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Streamline your communication and make the most of it by narrowing your focus and embracing the refreshing simplicity of minimalistic communication.

Minimise Platforms

No doubt, technology has granted us miraculous capabilities that previous generations never thought possible. We often take for granted the ability to immediately access any conceivable information, in our palms, with the touch of a glowing rectangle. But when you have to ping your colleague to see if she got your email regarding a request submitted by a customer via your website, or text your superior about a follow-up phone call regarding a complaint filed over social media, the communication overload can quickly overwhelm. This barrage of information on different platforms often complicates the ability to communicate effectively, and important notifications can slip through the cracks.

Not only can information get lost in the shuffle, but a constant stream of messages can leave some employees feeling removed from workplace buzz. Don't let the burnout of communication overload render you or your colleagues apathetic, overwhelmed, and checked out at work. Consider consolidating your internal communication with an internal communication app, proven to increase employee engagement.

Employee communication apps are a great way to keep work communication separate from personal communication, especially when working from home, where it can be tempting to let your work and home life intermingle to the point that it interferes with productivity.

Additionally, while it can be tempting to unload a heap of tasks on an employee in one email, or compile information meant for several specific individuals in one group email, doing so can hinder you from getting your intended points across in a timely manner. Keep your communication specific to the recipient so no one has to sift through pages of messages in order to receive important information.

Embrace Brevity

Perhaps you, like many of us, spent your formative years learning to expand arguments, expound on statements, and throw in a slew of adjectives into your writing in order to meet the required word count. This writing style of "more is better" tends to leak into our work lives. This email needs to be longer, this meeting needs more talking points, this presentation needs more flair; the list goes on.

According to Empower Minimalistic Communication,

"While we undeniably strengthen our communication during schooling, we do not harness the precision and concision that the external world demands. After all, you'll rarely hear anyone in the working world complain that a presentation was too short, a meeting too quick, or an email too summarised."

Never underestimate the effectiveness of brevity in your work communication. Remember the old adage from the classic Strunk and White The Elements of Style- "Omit needless words." This classic instruction applies to more than just your high school essays; consider it a guidestone for your communication at work.

Organise Yourself

Lastly, optimise your daily routine in a way that fosters focused communication. While being disorganised doesn't automatically make you an ineffective communicator, it can be difficult to keep track of your never-ending emails and phone calls if you haven't organised your work space. Keep your space clean and organised, and it will make it easier to keep your virtual space organised.

If you yourself have a tendency to fall victim to distractions, technology is here to help. There are several apps on the market designed to help minimise these distractions, all readily available for your smartphone or computer. These apps can limit your time spent on social media, games, news sites, whatever clouds your brain when you most need to be productive. Set reminders or preset hours of the day to unplug your distractions and focus on your daily tasks. Sharpening your focus helps communication flow more smoothly, and your coworkers will thank you.

An often forgotten aspect of sharpening focus is knowing when to take a break. Whether you're still commuting to the office, or you've joined the ranks of the estimated 42% of the U.S. labor force now working from home, don't let the monotony of staring at a computer take its toll. Take frequent breaks, walks, stretches, whatever feels right to you to maintain your focus. Remember the 20-20-20 Rule: every 20 minutes you're on a computer, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will not only help your eyes, it will help you avoid a burnt-out, wandering mind. Keeping your blood flowing and your thoughts on task will benefit you and those around you, maximising your professional communication as well as your overall productivity.