Productivity has long been an obsession for both great men and those seeking greatness.
“Email is the cockroach of the internet... there’s all this formality that comes with it.” STEWART BUTTERFI ELD, SLACK CO-FOUNDER
Benjamin Franklin famously kept a diary of his every waking hour, blocking out time for tasks meaningful and menial, like putting loose objects away. But as admirable as the minute-byminute schedule might seem, we can only imagine what Franklin’s to-do list would have looked like if he also had to contend with distractions as potent as Instagram DMS, Linkedin requests and paperless bills. Yes, we’re living in inbox-dependent times. An era dominated by noise, inefficiency and, more than anything else, the bastard contagion that is information overload. But one company says we don’t need to be: Slack. Five years after its launch, eight million daily users seem to agree – as does Amazon, which was reportedly eyeing the company with a $12bn offer. Slack is an office chat app that promises to wean us all off timewasting, productivity-sucking habits, and get teams back to what they do best: collaborating. And the proof seems to be in the pudding. Cal Henderson, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, is still yet to email a single one of his co-workers. Henderson and his ilk represent a new, determined wave of productivity maximalists, whose philosophies favour life balance over midnight emails and meaningful collaboration over jealously guarded projects. The question is, what does five years without intra-office email teach you about getting things done? Plenty.`