responses to surveys, the amount of different kinds of items we’re
The amount of information that is shared about is huge. Modern knowledge works
The organization really does function as it is a hive-mind, or a collective mind
of many brains tied electronically to create an ebb and flow that is dynamic
of information and simultaneous conversations.
It is important to stress the parallel track method to
knowledge work, although at times shocking in its scope but it’s not a definite
A negative issue. One might argue, for instance that this constant information sharing is a
It’s efficient since it removes the expense to plan formal
gatherings, and gives people access to exact information that they require,
precisely when they require precisely when they require. The writing began in 1994, which was the start of the digital
revolution in communication, the late sociologist Deirdre Boss created an impact on the world of communication.
A compelling argument can be made through analogizing these increasingly hectic
behavior of messaging in messages to “just right on timing” processes that have recently proven
enormously profitable in manufacturing as well as huge-box retail.11
One can also
We can argue that the vast array of different kinds of information we share
what happens in a day can also be adapted: an approach that is more efficient to work
which was only made possible via highly efficient tools for messaging.
In the next paragraph However, this optimism is not based on fact. The concept of value
of the hyperactive hive brain work is quickly slowed down in the event that we’re
We are forced to confront the factual reality of how our primitive brains developed.
in a setting that is far of electronic communications and low friction
messages, in fact, function when asked to quickly switch between several
Different targets of focus.
A Sequential Brain In a Parallel Universe
We have taken for granted that we are able to be attentive. As the basis of results in
Neuroscience reveals, something that differentiates us from primates
Ancestors have the capacity of our prefrontal cortex to function as a form of traffic
Pay attention to us and amplifying signals from brain networks linked to
with our current the moment, and thereby removing signals from all directions
Other animals may perform this behavior in response to immediate stimuli like
the deer , alertly raises its head when it hears a cracking sound from a tree the deer is alertly raising its head, but it’s only
Humans are able to choose to focus on something that isn’t taking place in the world
These are the things that they’re doing at the moment they are currently planning a massive hunt, or writing an
In the eyes of chaotic researcher A serious
the drawback to this process lies in the fact that prefrontal cortex has the capacity to only provide
One attention-grabbing target one at a time. as Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen have said, bluntly
In their book from 2016 The Distracted Mind “Our brains don’t
Parallel process information.”13
Therefore that you will be unable to stay healthy, it will be difficult.
several ongoing electronic conversations and still engaged in the primary
Tasks like writing a paper or writing the computer program, your prefrontal
The brain must constantly jump between various objectives, with each
that require the amplification and suppression of various brain networks. Not
It is not surprising that this switching of networks isn’t a quick process and it takes time to complete.
requires time as well as cognitive resources, including time and cognitive. If you attempt to complete it in a hurry,
Things can become messy.
The fact that we are constantly switching our focus slows our mental processing
It has been recorded since at the very early 20th century, well before
Did anyone know how the prefrontal cortex actually doing these?
changes. Some of the first studies to document the phenomenon was
The book was published from Arthur Jersild in 1927. The book introduced the fundamental
Experimental structure for examining the cost of attention switching
The student is given two tasks, then measure the amount of time it takes them to complete
Each task on its own take each step in isolation and observe how fast they speed up as they
They must switch between tasks.14
One example is that one of Jersild’s studies gave the subjects an
Column of numbers with two digits. One of the tasks was adding six to every number, and
The third was to subtract 3. If you wanted to get the subjects to do just one task, they could complete it.
Task repetitively, such as the task of adding 6 to each number on the list, they were done
significantly faster than if had them mix and
In the event that Jersild made the task more difficult, she did so by asking to know
subjects to add 17 as well as subtracting thirteen. and the difference is
The time required to complete the task grew exponentially as more involved work
requires more complicated shifting.
In the years following Jersild’s masterpiece, there were a multitude of other
Studies altered the specifics, but they came to the same conclusion:
network switching is slowing down the brain. The aim of these papers,
However, the goal was to comprehend how the brain worked. It was not until
In 2009, scientists began to seriously consider the issue of how they could be addressed.
cost of switching could affect actual productivity at work. Then, it was
that a newly appointed assistant professor by the name of Sophie Leroy published an
The paper on organizational behavior linked these threads. The title of the
The paper offers a simple question that encapsulates a lot of the initial ideas
The hyperactive collaborative hive mind method:
Is it because it is so difficult to finish my job?
