Focus in the Workplace — Comp + Coffee: Ep. 26

It’s an elusive thing in today’s workplace: focus.

How can you get anything done with Slack, your work email, your personal email, your office phone ringing, texts coming in, and ten thousand other notifications going off on your cell?

The easy answer? You can’t!

On today’s episode of Comp + Coffee, we’re talking about the importance (and the struggle) of focus. We’ll also be offering up some tips and tricks for combating the many distractions of your day.

As always, if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe. And don’t forget to give us a 5-star rating!

 

For a full transcription of the episode, see below.

 

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Shawn: Hey, Bill.

Bill: Hello, Shawn. How are you?

Shawn: I’m excited.

Bill: Me, too.

Shawn: Are you?

Bill: This is about as good as it gets…

Shawn: Hmm. Well, welcome…

Bill: …with me.

Shawn: …welcome to “Comp + Coffee.”

Bill: Thanks.

Shawn: Bill is here. Kaite’s here.

Kaite: I am here.

Shawn: All right. So we’re here today to talk about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart: focus, and what that means to me, and let’s talk about it then, is a lot of us get inundated in any given day and are forced into a reactive mode, right? People will come and request a lot of things of us. They’ll take of our time. Email, in and of itself, is a whole additional topic to this, right? It’s your to-do list, basically, that other people can put on your plate. So when that happens and when you’re starting to feel like you’re totally reactive and overwhelmed, what do you do? All right.

And so I wanted to talk through some examples of this, but the general thing is, and I’ll credit Dharmesh Shah from HubSpot with this specific part. He said something to the effect of, “If you wanna get one thing done a day, write a list of five things and cross four of them off.” Because with all those interruptions, that’s about what it’s gonna come down to, is you’ll get one solid thing done a day. So pick your one thing and focus on it. But I’m curious, like, why does this happen? Why are we in this spot that we’re in today?

Kaite: I also, I always wonder, like, how much has the internet affected this? Like, I’ve only worked, you know…

Bill: In the internet age.

Kaite: …in the internet age. Was it as chaotic, or were people as distracted before the internet, when you could have, you know… We all sit with, like, a million tabs open and jumping from one thing to the other.

Bill: Well, I think it’s… That’s a great take, a great question. I think accessibility. It’s not just the internet, but technology.

Shawn: I agree.

Bill: And that all of these great technology discoveries have made all of us so much more accessible, you know. And, Shawn, you just hit on a couple things, and I was, as you were talking, I was thinking it’s, like, you know, at work, I have my desk phone, and I have my cell phone. My cell phone actually rings when people call, and it dings when people text, and then you have email, and you have Slack, or and you have, you know…

Shawn: And…

Bill: …other internal communication systems…

Shawn: ….and guess what every single one of those things is wired for?

Kaite: Immediate response.

Shawn: It’s wired to give you a dopamine hit so that you feel like an immediate response is productivity. You’re, like, “Oh, I’m responding to all these Slack messages. Hey, look how much I’m getting done. Oh, I got all these texts going. Oh, I’m, like, I’m the quarterback today. Everything is getting done.” But all you’re doing is just solving, and actually, exacerbating your addiction to dopamine.

Bill: I mean, it’s like everybody has turned into an operator from, like, the 1920s when the phone system started, and you’re just like…

Shawn: That’s right. That’s a good question.

Bill: …take a question and plug it into another port for an answer, and you’re just bouncing information around.

Shawn: And so I think what you hit on though, Bill, is the interesting part, it’s not the internet necessarily. It’s all the technology, which years past when we used to do computation on actual spreadsheets, not on spreadsheets in Excel but actual spreadsheets and you had to…

Bill: Pieces of paper.

Shawn: Pieces of paper.

Kaite: What’s that?

Shawn: Yeah. The gridded sheets. Years past when you would have to do that, you could leave your work at work and leave at 5:00, and there is no way for that to follow you home. Nobody is gonna deliver a memo to you in the middle of the night, ring your doorbell, or wake you up, right? And be like, “By the way…”

Kaite: How ludicrous does that sound?

