Boss-mode vs worker-mode - Deepstash

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How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Attention management

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.

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    Time Management Is Not A Solution
    Time Management Is Not A Solution

    Most people want more done during the course of the day, feeling productive if they have checked more boxes out of their to-do list. Time management has been a fad for a long time, equating productivity with the number of hours spent working.

    The way we approach time management is proving to be a vicious circle of wasting time managing time, turning it into a problem rather than a solution towards productivity.

    Attention Management

    Shifting our focus towards people and projects, rather than the time it takes for us to work on something is referred to as Attention Management.

    Productivity is not a virtue, but just a means to an end, and it means nothing if the end is not worthy. Paying attention to your intrinsic motivation, on why you are excited about the project will make you push yourself naturally and achieve the goal.

    Lack Of Distractions Promotes Productivity

    Many studies show that bad weather days when it is too cold or rainy, keeps the working people glued to their work, being more productive as they are less distracted by the thought of going outside.

    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 logistical stuff: email, meetings, calls, expense reports, etc.

    Shallow work stops you from getting fired — but deep work is what gets you promoted. 

    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.
  • The Difference Between Managers And Leaders

    Leadership involves creating a compelling vision of the future, communicating that vision, and helping people understand and commit to it.

    Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring that the vision is implemented efficiently and successfully.

    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. 
    Motivating Your Team

    Whatever approach you prefer to adopt, you also need to bear in mind that different people have different needs when it comes to motivation. 

    One size does not fit all. Some individuals are highly self-motivated, while others will under-perform without managerial input, and you need to be able to handle both.