Like Gloria Mark, Leroy’s interest in the psychology behind work in the field of knowledge
was influenced by personal experiences. Her doctoral studies, she was influenced by personal experiences.
At NYU during 2001 at NYU, she had quit a long-term position in New York.
brand consultant, where she seen firsthand the growing importance of brands.
The fragmented nature of the knowledge sector. “We were so busy,” she
I was told, “people were constantly switching between their respective targets.
Attentionpay attention.” In the moment attention was the academic discipline of organizational behavior
had not yet thought about the psychological consequences of these interruptions.
Leroy chose to alter the subject.
Her research went according to the following. The participants were allotted five minutes to
Complete a challenging word-puzzle. A few subjects were given with a variation of
the puzzle could be completed easily during this period, and many others were
The solution was a faulty one that could not be actually solved, assuring that the problem was not solved.
It would be inactive after five minutes had passed. Additionally,
Certain subjects were put under deadlines, and even the visual countdown
clock , and a reminder each 60 seconds of the amount of time was left.
While others were not given clues, and were told they shouldn’t be allowed to have
difficulty in completing the puzzle in time.
This set-up offered four possible combinations of
complete or incomplete, pressure or no pressure conditions to be tested. For each
In the initial five minutes, Leroy stunned the audience.
by requiring them to complete an exercise that is a common psychological one called a the lexical
The task was designed to determine precisely how much word
the puzzle remained in their minds for a way to call attention residue.
Leroy discovered that under low pressure, regardless of the subject
The task was completed and didn’t affect the level of attention
Remainder: in both cases the concepts that were related to the puzzle remained more focused on the
Subjects’ minds are more open than the concept of neutrality.
In high-pressure situations If the person didn’t finish the task,
similar amounts of attention relapse were found. The only exception was
High pressure in time and a successful task in this context, focus
The amount of residue is reduced. The residue was reduced. Leroy suggests that, when a task is restricted to the task, it is less likely to leave
A well-defined block of time that is complete during that block of time, this makes it much easier
to be able to move on in your mind, after you’re completed. (Unfortunately for us, it’s difficult
reasons, such as switching between emails or for instant
Messenger channels, we seldom have time-limits that are clearly defined for our
tasks or a feeling of satisfaction before switching.)
Then, Leroy replicated these conditions but this time, at the time of Leroy was the first to do so.
The task was completed, but instead of analyzing attention residual the subject
was immediately assigned to a new job that was designed to replicate the needs of the normal
job: analyzing and reading resumes to determine if they are suitable for an opening. The
Subjects’ performance in this test was analyzed by the number of details they provided.
I could recall the resumes, after looking them over in five minutes.
The link between the residue of attention and the performance of this second
The task was easy. The three factors that led to an increase in attention
All of them produced similar performance on the resume assessment task.
and this performance was significantly less than when the attention was low. concentration
residual condition. The longer the initial task was on the mind of the subject
The worse they performed when they were asked to complete the job.
“Every when you shift your focus from one task to the next you’re
basically, you are asking the brain off all the cognitive sources.”
Leroy explained to me what she was doing when I asked her about the work. “Unfortunately,
we’re not great at this.” She summarises the current situation in
Knowledge workers function in they operate in a condition of “divided attention” which knowledge workers operate as a state of “divided attention,”
The mind is not always able to reach the ability to shut down before switching tasks which can lead to an
A muddle of competing activations and inhibitions that add up to lower
Our performance. This is to say, Leroy identified a clear solution to the question
The question that accompanies her essay. Why is it so difficult to finish our job? Because our
Brains weren’t made to be able to keep two tracks of focus.
It’s not a job to email
I have a good friend who works as a management consultant and also a business advisor
A book lover (he has a self-improvement group at his business).
Naturally whenever we meet we enjoy a chat and about our work routines and
productivity. The first day of writing my book had an
Take a hike along a trail within Rock Creek Park, near his home in Washington, DC, and I
He outlined my concerns regarding email and what we could be better. He was
incredulous – quickly listing reasons why frequent email usage is more
There is more benefit than harm to his job as a leader of an entire team of
consultants. His answer was convincing, so following my hike raced to
Note his thoughts on my notepad.