Shawn: “…here’s a memo from somebody in the West Coast. I wanted to make sure you saw this before 7 a.m.” But that’s, effectively, what email does to us today, right? We all have these ding set up because we want the dopamine hit. We have a phone with us all the time. We feel the need to check even if we know it’s gonna stress us out, right? Or cause us to think about work when we’re in the middle of spending time with our family, when we’re in the middle of relaxing, when we’re in the middle of enjoying a weekend.

Kaite: Vacation.

Shawn: When we’re on vacation, right? And that builds up this external pressure, too, depending on your organization, that there’s a belief that you should do that or there’s a cultural norm that you should do that in some companies. And, yeah, I think it makes us more accessible, right? In a bad way, I’d argue.

Kaite: Yeah. I mean, I think even if, like, even if you are at a company or on a team where it’s clearly communicated that they can put… If you’re at home, be at home, you know. Like, you don’t need to respond immediately, or you don’t need to respond to those Slack messages the instant they hit you. I think you still feel, and I’m obviously speaking for myself here, like, some sort of internal pressure to do that, you know, or I feel like I have to communicate it out on the days that I’m not gonna be responsive, as responsive. I feel like I have to be like, “Heads up, everyone. I’m not gonna be immediately answering your messages.”

Bill: Or we all have those people that we work with that we know have trained us that they’re not as responsive as others, which is a good way of them clearing…

Kaite: Setting barriers.

Bill: …their plate and pushing more things onto other people.

Shawn: Well, then… But that’s one of the tips they give you, in theory, if you can live in a perfect world, that you would check your email only twice a day and not first thing when you come in. And so how many of us do that? How many of us don’t immediately go into the inbox?

Bill: Oh, I clear the inbox first thing because it’s been filled overnight.

Kaite: It’s, honestly, it depends on my day. Usually, like, I’m remote several days a week, so when I’m here, usually, I, like, come right in and I’m doing… Like, I have lots of meetings, face-to-face meetings, to make up for the lack of face-to-face meetings on the days I’m remote, so if I’m in the office, I’m less responsive to email. But if I’m home, half of those distractions that come with working in the office are eliminated. So, I don’t know, for me, personally, it just depends on where I’m working from.

Shawn: I always know if I’m deep into a project, if I don’t immediately check email and that’s because I’ll come in and I’m, like, “I have a really good idea,” or “I need to push through this today. And I know in the morning, my creativity is the highest, right? My ability to just focus and concentrate and get stuff done and do it in a thoughtful way is the highest. It’s going to wean throughout the day. So then I’ll check my email in the afternoon. I’ll respond to what needs to be responded to. But, I’m a firm believer that these things like Slack or HipChat or Instagram… I don’t even have an account. I believe they’re all these massive distractions that just suck away our time and don’t give us anything back, right? They just force you into reactive mode on top of things that are already forcing you into reactive mode.

Like, if you’re in computation, you know, a manager coming to you and being like, “I need a market pricing on this job today. I need to level all my employees today and see where they’re at because somebody else is paying a quarter up the street, and we need to know what’s going on.” Right? And that’s when it’s on top of…on top of it, it’s already your season for salary budgeting. It’s already your season for survey participation, right? We have all these, like, normal drum beat kind of stuff. That layer is on top, and then we have all these other apps on top of that that are, like, just people pinging you all day, not worried about your time, and they expect an immediate response, right? There’s all of this stuff that just kind of compounds now.

Kaite: So do either of you turn off notifications on your phone, like, push notifications or email, like, the little bubble that pops up saying you have emails?

Shawn: I don’t have any…

Bill: No.

Shawn: …other than text messages.

Kaite: Same. I have… Oh, I have, like, a couple other ones related to, like, home security stuff. But, like, yeah. Like, if someone’s breaking into my home, I kind of want to know that. But, like, text messages is all I have. I don’t have email on there. And I did that, I feel like a couple of years ago when I realized that I just was, like, I felt like I was, like, a captive by my phone all of the time.

