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Knowledge workers aren't factory workers. There is no direct correlation between how much time they spend on the job and their output.
For knowledge workers, the 8-hour workday doesn’t make sense. It doesn't account for diminishing returns with our productivity and attention spans. To increase efficiency for modern knowledge workers, we have to consider what is not essential priorities.
To make a 3-hour workday feasible, design the right environment to make it possible.
A distraction is anything that is competing for your attention and unrelated to the work you're doing at the moment.
We don't change the world by looking at emails. It only diverts our attention. We usually spend 3-5 hours a day on email.
It might be tempting to think you need a social media footprint to build your brand. However, as Oprah Winfrey stated, "The brand comes from the work you do."
Quitting social media for 30 days can increase your productivity. Interleaving social media with your work shifts your attention and prevents deep work, flow states, and creative breakthroughs.
It puts you into a frenzied rather than focused state. For the first hour of the day, replace everything digital with something analog.
If you've spent the last few years clicking and updating your social media, don't expect that you'll be able to focus with unbroken concentration for an hour. You will need to use interval training to increase your attention span.
Start with 10 minutes, then 20, and progressively work your way up to an hour. During the time you're not trying to focus, don't flit from one stimulus to another.
Workflow is a step-by-step break down of the process you use to complete any of your work. Any part of your workflow where data is collected can be automated. For every workflow, ask yourself 3 questions:
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A few smart strategies that can be deployed:
Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.
Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.
Being in flow means focusing your complete attention on the task in front of you. It is an underrated aspect of our happiness at work.
Flow requires simplicity: if a task is too...
Work tasks are rarely chosen by you, so they rarely have optimal difficulty. To make them more likely to produce flow:
You tend to start daydreaming spontaneously when you don’t have something harder to do. To make boring tasks more engaging:
End the workday by taking a minute to tidy your desk, save everything you’re working on, and close of all your tabs and windows. Make sure your work app notifications are automatically snoozed outs...
Boost your mood and motivation by taking the time to review your completed tasks at the end of each day.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay motivated and build momentum at work is to celebrate your progress.
Confront the things you’ve been putting off. If you keep putting things off, you'll feel guilty and that makes you want to avoid them even more. You will get stuck in the “doom loop” of anxiety and avoidance.
Break this loop by identifying the tasks that you’ve been avoiding, break them down into smaller tasks and schedule the next step for the following day.