The argument revolved around the efficiency of communication. Emailwas his weapon of choice.
explained, allowing him to “quickly connect with a variety of groups of people
to get things moving forward.” He said that when a member of his team was unable
stuck, a quick message from him might help the stuck person out, therefore it is not necessary to wait the time to read
breaks from his email inbox could greatly hinder the efficiency of his team.
He viewed himself as the conductor of an orchestra, who was responsible for his actions in check.
was coordinated. His his presence in the frantic scrum was the place
He believed he was the his most important.
Many feel the exact the way I do. They are aware of that
Some jobs may be more able to handle fewer interruptions however, not all jobs do.
In the face of the research presented earlier in this chapter
They’ll probably accept that continuous shifting of their attention is degrading their
cognition in the present the moment, but then be able to conclude that the present situation is
Not a problem as it’s crucial for them to be flexible to their team
or clients or clients. A friend of mine told me the next day, clients should be sharper than
Rock Creek Park: “Not everyone is able to do deep work every day.”
The meaning of this quote is that there’s an extremely small number of
careers that emphasize continuous critical thinking, for example, writers,
Scientists, programmers, but for all jobs, you’ll be at the center of everything
is an essential aspect of the task. There is a great illustration of this in Paul
Graham’s essay from 2009 that is often cited, “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s
In this article, Graham notes that for managers meetings are an essential part of their job.
A large portion of what they do throughout the day. However, for an individual maker, one meeting is a major part of their day.
could be “a catastrophe,” as it breaks the ability of workers to focus in an
challenging problem. It doesn’t matter if or not they’ve read Graham’s essay many
Knowledge workers, such as my consulting friend have taken on the concept of
The premise that non-distracted work is only relevant to small
A variety of jobs.
I’ve come across the belief that this partition isn’t as simple. It’s been used for a variety of reasons.
knowledge work , in fact, most of the capability to slow down, deal with
tasks in a sequential manner, and to give the task continuous focus is essential,
even if the job doesn’t often require continuous contemplation.
However, the flip aspect of this assertion is that for the vast majority of situations the hyperactive beehive
brain’s workflow, which thwarts attempts to clear your mind and reduces your ability to think clearly.
productive. The obvious fact is that constant switching of attention can be detrimental to
Graham’s producers, however, as I’ll demonstrate it’s equally harmful for
Management positions are correct to stress the importance of
ongoing communication regarding their job as it is right now. If your team is in constant communication, you must ensure that they are
currently , it operates with the hyperactive hive brain workflow currently using the hyperactive hive mind workflow, and if it’s
vital to watch your channels of communication closely. It is essential to keep a close eye on your hive mind.
Managers are usually in the middle of an connected ad-hoc connections – if they
If you take a step back, the machine grinds to a slow halt. However, given the
many ways that we can be working, but is this hyperactive message is really the most effective?
method to manage teams departments, entire companies?
If someone insists that on the fact that “yes,” I can’t avoid thinking about
A legendary person whose leadership style challenges this idea.
George Marshall was the US Army Chief of Staff in World War II,
This means that he basically ran the whole war effort. The name he chose might not match.
and also popularly referred to for Dwight Eisenhower (whom Marshall hand-selected to select
advancement) However, people who participated in the war have credited Marshall as an influencer.
important figure, or perhaps the most important person–in coordination of the Allies victory.
“Millions of Americans have rendered their country an exceptional service.” Harry
Truman once stated, “[but] General of the Army George C. Marshall made it clear that he had it.”
The year 1943 was the time that Marshall received the title of Time’s Man of Year. Not
years before he was named the nation’s first five-star general.19
I’m including Marshall this time due to an informative case study that I
I came across a piece of writing by an officer lieutenant colonel during the 1990s early on,
that combines several sources to explain the process by which Marshall was organized.
of the War Department and led it to victory.
