When you share or gather information, meaning you inform others or consult them about some issue, you do not only define the contents (what), and the communication channel (how), but also the timing of your communication (when).

Differentiating and consciously choosing between direct/synchronous and indirect/asynchcronous communication channels is an important first step. In order to keep interruption low, we tend to prefer asynchronous ways of communicating over the more interruptive direct ones in TightOps. You can find a chapter dedicated to choosing the appropriate communication channel, “What goes where”, in Fundamentals.

Know Your Team

When working within a team, you will also be aware of when your teammates are working and what they are currently working on. As much as possible then, you can consider and adjust the timing of your communication.

Conserve Mental Energy

This may all sound a bit technical and abstract, so let us illustrate this with a concrete example:

Imagine it is Friday morning. I am going through my inboxes, replying to messages. In the context of one of the tasks I have been working on over the last few days, I can make out an upcoming decision point. I know that I need to write up my thoughts, provide some context, and bring this up with the team, so that we can coordinate and move things forward. But will it be useful to do this today, on Friday, the last day before the weekend? Likely not. Will it affect what we are currently doing? No, it won’t. The tasks the team has committed to need to be finished regardless. So in this case, it makes sense to “hold back”, so to speak, at least on hitting the send button.

Store to Access Later

Given that situation, I would either draft a document (to be shared later) or compose an email, but not share it or send out the message for now. I will thereby unload that issue from my mind, so (a) I don’t forget and (b) I will be less likely to ponder over this over the weekend myself. And I will spare the teammates who I could have involved right now to even be aware of the issue. If it can wait until next week, capturing it now is all that is really necessary and useful.