Bill: You’re a slave to your phone.

Kaite: I mean, I still am, but not as bad. And I was, I… It’s funny. We were having this, that we are having this conversation today because I was just talking about this with a friend last night, who, I have an Apple watch. My friend just got the Apple watch and was saying that, like, he’s responding to every notification that, it’s, like, twice now, basically. It’s coming onto his phone, and it’s coming on his watch, and I was like, “You gotta turn that shit off.” Like, “What is wrong with you?”

Shawn: It sounds terrible.

Kaite: Yeah. I was like, “You’re gonna kill yourself.”

Shawn: Turn that shit off, Bill.

Bill: Are we allowed to say that on the podcast?

Shawn: Sure. I’ll put the explicit tag on this one.

Kaite: Sorry. Want me to… I can…

Shawn: Every now and again, we drop a swears. It is what it is.

Kaite: I can re-state that.

Bill: Like, a lot of this is reminding me of the, a podcast that, a different podcast. Are we allowed to talk about other people’s podcasts?

Shawn: Fine, Bill. If you want other people to deviate away from our bi-weekly podcast and listen to others, go for it.

Bill: I’m gonna forget who’s podcast it was, though, but it was a… I guess more important is the guest was Jason Fried from Basecamp.

Kaite: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Shawn: He wrote a great book about…

Bill: He wrote a book about this…

Shawn: …that relates to this. Yes.

Bill: …you know, and talks about how at his company, that they don’t even let you schedule meetings through online calendars because his belief, and I think this is gonna resonate with a lot of people listening, his belief is that it’s become too easy to get time on people’s calendars, and therefore, more people are invited to more meetings than need be.

Kaite: For sure.

Bill: Because if you just go click, click, you know, these people are available and we’re gonna have a meeting. And that his thought was, if you want somebody’s time, you need to work a little harder to get it. And his goal is he wants all his people spending more time doing the big projects that they’re being paid for and less time going to meetings and being interrupted with instant messages and emails even.

Shawn: There were two things that he said, and I think the podcast was Kara Swisher’s “Recode Decode,”…

Bill: Yeah, it was. You’re right.

Shawn: …at least that’s where I heard him.

Bill: You’re right. You’re right. Yes.

Shawn: He said a couple of things that resonated me with me, so you should go listen to that. It was probably a couple months ago now, but it was a great, great podcast, and read his book. He’s got a couple of them that are really solid. But he said, one, calendars anymore are like playing a game of Tetris. And that resonated so much.

Kaite: Oh, my God.

Shawn: It’s like, where can I find a block of time where these six people can get together and…

Kaite: Seven months from now. Cool.

Shawn: Right. So… And that then…

Kaite: Guess we’re never gonna talk.

Shawn: That happens. So decisions…

Bill: That’s how we schedule these podcasts.

Shawn: That’s…

Kaite: Yeah, kinda.

Shawn: Touché, Bill. But decisions are delayed as a result of that, right? And you need to know that you have the power, and this is the organizational dependent, but you have the power to make those decisions in that vacuum, right? Errors of action, all right? But, secondly, the thing he said was, and I think one of the reasons he started, for having that conversation first, at least I know this personally and I feel like that came from him as well, if somebody comes and asks you first, “Hey, Bill, we’re thinking about recording a podcast next Thursday. Is that all right? Here’s the topic. Let’s talk about it a little bit.” Right? It’s more that personal interaction and less just something getting dumped on your calendar, and you’re like…

Kaite: Rather than you showing up to a meeting, yeah.

Shawn: …”What is this?”

Bill: Right.

Shawn: “What am I here for? What did I have to plan for?” Right? It’s way more of that personal interaction that I think we are sorely lacking, obviously, in the workplace now.

Kaite: And across the board, too.

Shawn: Yeah. This is Robert Putnam is bowling alone. Right? Like, this is the… It’s societal changes that have been driven largely by technology, I would argue, that are enabling us to be more isolated.