The main point that pops out
the reason you’ve read these notes, you will notice that even the fact that Marshall was able to manage more people,
had a higher budget and was more complex as well as greater urgency. more demands.
stakes more than almost any manager ever has ever had,
We have rejected the appeal of an active, constantly-on method of
Marshall was Marshall became the army’s general of the staff, Marshall was confronted by an
Organizational structure where the chief had 30 majors and 350 minor
Commands under his supervision and over sixty officers having direct access to him.
to his. Marshall stated that the arrangement was “bureaucratic” as well as “red-taperidden.” It was no way to win the war, while trying to handle the
a flood of issues, big and small it would create. could
In the midst of messages and urgent phone calls and memos. He acted. He acted “ruthless”
Efficiency, Marshall took advantage of the presidency of President Franklin Roosevelt.
Recently, wartime powers were granted to completely change the structure of the War
Multiple agencies and commandments were consolidated into three major
divisions, all run by the general. Marshall took down a large staff of nearly
350 employees, operations and logistics officers to
twelve. Certain major divisions were cut off altogether. According to the report reveals, there were major divisions that were eliminated altogether.
The reorganization resulted in the opportunity for a smaller, less efficient staff, as well as
Reduce the paperwork down to the bare minimum. Additionally, it established straight lines of
authority. Finally, it released Marshall from the burden of his training as well as
supply. Marshall assigned responsibility to other while he resisted
him to focus on his strategy for the war and other major operations
People who remained in touch with Marshall were given an outline of the Marshall system
in their interaction, transforming their briefings to the general in an exercise
managed efficiency. You were told to go to his office and settle down
without saluting (to to). If Marshall’s signal is given to begin your salute, you’d start your
for a brief moment while he listened for a short time, listening “absolute attention.” In the event that he stumbled upon an
defect or something that’s not there or something that’s not there, he’d be angry for not having noticed
to resolve your issue prior to and he wasted his time. Once you’re done and sorted out the issue, he’d then you to follow up
If you are recommending something, consider it briefly, and then take the choice. He will then
Delegated to take action on the decision to you.
The most memorable characteristic was his insistence that he leave the
Office hours are every day from office hours are at 5:30 p.m. In the days before cellphones and email,
Marshall didn’t work an additional shift into the night after the time came to go home.
After experiencing burnout early during his professional career, the manager believed it was crucial to
Relax at night. “A man who was working himself to shreds on minor issues
was unable to deal with the most important problems of war,” he said once.
Marshall concentrated his efforts as a manager to make important decisions that
could affect the course of the could affect the outcome of the. This was a job that was assigned to him.
uniquely suited. Then, he relied on his team to make the decisions without
including Marshall involved in details. As Eisenhower recalls Marshall telling him:
“[The War Department] is full of skilled men who can analyze the challenges
Well, I do feel compelled to get them in touch with me for an answer. I
You must have assistants that will solve their own issues and inform me about the solution later
What they’ve accomplished.”
It is evident the fact that Marshall would have dismissed the argument that it’s
it is essential that managers be responsive and observant. The report
Marshall’s style of leadership accentuates repeatedly Marshall’s leadership style.
the general’s dedication to concentration particular in the area of the process of
important decisions, where he could be seen “thinking at an incredible speed as well as
With unmatched analytical capabilities.” This report highlights the
Attention Marshall paid to “reflection” and”big picture” strategy–trying to plan.
to remain one one step in front of complex challenges to stay ahead of the complex landscape of issues
Marshall was more efficient at his job due to his ability to concentrate on
crucial issues requiring full attention prior to moving on for the next.
If rather, he would have had accepted the status as it was of his War Department operation,
with 60 officers guiding him in their decision making process, and hundreds of
instructions to seek his approval of routine activities the command would have been for his approval on routine activity.
have fallen into the chaotic and unpredictably busy whirlwind, which is common to many
Managers, which certain would have hurt his performance.
Indeed, if the hyperactive hive brain workflow was to have persisted
during the 1940s War Department, we might have in the 1940s War Department, we might have lost the war.
Let’s consider for a second the question of whether you as a manager have a feeling of
You have the power to make Marshall-style adjustments to the way your team operates.
works, and it is one of the topics I discuss in the final section of the book.
