Focus Mastery at Work with Liza Gurtin

November 4, 2020


Focus Mastery at Work with Liza Gurtin

Almost every product we use on a daily basis has a notification component especially work apps. This meant people are more prone to distractons.

To cover this and more, our CEO Emna Ghariani sat down with Liza Gurtin, ex Product Manager at Slack to discuss strategies to stay focused at work, get things done and be more productive.

Liza spent 3.5 years at Slack where she led product teams on the developer platform and core messaging. Prior to Slack, she was one of the first 20 employees at Robinhood where she spearheaded the initial platform and growth efforts.

It’s all about the workflow

When it comes to notifications, people always prefer the default behaviour. However Liza insists that the workflow can make or break the transition:

“in terms of how to use notifications while it’s like one of my principles and i was thinking about this work is that everybody knows their work and their workflows fast, so we want to use technology g in a way that it’s working with us. it’s amplifying us and it’s not distracting us.”

Customize your notifications preferences

Once you are aware of the workflow, customizing notifications becomes a must in order to maximize your productivity at work. Liza explains

“There were a certain set of things that i always wanted to be notified for. so i would go in and i would say for my people that i consider my first team so my product of my team the pm team for the messaging pillar that i was under my manager like those are people that are high priority for me. i want to make sure whenever they message me i get a notification about them. i get a notification for that message and there’s other things which it’s less important for me to be notified and maybe i just want to be in foreign so i don’t really want any notifications. it’s may be muted. i just want to check up on it and know that it’s there and then there’s this layer in the middle where somebody tags me. mentions me or mentions a word or topic that is important to me. i want to be notified but it’s not as high priority. and for me personally, what i want to avoid is the behavior of feeling like i’m missing something so that i have to go back to slack and constantly be checking my channels constantly be talking on my phone.

meant that is stop is buzzing on my phone. like it was probably going to be from one of those things or it was going to be from a direct message. i use new extremely heavily for things that were not important. city including dx like if i had friends that i was working with its fact that would usually dm me about things that were on not work-related. i would meet that in fact because they can text me but it really needed me to get it outside. so that was how i went about cut organizing my own personal notifications at slack and if it’s useful i can also help to kind of talk through how it was how i was thinking we would help other users do that because you’re right. most people don’t go in and edit everything and that’s the point that for me. i think that’s it’s one of the hard problems. at least we came across not only in slack but across different apps and like again we are like decision fatigue is real today. we are tired of it and across different things. We don’t take time to customize even if you are the biggest process freak like myself and i think process is super important because you said it and the problem is when you’re one contributor in a team or in a company, especially the bigger

the company the harder it gets for you to really help, you know, be part of that communication process and it is hard and i think this is still a hard challenge that we have to solve today. and the way we interact with information for sure recently actually are on one of our episodes with and or award-winning neuroscientist and founder of ness lab, we talked about mindful productivity. and one thing she said like stuck with me. she said no one is feeling more calm andown happier when they have their phone buzzing and slackness vacation in the corner of the screen. so like you just rented every what are your thoughts on that? like i’m really curious reyes like how can people find the balance between killing fomo that you just mentioned and focus and feeling the happiness they get with notifications, you know, and i agree. i agree with her to a point, but i think i actually have a for me personally the different perspective which if if i have my notifications customized. well, i’m not anxious seeing something buzz because one i think nothing is ever as urgent as we think. so if you get into a good emotional personal habit of saying like this doesn’t mean my attempts.”

Listen to the full episode with our CEO Emna Ghariani on your favorite podcast platform.

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