The 3 Hour Workday: An Operating System for Knowledge Workers
The structure of most working environments punishes people for efficiency and rewards them for looking busy. We need to shift our focus from the number of hours spent on something to the quality generated.
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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.
First, break down how you spend your day from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. Use an app to track your time.
If you know how you're spending your time, you will also see how you're wasting it.
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:
Any workflow that has repetition can be changed into a system.Automate with software. If you have a system for any part of your work, there's a good chance you can probably automate it.
Proper sleep is one of the most significant performance enhancers we have.
Sleep deprivation decreases immunity and increases symptoms of anxiety and depression.
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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.
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