Bill: Yeah. It’s funny because as you say that, there’s an interesting little nuance in there that when you, you know, come to my office and say, “We’re gonna record a podcast next Thursday, and this is the topic,” you’re expecting me to respond and ask a question or say, “Yeah, that’s good,” or “I have a thought.” And so, it’s, the word you used was interaction, which when you put it on my calendar, isn’t an interaction. It’s a statement from you to me. Certainly, conversation is possible, or a back and forth is possible, but it’s not real-time, and I can’t see your face when I say, “Oh, here is my idea for that podcast.” But, you know, in a two-minute interaction like in the hallway or in one of our offices, you can get an awful lot accomplished that you can’t do via…

Kaite: Literally, like, the…

Bill: …online calculations.

Kaite: …the scheduling of this podcast.

Bill: Right.

Shawn: But, actually, I think really good ideas spark that way, right? Is when that happens. You’ll come at it from a different angle. Kaite will come at it from a different angle, and go like, “Oh, yeah, we should add all those in and talk about it.”

Bill: Right. Exactly.

Shawn: Not just…

Bill: Not… Right. It’s…

Shawn: …bullet points in…

Bill: It’s not that sanitized…

Shawn: Sorry, Tessa, we’re not taking shots at you.

Bill: …communication.

Shawn: I promise. We are all guilty of this, right? Because this is a perfect world we’re talking about.

Kaite: So this brings me back, I guess, to my original question. Like, was before the internet, before you just could slap, you know, time on someone’s calendar, were people, obviously, people interacted more, but were people more productive because of this? Because you would go and have that immediate conversation of like, “Hey,” not just like, “Hey, we should do a podcast. Don’t know what it’s about. We’ll figure it out as time gets closer.” But, like, “Hey, Bill, do you wanna do a podcast on Thursday?” “Oh, what could we talk about?” “We can talk about focus in the workplace.” Yada. Yada. Yada. “Hear are my thoughts.” “Okay. Cool.”

Bill: True, but then the amount of time and effort and ease of doing research for said podcast was much higher. And now I’m gonna go into the, like, the, as I look around, clearly, the old person in the room. Yes, I worked long before the internet.

Kaite: Sorry. I keep looking at you for these questions, too.

Bill: You know…

Kaite: Bill, tell us about the Dark Ages.

Shawn: [inaudible 00:13:14] to you, apparently.

Kaite: Sorry.

Bill: Well, when I was a kid… You know, it’s like… I’ll try and link this to compensation, doing proxy analysis, for those of you that are familiar with that, looking up what executives get paid at public companies, you know, it’s been public for a while. Since either the late 80s, early 90s, I’m pretty sure it became standardized. But in order to get proxies, we had to call our internal library, who would then go through this service, I forgot the name of it, that would print them. It’s sort of a LexisNexis kind of service, although I don’t think it was LexisNexis. And they would print them and have them shipped to our office.

And so, you’re doing an analysis of 20 companies, and you would have these things printed, and you would pay by the page to get these massive piles of kind of ugly looking printouts of proxy statements. You know, and now, you sit at your desk, and you write, you know, proxy, name of the company, and boom, you have the last 10 years of proxies, and you can just look at them all. And then, you know, you can actually buy services that dump it. So let me restate that. You can buy services that dump the data into a usable format. It’s not just reading it. It’s loading it into Excel or into a, you know, a third-party software or whatever it is you want. So there is a whole lot more work being done to do research or to get information. But, there were definitely a lot less interruptions in meetings because the only way you could interrupt somebody was by either calling or showing up.

Shawn: That’s the good and the bad with this, right? Is that today, you can get real-time compensation data with the click of a button, too, right? Whereas, instead of participating in surveys and waiting for that binder to come out with all the results, right? But the other side of that, so while technology has helped those things and it’s helped us in a lot of things in life, the other side is they’re addictive. It’s addictive, right? And so you can go too far down that spectrum and be a slave to your phone, to things that are going on out there in the world that in a previous generation, you would never even known or cared about. That now, it is the topic for a day on Twitter. Right? And you feel this sense of following along and because you wanna see it completed and what happens and what’s the latest update and it becomes a dialogue. It builds this cultural thing, where everybody feels if they’re not on Instagram or Twitter or using their technology non-stop, that they’re out of the loop.

