How You Spend Your Time - Deepstash

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The 3 Hour Workday: An Operating System for Knowledge Workers

How You Spend Your Time

How You Spend Your Time

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.

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Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

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.

The State of Flow
The State of Flow

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...

Make Frustrating Tasks Easier

Work tasks are rarely chosen by you, so they rarely have optimal difficulty. To make them more likely to produce flow:

  1. Slow down on your work and let go of the expectations you have related to your tasks.
  2. Complex tasks can seem very overwhelming and frustrating. So break them up into more manageable sub-tasks.
  3. Lower your standards temporarily to get the faucet running. Perfectionism will not help you in this case.
Make Boring Tasks More Interesting

You tend to start daydreaming spontaneously when you don’t have something harder to do. To make boring tasks more engaging:

  1. Up your game. Even a slight increase in standards is often enough to make your focus sharper.
  2. Measure your performance, keep track of it as you go and make the stakes higher for whatever you’re doing.
  3. Do it differently. If you change up your explicit strategy, removing the ability to do it by rote, you can increase engagement.
Clean up your workspaces

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...

Review your "to-done’s"

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.

The procrastination “doom loop”

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.