How to Concentrate in a Collaborative Workplace | by James Pothen | NYT Open - Deepstash
How to Concentrate in a Collaborative Workplace | by James Pothen | NYT Open

How to Concentrate in a Collaborative Workplace | by James Pothen | NYT Open

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Concentrated Effort

Concentrated Effort

Humans can only be productive for 35–40 hours per week. Working additional hours yields little more productivity and leads to burnout in the long-term. Additionally, the best work is often done early in the day while the mind is fresh.

A concentrated effort is when professional activities are performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.


62 reads

Four Hours of Deep Work

Four Hours of Deep Work

Work in two sessions, each two hours long.

  • Wear noise-cancelling headphones
  • No random internet surfing, email, or Slack
  • Phone is silenced and kept in a drawer

Supporting your work

  • On the desk: coffee, water, hand cream, notebook and pen (for writing down tasks)
  • Taped to the monitor: a sign that reads “Do Not Disturb from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.”

After the work sessions are over, check your email and text messages, just once or twice per day. Afternoons can be free for walks, company events, meetings, coffees, and chance conversations.


51 reads

The Morning Routine

The Morning Routine

Routines don’t tap into willpower, resilience, or intrinsic motivation, leaving you more of those resources to spend on hard problems.

One can walk in the morning sun, or do any kind of exercise that pumps up the lungs and heart. Writing and reading are also good options.


54 reads

The Afternoon Nap

Adult life is stressful. If we’re not caring for others, working long hours, doing side projects, or just socializing, it can be hard to slow down and stay rested. Napping isn’t a part of the company culture in most organizations, but a 20-minute or (more rarely) 90-minute nap in the afternoon provides a useful energy boost.


99 reads

Shutdown Ritual

Shutdown Ritual

The goal is to completely shut down all work and work-related thinking until you come into the office the next day. No after-hours email, phone calls with team members, or late-night coding sessions. Deliberate rest from work is one of the most important ways to work effectively, as it allows your mind to recharge so you can perform well the next day:

  • Take a final look at Slack
  • Take a final look at the inbox and messages.
  • Write down any new tasks into task lists
  • Skim every task in the task lists
  • Look at the next few days on the calendar
  • Make a plan for the next day
  • Check action lists in a notebook


36 reads

The Importance Of Sleep

There are few things as valuable to good mental performance as sleep.  Sleep is also a time where you do much of your best work. While you are asleep, The brain is doing maintenance, processing the events of the day, and even working on the problems you couldn’t solve during the day.


92 reads

Tips For Intentional Collaboration And Achieving Optimal Productivity

Tips For Intentional Collaboration And Achieving Optimal Productivity

  • Switch from always being available to being strategically available in order to best support your work.
  • Ensure the tech stuff stays on the desk. You can use a pen and paper.
  • Avoid long chains of messages on email and Slack, aiming to close the loop fast.


44 reads

What To Do For Emergencies

What To Do For Emergencies

  • Use the DND feature on your smartphone which only lets certain important numbers come through.
  • Give your work number to your family, caregivers and school faculty for emergencies. 


102 reads

For People In Jobs Where Client Wants Availability

For People In Jobs Where Client Wants Availability

  • Inform your client about your usual availability hours.
  • Request to schedule phone calls in advance so that you can be available with preparation.
  • Be available during important product launches.


110 reads



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Alfie Easton's ideas are part of this journey:

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