It Depends

I work in Growth at Twitter. I co-founded Summify, now part of Twitter. I like coding and startups.

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Email More, Faster

The more efficient you email, the more time you spend emailing.

This may sound a little counter-intuitive but it’s easy to see why it’s true. If you get good at managing email then you start to use it for to-do lists, alerts, customer service, knowledge base, and so on. Plus, your responsiveness is inviting other people to email you even more.

The time you save by having a more efficient email system is offset by the new demands you put on it.

I think the same principle holds for many other productivity tools:

  • If you learn how to run efficient meetings, you’re going to start using them more often to get things done. Overall you’ll be spending more time in meetings than before.
  • If you get good at using your calendar, you’re going to start using it for reminders, birthdays, vacation plans, etc. and thus spend more time overall managing your calendar.
  • If you get good at Evernote...

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Communication vs. Insight

Most communication issues stem from lack of insight.

If you’re stuck in the middle of saying something, constantly re-editing your message, unable to find the right words, step back for a moment. It’s not because you lack eloquence. Most likely, you’re stuck because you don’t fully understand what you want to say. You haven’t decided yet.

We tend to complain and focus on the apparent communication issues: “I’m not eloquent!”, “my emails are too long”, “my slides are too complex”, or “my elevator pitch needs more polish”, and on and on. It turns out, however, that communication is easy once you really understand what you want.

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