Boss-mode vs worker-mode

Knowledge workers usually have to play 2 roles at the same time - the boss and the worker: They have to choose what their work is (boss-mode) and they have to do the actual work (work-mode), for example.

This situation has the potential to create conflict and lead to indecision about which role should have their attention at different times of the day.

    @juan_bb586

    Time Management

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    Your attention is a limited resource and you have to be careful where you are spending it.
    If you choose to give away 80 percent of your attention to meetings, you will have 20 percent of your attention just for dealing with a few emails feeling overwhelmed.

    • Proactive attention: you are fully focused and prepared for your most important decisions/ most complex tasks.
    • Active attention: you're plugged in, but also easily distracted.
    • Inactive attention: you're likely to really struggle with complex or difficult tasks.

    ... based on your attention level.
    Save difficult and important task for when your attention level is proactive, leave the intense but easier stuff for those active attention times, and try to save up the easy or dull stuff for when you're capable of little else.

    • Make tiny changes to trick your brain and create additional periods of attention (for example, move to a different part of the room every hour).
    • Keep moving and switch tasks every 30-60 minutes.
    • Get outside and go for a quick walk.
    • Take advantage of the periods when you're walking somewhere and make some phone calls. You can use your desk time for other tasks.
    • Keep both a physical and a digital file of reading materials. Take advantage of the time spent commuting or in the waiting rooms for your doctor's appointments.
    • Have a thinking list with big decisions for when you are driving or waiting in line for example.
    • Instead of talking via email with your co-workers, invite them for a coffee.

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    RELATED IDEAS

    The Importance Of Delegation

    There's only so much that you can achieve working on your own, that's why it's important to delegate effectively. To successfully delegate:

    • Explain what your team's role and goals are. Or even formalize it in a team charter, which can also be useful for keeping the team on track.
    • Think about the skills, experience and competencies within your team, and start matching people to tasks. 

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    IDEAS

    It’s important to be aware of what state of mind you’re in before tackling a hard choice.

    Decision fatigue happens when the mental energy required to weigh the tradeoffs of our decision becomes too much for us to handle. 

    Dressing up actually has a real influence on your attention levels because it symbolizes the start of a new day and it helps your brain to shift gears.

    A study was done back in 2012 related to the effect of clothing on a person's mental process. Evidently, it showed that you perform differently when wearing a suit or a scientist's lab coat and even get better intelligence scores.

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