(Hint You probably have more flexibility than you think regarding
You can reduce your responsibility in observing the smallest details.) The most important lesson I’d like to gain is
The lesson Marshall’s story teaches can be seen that the management process is more than
responsiveness. In fact, as described in the previous chapter, the commitment to
In the long run, your responsiveness could hinder the ability of you to take informed decisions .
plan for future challenges — the heart of Marshall’s success, and in many
Situations can affect your ability to achieve the bigger picture objectives of management. When you are in the
In the short-term managing your team using an hive mind workflow may be a bit to be flexible
It’s convenient and easy and easy to use, but in the longer time, your progress towards the goal you want to achieve is important.
It will be slowed.
There is evidence for this assertion in a research paper
The article is titled “Boxed In Your Inbox” released in 2019, by The Journal of
Applied Psychology, which used various daily surveys to analyze the impact of psychology on
of email regarding the effectiveness of an organization of forty-eight managers from various
One of the authors of the paper described their findings as follows:
This is as follows: “When managers are the ones who are trying to recover from the effects of email
interruptions, they fail to meet their goals, they neglect managerresponsibilities and their subordinates don’t have the leadership behavior
They need to be successful.” If the amount of these messages increase the
Managers are more likely to rely to “tactical” actions to
maintain a feeling of short-term productivity–tackling small tasks and
responding to inquiries, while not focusing on the larger image, George
Marshall-style “leadership” behavior patterns that aid an organization in making
the progress towards its objectives. In the end of the paper: “Our research suggests
the dangers of e-mail requests could have been overlooked.
due to its effect on the behavior of leaders and the impact on their effectiveness leadership
behavior is likely to be passed on to negatively impact followers who aren’t aware of it.”
With these new insights Let’s go back to my friend’s trailside joke:
“Not everyone is doing intense work every day.” Note that this statement applies
to Marshall to Marshall trains or flights Marshall rarely was able to sit for long periods of time.
Time spent thinking of big ideas on one topic. However, he also tried to avoid getting caught up in
A trap for responsiveness. He didn’t go around extinguishing fires, rather, he
We systematically addressed the issues that were important in a systematic manner, giving each of them the
the attention it deserves prior to moving onto the next. The way I’ll argue it,
Managers aren’t the only employees for whom clarity of thought is
-Let’s shift our focus to minders instead of managers Minders is my personal term.
to fulfill the variety of tasks for the many different roles that require administrative or logistical support
in knowledge work organisations. Much more than managers, minders
The positions are an obvious situation where the ability to respond is a crucial aspect.
A part of the part of the. Is this the case?
For an example that is I have come across in my professional environment take a look at an
administrator who assists academic professors.
department. The administrator is likely to operate in a hyper-active hive mind
workflow that is where urgent emails are received all over the day. If
If you surveyed the professors in the department you’re considering, they most likely
They argue that this workflow beneficial, due to admins are better able to react
rapid response to inquiries is essential to their effectiveness!
If you look at it more closely there is a distinct distinction between
sharing information about tasks and doing communicating about tasks and actually carrying them out. They actually work together.
The activities of a person are usually involved in conflict. A minder role which was identified recognized this
Conflict resulted in IT support. When desktop computers were spread across offices, the
The 1980s and 1990s brought with them the demand for a brand new kind of
Employees of these organizations Information technology professionals
to fix computers after they failed. The more computers were damaged, the harder it was to fix them.
complex, the demands placed on IT departments became demanding–with
angry users who have a problem calling and emailing with urgent issues or to verify
Concerning previous on previously reported issues. There was a trap: IT staff were to report issues previously reported, IT staff waited to fix the issue, they would be able to delay
in response to these calls as well as responding to these emails, employees they backed responded to these calls and emails, and the employees they supported
might be angry however, if they committed their lives to being completely attentive to their needs, they
would not have the time required to fix the issues.
To resolve this issue the departments started to work together
customized software tools that later were later referred to as ticketing systems. In general
Inspired by the traditional model of help desks that were physical inspired by the old model of physical help desks, where you would be
You were given a ticket to exchange for the broken piece of machine you had brought
to be repaired to be repaired, these systems automatized the majority of the tasks in communication
in issues related to related to monitoring, submitting, and IT problems.22
In their current versions they function according to the following. If
You have a concern You have a problem, you address that is similar to
firstname.lastname@example.org. The software that manages tickets is aware of this address and
If it is able to identify your query when it sees your query, it identifies the issue and then contacts you.
data and assigns it an identifier and then submits the data as an “ticket”
within the system. It also responds to your emails. it will respond to your email informing you of the change
The issue has been identified and we are giving you directions on how you can check it.