Bill: And it probably impairs long-range planning because you’re so focused on what’s going on right now.

Kaite: For sure.

Shawn: A hundred percent.

Kaite: We talk about managing all of those, like, external noises all the time, and you’ve given not just your direct reports, but the marketing team, as a whole, permission to, don’t feel like you need to be immediately responsive on Slack. Don’t feel like you need to immediately respond to emails. All of that kind of stuff because, like, if you are heads down on a project but also responding to Slack, also checking your emails, like, you’re not getting anything done, and it’s not gonna be meaningful work.

Shawn: Yeah. I think it’s… I try to live by that as much as I can, and what I find fascinating, though, is…I do that intentionally because, like, “top-down.” Like, lead by example. But there are people in the company that will unintentionally drive the opposite of that, right? That when they Slack you, they expect a response. That when they email you, they’ll come over and walk over and ask you where it’s at.

Kaite: Did you get my email?

Shawn: If you’re in compensation, like, when a manager emails you and you don’t get back to them soon enough, they’re gonna send you another one. They’re gonna Slack you or they’re gonna come find you.

Kaite: Call you.

Shawn: Yeah. And so this…all those behaviors, intentionally or not, and they’re probably, I would argue, they’re probably not, will track you down and force you into the reactive mode, right? And that’s the problem. And that’s where I find… One of the things I do by default that we can start going into the solution part of this…

Kaite: How do you actually focus? Yeah.

Shawn: …as opposed to the complaining. One of the things I do that I found extremely helpful, and I was amazed more people don’t do this. I thought this was a classic, you know, “Oh, my God, I discovered this and everybody must do this. And this is how to get stuff done.” I will literally block off a morning or a day or days depending on what I’m trying to get done, and that way, there’s no…they can’t play Tetris on my calendar. And I’ll work from somewhere else, or I’ll work from like a different area of the building so that they don’t come into my office and try to, you know, interrupt me that way. It’s like, I am going to prioritize getting this done today because this is the most important thing I can do for the company today.

There might be other things out there, and I’ll check my email middle of the day, end of the day, and make sure I’m staying as up to speed on those as possible. But it’s one of the things that I’ve done that, you know… So if you’re in one of those busy seasons, just block it off, and kind of let everybody know. I try to communicate it out, too, when that happens. Like, I will be doing this. It’s…

Kaite: Going off the gird, too…

Shawn: …a judgment call I’m making today, so be aware.

Kaite: It’s similar to what you were saying going off the grid. I’ve done that multiple times in the past few months to try and get the big projects done. Just like tell everyone, “Hey, I’m not signing in or anything. I’m not responding to email today. If something’s on fire, call me. Don’t text me. Call me.” And then day-to-day, I, and we’ve talked about this before, Shawn, that I listen to background noise, basically. There’s an app called Coffitivity, and I…

Bill: Oh, like the coffee shop noise?

Kaite: Yeah. It sounds like coffee shop noise and I… How do you know about this? Do you…?

Shawn: That’s why I’m laughing. Oh, my God.

Kaite: And I listen to that.

Bill: That’s what I listen to when I’m driving.

Kaite: And I listen, especially, like, when I’m writing something or editing and, like, need to be really focused on what I’m doing, I listen to, like, literally, like, coffee shop background noise…

Bill: I find…

Kaite: …ur go to a coffee shop.

Bill: I find the bussers just make too much noise with the plates, but…

Kaite: They do.

Bill: Otherwise, I like it.

Kaite: That’s very true. They are…

Shawn: There’s Noisily…

Kaite: …noisy.

