Async by default

If you’re reading this I’m working async

What is working async

  • 60 - 90 minute pomodoro sessions. Sometimes much longer
  • 20 - 30 minute rest
  • Repeat
  • Slack closed, opened at the end of each pomodoro.

Why do I do it

  • Optimising for deep work. Async allows me to immerse myself in work
  • Minimising cost associated with context switching
  • I function more effectively with mono-tasking & immersion in the task at hand
  • True insight comes when I’m not in a sync environment. This means I often take notes while walking, gyming, shower, and many other places outside of the usual work environment. It’s easier to connect and put thoughts together after letting things ponder for a bit.
  • Async by default creates artifacts (written documents, diagrams, and other illustrative stuff) that others can refer to in the future, preserving institutional knowledge & context beyond one or a few people’s heads

I believe that writing is a forcing function for clarity in thinking. So, I write a lot. – Brie Wolfson


  • Though I prefer to work async by default, there’s many a time when sync is the best way to get things done:
    • pair programming,
    • debugging,
    • brainstorm sessions,
    • helping unblock someone
  • If we’re sharing a backlog, it’s very likely that I’ll be sync with you even during my ‘async’ hours, just part of collaboration, right😉
  • this may sometimes mean my work hours are not the same as yours, so please don’t feel pressured to respond to my queries outside of your work hours.

Related thoughts

this is a lesson I have to relearn every so often. I learned that to do great work you need space. You need time. Away from people and notifications and messages, away from anything that can steal your attention.