In the ticketing system the problem is categorised and usually
given a priority — this could be automatic or may require investigation by an
employee who oversees the staff member who monitors. If you’re part of the IT staff, you’ll be a member of the team who is responsible for monitoring IT
The team that uses the system, after you sign into the system, you’re only shown the tickets available to you.
You can apply for your specialization and then choose the one you are most interested in working on. It is possible to
At this point, you concentrate on the issue you are interested in until you are finished or have reached an appropriate
Stopping point at which further assistance could be needed. Once you’ve completed the task,
You return to the queue to choose the next ticket you want to take on. If progress is being made
updated, they are automatically sent directly to the individual who initially made the submission. Updates are automatically sent to the person who originally
the issue, and staff members can follow the progress of your issue and offer suggestions.
for help when you’re stuck.
Systems for ticketing have become a major business due to the fact that they’ve
In the past, it has been demonstrated that it reduces IT costs by having trained technicians are more efficient.
help solve issues faster. They also improve satisfaction by helping to solve problems more quickly.
organization and clarity in the process of resolving technical problems. The
The foundation on which this efficiency is based is the fact that you communicate about
Tasks often get blocked from completing the task. The more tasks you can delegate
This communication is coming from the cognition area of the staff the greater
Effective they are at accomplishing their goals.
We’ll return to our previous example of departmental admin. Although
the trade-off between communication and execution is currently well
While it is widely used within it’s understood in the IT setting, but it’s generally ignored by other minders.
positions. The hypothetical admin as an initial IT professional,
is overwhelmed by messages, and is worried that his life will be destroyed could be a problem if he turns off
Any of his email threads with stressed professors, he’ll invite
frustration. The resultant hyperactive hive mind communications then
He is unable to make sense of the complex and subtle
problems he’s trying to solve issues for the professors in first issue in the first.
To put this in a more concrete way To make it more concrete: the same week I started writing my first
The draft chapter for instance, I sent the department’s administrative staff an email
regarding a postdoc I was looking to hire through the research grant. The postdoc was
The original plan was to begin towards the end of summer, however due to visa issues, the program was delayed.
In order to resolve the issues, he was required to postpone his departure in January. This was a clear message
To write, however, its effects were subtle, as it involved budgets, HR as well as office
space allocations, in addition to other effects. Making a plan efficiently
React to this date change would take some thoughtful consideration to make a decision, however I
It was hard not to think about how the right space to think about this is difficult to find in the current environment.
the process of addressing my request has been being delayed by numerous other emails I have received.
Most likely, our administrator will be demanding focus that very morning.
We often consider those who have the responsibilities of minders as automatons that are
They are busy completing their tasks, one after the other while they make their way to work
input from chat channels and. However, this is a different perspective.
in a manner that dismisses with a smile the intellectually demanding nature of this task.
My postdoc’s start date issue isn’t any more difficult than pulling
with a clever strategy memo or sharp chunk in computer programming. It
follows that embedding minders into a concentration-eroding hyperactive
Hive mind workflow, although at first glance, it is a good idea to
the people who interact with them, diminish their capacity to perform their work effectively. They are
we have learned from the case that we learned from the example IT ticketing and payment systems. as long as we could somehow
Create space between execution and communication, those who play these positions
The tasks in front of them easier to complete.
The discussion on minders is essential because of this professional responsibility.
is how far you can go from Paul Graham’s vision of makers.
working for hours on one problem that is difficult or
but, despite the more diverse and administrative duties of
Minders, the hyperactive mind is still causing issues. To
This study concludes on the efficiency and hive mind, but,
We’ll quickly veer back to the narrow side of the spectrum, and then look
more detail about what’s actually in the balance more about what’s at stake when constant communication invades the
the world of those who design useful things using their minds.
As I discovered following the publication of my book in 2016, Deep Work, people love to read.