Shawn: …which is also a favorite of mine which is more ambient, like, white noise background stuff that, you know, you can just plug into that and [crosstalk 00:19:09]

Kaite: Yeah. And doing that kind of stuff, like, we have a very open office space. I’ve almost always worked in an open office space, and I think in previous jobs, especially where I was, like, 100%, like, writing all day, that’s how I would get stuff done. Just tune it out with, like, essentially, white noise.

Bill: Joe, who is on our data insights team, told me this morning that he listens to classical music.

Kaite: Yeah. I do…

Bill: Because…

Kaite: …classical music sometimes.

Bill: Because it has no words and, you know, it let’s him tune out everything else around him.

Shawn: Yeah. If anybody wants something like that, but not that, Sigur Rós, an Icelandic band. I know. I’m getting a look.

Kaite: Wait. What is it?

Shawn: Sigur Rós, S-I-G-U-R R-O-S. They’re an Icelandic band. They have an album, Untitled, that is perfect for, like…

Bill: Thank God, it’s untitled.

Shawn: It’s perfect for zoning out and for creativity that I find [inaudible 00:19:58]. It’s, like, this kind of like soft background music.

Kaite: Seagulls. You’re listening to seagulls [crosstalk 00:20:03.017]

Shawn: You’re not. It’s actually, like, really good music, but it’s, like, very calming music. And there is, like, slight lyrics to it. But anyway, I find that to [crosstalk 00:20:09]

Bill: Maybe you should put a little at the end of the podcast so that people can hear it.

Shawn: I don’t know if I legally can.

Bill: Oh, okay.

Shawn: But check out Sigur Rós Untitled.

Kaite: I think you can, like to Coffitivity probably and Noisily, right?

Shawn: Now, you’re…

Bill: In the end notes.

Shawn: You’re all adding…

Kaite: Sorry.

Shawn: …things for me to do, and that’s the entire podcast.

Kaite: We don’t have to do this.

Bill: I’ll email you.

Kaite: If you want to know the links, just email coffee@payfactors.com.

Bill: But as the king of segue, I want to go back to something Kaite said, like, 20 minutes ago about, you know, fire, if there’s a fire, call me, and I think a lot of people listening are probably going, “Yeah. This is all well and good, but we in Comp or we in HR, you know, like, we have fires…

Shawn: That some…

Bill: …on top of fires…”

Kaite: Everyday.

Bill: And, you know, it’s like… And sometimes it’s literally about…

Shawn: Legitimately somebody getting fired.

Bill: …people being fired, you know, where…

Shawn: That’s what I was gonna just say.

Bill: …it’s like all a sudden, it’s, like, we gotta stop, we gotta, you know, we have to follow this protocol and no matter what I had on my, you know, list of five and crossed out four, I got one left and that one has to get put aside, you know. And so it’s how to… Like, how do people…

Kaite: How to pivot.

Bill: …in those kind of roles manage stuff because their deadlines don’t go away when, you know, somebody has to be fired, or there’s, you know, somebody fell off the benefit plan for some unknown reason or, you know, whatever. This person didn’t get paid because… Like, this is all the stuff that our listeners are dealing with is things related to people and their lives, their health benefits, their paychecks, and stuff that, you know, in the grand scheme of a business, doesn’t seem…

Kaite: Actual…

Bill: …important, but to the person that’s impacted, it usually is very important.

Shawn: So perfect world for something like that, I would say is that you actually divide a team that way, right? You have people that are focused on being more reactive and responsive while you can have somebody else be focused on the more routine and strategic, whatever it is, right? It’s never a perfect world. So I would advise knowing that that’s gonna come up, that’s where it comes back to me of, you know you’re gonna get one thing done today. You need to get five, but you know you’re gonna do one of them. So what’s that one thing? And then when you get interrupted, it is what it is. Then you’re back to getting that one thing done and not trying to get all five things on your list done. It’s just not possible, typically, in today’s world.

