Habits and Best Practices
Last updated by Tim Delhaes 19 days ago
When you come online, say hello and when you leave, say goodbye. It’s a good way of connecting with people. Colleagues may need to talk to you; they can easily reach out if they know you are around. When you check out, ensure you do it ahead of time. For instance, you can give a heads-up 15 minutes before you leave.
Research shows that spending 10 minutes to plan your day can save up to 2 hours of wasted time and diffused effort. At Grindery, we believe that sharing your plans for the day will increase your productivity, help you track daily progress, and give others an avenue to make valuable inputs as needed.
In a bad mood? Or not feeling well? By stating your mind, you will feel good about yourself, avoid regrets, and help others understand you. It will also improve your relationship with colleagues.
In a one-on-one conversation or video call, if you as a listener nod your head, it gives the speaker the vibe that you are interested in the discussion and paying attention. The same applies to a remote collaboration, where you don’t get to see the other parties. Ask questions and do not ignore questions from others. Use emojis where necessary, e.g., a thumbs up for a point you agree with. Be active in deliberations by making comments and contributing your opinions.
Sometimes, you get too many messages that it may become difficult to keep track of everything. There is a way forward! It’s called DISCIPLINE! When you see a message on something you can handle immediately, address it asap. For messages that take you some time to address, you can give a check mark indicating that you have noted the message while you star the message and review when there is enough time to address it. You can do this twice a day.
We can’t remember everything. Therefore, you should set reminders to stay on track with time-sensitive tasks. Your most important priorities will remain top of mind even when you forget them. To increase your productivity while setting reminders, state a few specific actions you need to take. You may also tag someone that you need to consult.
This is a good strategy to keep communication seamless. Think before you write, read what you write; think about it again, write and read. Repeat until you are sure you have distilled your thoughts, then, press send. Also, rather than send a series of small sentences in a channel, it is better to put the message together and send it once.
It is critical to post messages in the right place. If a message relates to a thread, respond to it in that thread. Also, don’t send a message for channel A to channel B. And when a message carries personal or confidential information, send a DM to the appropriate person. Finally, if you need to quote or mention someone in your post, do so but not too often.
Choose the right tool for the right task. Stay in Slack for conversations. Use Loom to make explainer videos. Leverage Google Docs to create a document, edit and collaborate in real-time. Jump on a call for a quick discussion. And schedule a Zoom conference when necessary. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure you use the best tool to address a problem.
Make it easy for people to understand your point by using formatting options. If your messages or document are well formatted, your audience will follow you easily.
At least once a day, check what’s happening on the other side. From Slack to Telegram to Discord, ensure you are not missing anything.
Share documents on time and with the right people. Since Grindery is an open-source project, you can make documents public but ensure they do not contain confidential information. When you are not sure, ask questions from the right authority!
Having a conversation about scheduling a meeting may stretch over several days if you do not do it smartly. For this, you should work with relative times or time zones. For instance, you can say, “let’s meet 1 hour from now” or share your Calendly for the other party to grab a slot.
Sometimes, you do not have the time you think you have. If you are not sure about your availability, let people know.
This is super easy yet important. Aside from updating your avatar, name, and bio, you can also add your scheduling link, phone number, and social profiles.
When you schedule a call, take full advantage of it. Set a goal and an agenda. Record your meeting so you can go back in case you forget something. Do a 2-minute summary at the end of the call highlighting the action items and decisions reached at the meeting. When you share the recording, people can start with the summary to get up to speed.
If you are in Slack referring to a Google doc, link the doc! If you are in Asana talking about a task, link the task! If you update a Figma design, drop the link! It saves time and makes life easy for everyone.
Let’s help ourselves and hold each other up to abide by these best practices toward creating a productive and prosperous partnership. Cheers!
Cross reviewed and approved
(can be found in video above)
Additions suggested by Tim
Additions suggested by Alberto
Do not abuse of threads. Try to keep threads around one single topic. Open a new conversation when a new topic arises
Always have the TimezoneConverter at hand so you can quickly know other team members time zones
I really like the sharing of the plans in the appropriate channels. But the communication needs to be short and crisp so that it does not become an administrative burden. Also, isnt this duplicate of Asana task status? Do we have daily standups in the dev cycle? Askin here because we need to avoid duplicate communication effort where it can be avoided.
I dont like the state of mind thing. It is not up to others to manage my emotions - it is my responsibility. We are running a business, not a psychiatric clinic. This is important. If I am in a “bad mood” it is my responsibility to not project my shitty attitude on my coworkers or to tell them about it with an emoji and then expect people to manage my feelings. This is a huge problem in our culture and sets up a victim narrative that we dont want in the business. Professional adults should behave like professional adults.
On starring messages, very good practice. Alterative is to slackbot reminder it. This is what I use. Haha, you just said it. But I actually use the reminder as a task reminder for everything I cant get to right away.
The rest which is more "how to" is great for best practices and habits, especially for people who are new to the remote slack environment.
Something to think about: we need to reduce noise and shifting priorities. What habits can lead to that?
9. Whats the best tool? Someone within the group should be the technology solutions expert and keep an eye out for new updates, tools, and processes that improve our productivity.
I would add making an effort on certain occasions to understand people who are not in their native language. It is a weakness sometimes but it is part of our essence to help others grow as professionals, I am very grateful for that.
Put the right title to your recording in Zoom to improve your search when documenting.
We have to invest time in raising awareness and avoiding neuroses, misinterpretations, waiting without response, isolation, etc. It is a common problem of working remotely and where we should invest time.
We need the best wiki in the remote market, we are a huge example and we have the experience and depth for it.