Hearing stories of creative people retreating into a state of utter silence
isolation to create amazing work. One of the most popular is the ways of Maya
Angelou She spoke in an interview in 1983, revealing she was writing when she was in the process of writing.
By five thirty, she was soon after that she went in a hotel room for work
with no distractions. “[It’san incredibly small room that has one bed, and occasionally,
If I can find it or find it, it could be a face basin” she said. “I keep a dictionary, a Bible, a
A deck of cards as well as sherry bottle in the room.”23
in solitude writing, she wrote until about 2.30 in the afternoon unless she stopped writing was not a priority.
She was well-flowing was flowing well, and in this case she carried on until her energy had diminished.
When she was finished she went through the notes she’d made, then uncluttered her mind,
She took a shower and then took drinks with her husband before having dinner.
When people hear stories that resemble that of the late Maya Angelou’s
acknowledge that constant concentration can support the creation process.
endeavors. If we transfer these projects to the office but,
where escaping to a dark hotel with a bottle sherry is likely to be
is a source of ridicule for even the most committed productivity hacker, but the
importance of the relationship between value and focus begins to fade.
A while ago I, for instance, was informed by an engineer that he wrote a report on
technical white papers to aid the Silicon Valley start-up. The papers were
difficult to put together, but essential for the marketing of the business.
efforts. According to the engineer who spoke to me the engineer was having trouble with his
doing his job since the startup was engulfed by the hyperactive mind of a hive.
workflow. “If you don’t respond promptly to Slack messages, you’ll be in trouble. Slack communication,” he said, “you
We were, ironically enough, thought as slacking off.”
Inspirated by my writings on these issues The engineer created an
meeting with his meeting with his CEO. He presented the findings of his CEO’s meeting. the importance of the CEO’s attention is impacted.
switching can reduce cognitive performance. the reason for his concern about
the constant interruptions that impeded his constant interruptions to his work. He admitted the fact that
Refraining from complete solitude, Angelou-style would cause
difficulties, as other individuals in his team were required to communicate with him in an ongoing basis.
on a regular basis. He sought advice from the CEO on how to increase the value the company was generating.
Produced for the produced for the. “As shortly as I asked him this inquiry,” he told me,
“it was obvious that it was foolish to think that I be spending all of my time in
the time, or in a condition responsiveness] because it triggered certain events
They agreed to work for four hours per day – 50 percent of his time.
Work hours in a non-distraction-free environment and the remaining 50% connected
to the hive mind workflow. In order to achieve this the team put aside two hours every morning, and a 2 hour time each afternoon
that the engineer was thought to be to be untouchable. The CEO explained that
A brand new set-up for the engineer’s team. “It took them around an entire week to adapt to
the issue, it was no longer an issue,” he told me. In the end, the engineer’s
productivity has significantly increased, with only minor negative effects. The main difference is that productivity increased.
The surprise of all this was the fact that up until the engineer took over the issue, there was nothing
no one has ever considered whether their methods of working
Was actually working.
Nish Acharya’s story in this book’s introduction offers a different
A case study of a situation in which it is acknowledged that focused thought is essential,
But the processes that are implemented can make these efforts almost impossible. It
It wasn’t until Acharya’s servers for email were taken off temporarily that he realized
The team was able to get the “whitespace” needed to identify the strategy of his team.
Journalists also suffer from the same discord. A while ago I was having a chat with a journalist.
with a well-known journalist who started his own media firm. He
Lamented the fact that the fact that he regretted that he was “required” to check Twitter to ensure that there was no error.
wasn’t missing breaking news, a fact that hindered his ability to
efficiently write great stories. I noticed the fact that his workplace was filled with young people.
Tech-savvy interns who want to make it through the door of the profession.
“Wouldn’t it be more sensible that one keep an eye on Twitter and make calls
What would you do if something crucial occurred?” I asked. I was thinking
It never came to his mind, he simply assumed that some disorientation was the cause.
costs of running a business.
The majority of people accept that the hyperactive mind is
The workflow can reduce the efficiency of the makers. However it is true that
This workflow is very efficient. In this sense, as long as you can reap the benefits of
the focus remains ambiguous The result could seem like a wash, but focus is a bit
The loss in productivity is compensated by an increase in the ability to manage.
