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This is Why the People Who Work At Your Company are So Unproductive

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.

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This is Why the People Who Work At Your Company are So Unproductive

This is Why the People Who Work At Your Company are So Unproductive

https://medium.com/@skooloflife/this-is-why-the-people-who-work-at-your-company-are-so-unproductive-2825dc1b7302

medium.com

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Key Ideas

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.
  • The open office culture in many big and small companies is not conducive to achieving the state of flow, in which we are creative and productive.

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.

Collaborative Notes

Instead of the unstoppable email back and forth, using a collaborative tool or notion can lead to more productivity and fewer emails/notifications.

A Deep Work Routine

Setting specific times for employees to get into the deep work zone and establish certain rules that promote pure creative work is a great motivator and productivity enhancer.

If employees work just an hour doing one task, without any interruption, they will understand the benefits and will love to do more of the same.

Be Distraction-Free

If while working, we see an email or notification, it derails our focus even if we don't do anything about it.

An environment free of distractions, with no smartphone notifications, no ringing phones, no incoming email, facilitates deep work.

Mails and Priorities 

Most email falls in the category of other people trying to get you to do something.

And ideally, we shouldn't be spending so much time per day catering to other people's work priorities.

Time Blocks for Communication

Text-based communication should have time-blocks: like an hour, twice a day, where we check and respond accordingly. It shouldn't be a constant activity.

Meeting Rules

  • Meetings should be short and crisp with a specific purpose/agenda and should just be a reason to gather.
  • There should be someone in charge of the meeting.
  • Meeting notes should be collaborative, and with a set goal.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Deep Work

The activity of focusing without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. 

When you’re really locked into doing something hard with your mind… with zero distractions. 

Interruptions
The typical American worker is interrupted every 210 seconds

But half of those interruptions are self-interruptions. We check our phones every 12 minutes or 70 times per day

Asynchronous communication

There are mainly two ways to communicate within a company: synchronous and asynchronous communication. While the second type has always been widely practiced, as face-to-face meetings or any other ...

Real-time communication drawbacks

While real-time communication inside of a team might lead to solving faster some issues, it also has various disadvantages. 

For instance, having your colleagues come to ask you questions to which you feel pressured to answer on the spot leads to you being continuously interrupted, which results in being less productive and feeling stressed or even getting a burnout, as you try to do everything in proper time.

The asynchronous workplace

When the employees are provided with control as to when they are willing to communicate with their co-workers, there are many advantages that emerge. 

For instance, having the freedom to decide exactly how your working day should look like leads to more satisfied employees as well as to better communication within the team. Further benefits vary from feeling less stressed due to better planning to greater transparency and more efficient work.

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Make Time To Connect

Workers crave a sense of authentic connection with others and the best way to do that is by bringing people together in person. But it's not always a viable alternative.

One way to do that...

Communication
  • Set clear expectations and make an effort to be a good listener.
  • Set clear boundaries. Establish a preferred time for communications so you feel respected and acknowledged.
  • Get to know others. Remote workers often have purely transactional interactions. Listen to people and get to know them.
  • Update people on what you’re working on and your availability
Use Shared Experiences

A co-located office develops its own personality through inside jokes, shared experiences, and a collaborative environment. A remote team needs to develop something similar.

Creating specific Slack channels based on interests and book clubs where the company funds the books are the easiest ways to do this for remote workers.

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Distraction at Work

Distraction at work has increased manifold. The reasons can be anything from shrinking office spaces, to open office culture that promotes 'visual noise' or even to push-notifications and instant m...

Minimize your follow-ups

Most of our email is replied on the spot and has incomplete information, which leads to a lot of back and forth dialogue.

To minimize this, reply at a suitable time when you can provide sufficient details, clear action items, due date or deadline if any, and maybe an alternative.

Mindless Scrolling

We keep checking email, instant messages in our smartphones or office PC, and even social media, whenever we get the urge or any new notification.

Allotting specific times to check your phone's messages and email, like in a two to three-hour intervals, can boost your productivity by 40%.

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The new law of productivity

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Deep work vs. Shallow work
  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create value.
4 philosophies to integrate Deep Work into your life
  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
  • Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
  • Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.

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The 2 kinds of work :
  • Deep work”: using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration.
  • Shallow work”: all the little administrative and logist...
Cal Newport
Cal Newport

"The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. "

Cal Newport on time management
  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work.
  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: The point is to shame yourself if you’re not up to snuff.
  • Stop saying “yes” to unimportant stuff;
  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hiding in a conference room and throwing your phone into an abyss is a good one.
  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: If they say “100% shallow”, feel free to ignore everything above.
  • Practice Slow Work

    When we react to every little thing that comes up at work, we lose focus and attention.

    Counter this by scheduling extra time to complete a task, engaging in single-tasking, and set...

    Develop a Stress Management System

    Stress is unavoidable, but we can create systems to decrease its influence over our capacity to work. These systems vary from person to person but they often include meditation, aerobic exercise (i.e. running, cycling, walking), surrounding yourself in nature, and eating healthfully.

    When you know an upcoming project will generate stress, anticipate scheduling periods into your work plan to participate in the stress management activities that work for you.

    Seek To Explain

    Memorization doesn’t necessarily mean learning. The test for whether you understand a subject or not is the capacity you have to explain your subject or argument. 

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    Cut out low-value activities

    Many of us are working longer hours than we should be just because we are wasting time on low-value activities.

    Track your time for a few days to identify your distractors and the low-...

    Schedule recurring social activities

    Having an active social life is crucial to your health. People who isolate themselves from others could increase their risk of death by about 50 percent. 

    If you have a busy life, schedule recurring social activities with your closest friends, monthly.  Plan your work schedule around your social calendar instead of the other way around.

    Learn to cope with stress

    The key to finding the balance between work and health is learning how to cope with stress.

    Get in the habit of stepping away from the stressful situation for a few moments to calm down and collect your thoughts: step away from the computer or spend a few minutes walking outside.

    Rethinking the 8-hour workday
    Rethinking the 8-hour workday

    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 s...

    Quality vs Quantity of Time

    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.

    Build the Right Environment

    To make a 3-hour workday feasible, design the right environment to make it possible.

    • Behavior is the result of environment. If you have many apps open, you’ll be more likely to be distracted.
    • Eliminate the need for willpower. Think of willpower like a bank balance. For every decision you make, you spend a unit. Design the right environment, so you avoid depleting all of your willpower.

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    Getting an early start
    Getting an early start

    Plan your morning the night before and stick to your plan. 
    If a new task comes in that isn’t 100% urgent, designate a time that you’ll work on it uninterrupted or try to delegate the probl...

    Deciding where to work
    • If you know you’re more likely to work from home, invest in comfortable furniture; you feel good it will inspire you to get work done.
    • If you want to join a local co-working space but are intimidated by the price point, ask about smaller memberships to start.
    Prioritizing tasks

    Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
    If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.

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