Synchronous communication relies on two parties being available at exactly the same time.

Synchronous communication methods, such as meetings, telephone or Zoom calls, must be arranged. Both parties must be physically and mentally present. During this type of communication, questions require immediate answers or there is a subsequent follow up where actions take place and loose ends are tied.

But the immediate back and forth that happens within a live meeting or call isn’t always needed, nor is it always optimal.

Asynchronous communication takes the form of email, text, letters or voice notes; any communication that doesn’t take place in real time.

Negating the need for real-time contact means less perceived urgency, fewer distractions, and more uninterrupted chunks of time for producing and creating. Like life was before notifications, before we were expected to be so responsive.

Some of the greatest entrepreneurs, artists and inventors locked themselves away for long periods of time, seeking solitude and space for uninterrupted thinking.

Making asynchronous communication the norm means work is always on your terms. Low level distractions are costing deep work and async could be the answer.


Originally posted on my Forbes column. The full article is here.