When we’re able to be specific about what could be gained from making
can be derived from hyperactive communications The trade-offs can be made suddenly
The result is extremely large and lopsided. Similar to the white-paper-writing
engineer or Acharya in the case of makers, stepping away from the bees.
mind workflow isn’t just about changing productivity habits, but rather, it’s about
substantial boosts in effectiveness. If these benefits are clearly explained, they
is harder to justify their loss to gain the additional convenience of
Beyond the Hive Mind
I began the chapter by telling the account of Sean who’s team was destroyed by
the demands of the hyperactive mind. He was sceptical of
the communication was somehow slowing down the efficiency of their team. We
Now we know, the scientist was right, and this workflow conflict with the human brain’s in
ways to make tasks more difficult to accomplish.
Contrary to many who share the same suspicions he decided to go ahead with his plan
Something about it.
As Sean said to me about the abrupt defection of his two project supervisors was a shock.
The incident rattled him. “This caused me to stop to think about the things that
Doing,” he said. “To inquire what this is communicating present more danger than
Are you satisfied?” Sean and his co-founders decided to make radical changes.
They closed their Slack servers and moved email to a tool
commonly used for coordination with outside entities of that are not part of the company. Attracted by
this assertion, I this claim, I Sean in the middle in the phone conversations and
I requested for him to check his email account during our discussion and then let me know what was inside.
it. He was pleased to do so and included a letter from the company’s
A support ticket, an accountant from a web hosting service they use to support a particular
of their work of their projects, some bills from their contractors of their projects, a note from of a
freelancer with whom they worked on an exciting new project. There was no internal communications or needing an immediate response. Sean was known to
transmit messages up to send messages up to a.m. all each day. Then, as he wrote, “on a normal
Every day, I check my email at least every day.” Sometimes he isn’t able to get around checking his email.
Inbox is not even there anytime.
Email and Slack were crucial to Sean’s firm Slack and email are
the way his team worked together and interacted with the customers. If Sean
These tools were eliminated, but without replacing the purpose they were used for
Alternative processes, his company might have been ruined. In the wake of the
different kinds of concepts that are discussed in the book to come but he also the principles into practice.
Alternatives were available, and they worked perfectly.
Sean divided his day into two blocks: a daytime block as well as an afternoon one. The afternoon block was completed at
at the start of each block, the team gathers in person, along with the occasional
Remote worker joins using videoconferencing software to discuss the
Blocks to come. “Each person will be able to cover three aspects that include: what they did today,
what they’re up to at the moment, and what challenges they’re facing or obstacles they’re facing
Feeling,” Sean told me. “It is only for about 15 minutes.” Then everybody
is something that is very rare in our present time of
Connectivity: They simply workfor hours in succession and without any inboxes
to look up chat channels or check the website to watch to monitor chat channels until the block is gone.
For the client the company has now included an item in their contract
which explains precisely what it will (and implicitly won’t) communicate with
the client. For the majority of clients, this will mean an annual phone call to offer
Updates and answers to questions are immediately followed by an
Written document that outlines the entire discussion. Sean’s cofounder,
the person who manages these relationships was scared that their clients could be
I was furious to hear that access to them was restricted. The fear was not justified.
–The clients appeared to be awed by the clarity of expectations. “They are
Absolutely thrilled,” Sean said.24
I’m sharing the changes Sean implemented because I’ve learned from
discussing this subject in the past and many will continue to continue to defend the
Hyperactive Hive Mind Workflow, even after there is evidence to prove its harmful effects
presented. The counter argument is based on the assertion that this process is
Somehow essential. They’ll admit that all this communication is
may slow our brains it is possible that they slow down our brains, but they cannot imagine any other plausible
Methods to finish work. Sean shows that you feel the pain, you will know
the issues you’re trying avoid and the benefits you’re trying to enhance and other
Part 2 will go deeper into the concepts for developing these
alternative options to consider, but before we go onto the next level that is beyond our hive brain we
First, we must confront the equally important argument in opposition to this method of
work and not only reduce our productivity, but it also makes us miserable.
This is a fact that has huge implications for the individual’s well-being as well as theirs.
and stability of the organization. This is the reason why we are now turning to
(hopefully not to be too (hopefully not too) pay attention.