But if you wanna read a good book, I wanted to get back to this because somebody mentioned when they were talking to us recently that a lot of people did submit additional book ideas after we did that podcast. If you want to read a good one on this, and it’s called “One Thing,” and it’s by Gary Keller. I would highly recommend that one as an interesting way to start this. You mentioned another one. Kara Schwartz’s podcast with…

Bill: That. Right.

Shawn: …Jason Fried.

Bill: And read Jason Fried’s book.

Shawn: He’s got a couple.

Bill: He said he writes a book every five years that…

Shawn: I know. It’s amazing.

Bill: .. her reads to his dog or something.

Shawn: His most recent was “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work.” And he writes those with his co-founders from Basecamp, his co-founder from Basecamp. The other one he had was “Rework,” which…

Bill: Oh, right. Right. Right. Right.

Shawn: …which was… And then prior to that was “Remote.” I think I got the order right there. But, they have great books, and it’s all about what they’re doing at Basecamp, and they try to apply these things as best they can. So I would highly recommend those, too.

Bill: I have other…

Kaite: If you have, like, unique ways of focusing, like, let’s hear it. Put it either in the comments, in iTunes or send us an email at coffee@payfactors.com. I think everybody… Like, you have these conversations, and you uncover, like, really interesting ways that people, like, maintain their focus that you never would have thought of otherwise.

Shawn: Agreed. Yeah. We can do a follow-up on this.

Bill: I think we can probably do a follow-up on sort of, like, how technology has changed or changed the work world, you know. And as I’m thinking back to, you know, in 1980 something when I was, you know, sitting in an office and you get a stack of memos on your desk, like, literally paper memos, which for you younger folks out is what we call email. But, you know…

Shawn: That’s why there’s a cc. You would actually have a carbon copy.

Bill: Yes. Yes.

Kaite: Oh, yeah.

Shawn: And carbon paper.

BIll: And, yeah, I mean, it’s pretty interesting the way technology made it easier, and therefore, communication goes faster. But, you know, and you tend to read more emails than I think people read those memos back in the day, but you get a lot more…

Kaite: Meaning, like, meaning you’re more likely to open an email and read it or that…

Bill: Right. You’re…

Kaite: …you get more emails?

Bill: You… Both, actually. So… You know, because it’s, you know, now I’m starting the new podcast is like years ago, Bill Gates said he wanted to have, like, a tiny stamp or tax on emails and people thought it was, you know, just Bill Gates trying to make more money. And what Bill Gates’s point was, if you put any charge on it, you will restrict how much of it gets sent, and his target was spammers, you know. And, like, spammers can spam you because it’s free.

Kite: And now look at us…

Bill: It’s free to them.

Kaite: …today.

Bill: Exactly. It’s the same with, you know, cell phones and, you know, those robo calls we get. You know, all that stuff is, you know, because things are free and so anybody can do it. Same with, you know, emails at work.

Shawn: It’s true. It’s the easy default, that and booking calendar meetings.

Bill: Yeah. Exactly. You don’t have to have your admin type up a memo and proofread it and then make 20 copies and put it in those brown envelopes and send them off.

Kaite: Oh, my God.

Bill: Yeah. True.

Kaite: I did have…

Bill: That’s how it works.

Kaite: …to learn how to write memos in a corporate communications class because of, like, the old-school companies that still use them. I remember being like, “I will never…”

Bill: It’s good discipline for emails, though.

Kaite: They were way longer. The memos…

Bill: The memos. Right.

Kaite: …were so long.

Shawn: More information.

Bill: Well, because you had fewer chances to…

Kaite: True. Yeah. Yeah.

Bill: …to talk to people or get the information out.

Shawn: All right. Let’s save this for the next podcast.

Bill: You can cut the whole thing.

Shawn: I won’t do that. All right. Thanks, everybody. Give us the feedback. We love hearing it, and every now and again, we drop some prizes.

Kaite: Yeah. If you are…I sent out some swag the other week, so if you’re one of the I think 30 people I sent it to, let us know.

Shawn: All right. Thanks, everybody. We’ll be…

Bill: Thanks.

Shawn: …back soon.

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