Effectively switching your work schedule - Deepstash

Effectively switching your work schedule

  • Examine your current schedule (if you have one). Get real with where your time goes each day. 
  • Communicate with everyone about how your schedule is going to change and why it’s important.
  • Experiment to find what works for you. There’s no one perfect scheduling or time management strategy.
  • Focus on your health. 

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MORE IDEAS FROM Context switching is killing your productivity (here's what to do about it)

Taking on additional tasks simultaneously can destroy up to 80% of your productive time:

  • Focusing on one task at a time = 100% of your productive time available.
  • Juggling two tasks at a time = 40% of your productive time for each and 20% lost to context switching.
  • Juggling three tasks at a time = 20% of your productive time for each and 40% lost to context switching.

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It includes:
  • Large chunks of focused “flow” time for more demanding projects.
  • “Themed” days to reduce the need to recalibrate between different tasks.
  • Advanced planning so you can prioritize meaningful work.
  • Realistic time set aside for admin, communication, and meetings.
  • Clear expectations for your teammates so they know when not to interrupt you.

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Sustained focus and rest

You can’t expect to focus non-stop on a project for days on end. But at the same time, you won’t see any real progress if you mindlessly jump from one task to another.

You need a work schedule that pairs periods of sustained focus with rest in a way that’s purposeful and powerful.

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Maker and Manager schedules

Split your day between Maker and Manager time:

  • Managers cut up their day into one-hour intervals (or less) and bounce between tasks.
  • Makers need long stretches of uninterrupted time (usually at least half a day at a time).

To protect your focus, try to schedule at least a bit of Maker time into each day.

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Theme your days

... and use office hours to keep your focus throughout the week. One example is the  Free, Focus, Buffer system popularized by business coach Dan Sullivan:

  • Free days are completely separated from business activities.
  • Focus days are spent on your most important work.
  • Buffer days are for planning, admin, and busywork.

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Switching between tasks

Most of us spend our days jumping between tasks and tools.

In fact, most people average only 3 minutes on any given task before switching to something else (and only 2 minutes on a digital tool before moving on).

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... to reduce FOMO and productivity guilt. This will also help you to stay in the same mental space without worrying about what needs to be done:

  • Go through your main tasks and divide them by either project, task, client, or topic. 
  • Divide those tasks into two categories based on their connection, an A and a B schedule.

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RELATED IDEA

Fighting For Our Focus

Scheduling of work falls into two broad categories: Makers and Managers. Most of us are either managing people and projects or making something, like documents, apps or other creative things that require sustained focus.

Our attempt to balance our managing time with our making time is the fight for our focus, and creates the core problem that overwhelms most of us.

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What is Time Blocking?
  • Time blocking is a time management technique.
  • This type of time tracking requires that you divide your day into defined slots or chunks of time. 
  • Each block of time is dedicated to completing a specific task 
  • When you manage your time in this way you are ensuring your work gets complete,
  •  And ensures you are just doing one task at a time and not multitasking
  • This also means that you will not have to decide what to focus on.
  •  You will not be making constant choices about spending your time but simply following a time blocked schedule.

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In The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains , Nicholas Carr explains how our brain, through neuroplasticity, adapts in response to changes in our environment, like technology innovations, which means we gain and lose certain skills. Social media, email, and team communications tools stimulate our very human desire to want to connect with people and access novel information but diminish the focus and processing skills that our literacy culture of books and newspapers built up. As Carr writes :

“[E]ach interruption brings us a valuable piece of information… And so we ask the Internet to keep interrupting us, in ever more and different ways. We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive.”

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