Time Management

116 STASHED IDEAS

An alternative to working remotely at home is to Work From Near Home (WFNH), where household work, kids, familiar noise and many other causes of stress that distract us from our official tasks are absent. It can be a small rented office, cafe, or company provided coworking space.

Companies can even make a small up-front investment for the employee to work from near home and reap great rewards with visibly increased productivity.

Luis J. (@luioj24) - Profile Photo

@luioj24

Time Management

About one-fourth of the US workforce population will continue to work from home in 2022, and due to home environments that make remote working impossible, hiring managers will see unexpected delays and non-productivity. The post-pandemic world is getting geared up for increased remote work, and we all can take cues from writers who have been doing this for ages.

Unattended tasks at home create stress and cause a neural traffic jam that paralyzes the remote worker. Some authors resort to going to a sparse hotel room with nothing for the eyes to hold on to, getting their focus completely on work and entering the flow mode.

The familiar is the enemy in this game of remote productivity. Coffee shops where no one knows us or is talking about us are often more productive for cognitive work. Even the sound of hammers or bricks will not interrupt our work as much as our own kid’s shouting.

Working Remotely Is Harder Than It Looks

Professional writers, freelance writers and authors are the original work-from-home knowledge workers, long before the pandemic made remote working a household phenomenon.

Working from home requires a mental detachment from all the other pending tasks piled up at home, like laundry. It is hard to maintain one’s focus on office work when there is a brain-shift happening towards housework every minute.

The productivity guru loves to-do lists and working systematically. They thrive while working on many projects at the same time. They take pride in their organisational skills but don't handle it well if something doesn't go as planned.

All people within this personality category should keep doing what they are doing but try to be more flexible and adaptive to changes.

Productivity Personalities

Just like all people are unique, so is the way each person approach productivity.

There are many different types of productive personalities:

  • The productivity guru
  • The excitable extrovert
  • The people person
  • The competitive spirit
  • The soul searcher

Figuring out which productive personality you are will help you to tap into your most effective self.

The power that drives you lies in connecting with others. While introverted personalities are fueled by their own needs, your work is done best with bonding and interaction.

Sharpen your productive edge by letting others know what you're working on. Always keep in mind the way others will benefit from your completed tasks. When you put a face behind the task, it will make the project seem more worth your time.

You do your best work when you have a competitor in mind and can measure your success in terms of factual information - for example, being the best blogger by having the highest number of site visits.

You can optimize productivity by charting and graphing work completed. Keep track of fulfilled duties in a concrete manner.

You are interested in something meaningful and more fulfilling than completing mountains of tasks like your competitive and logical counterparts.

You should seek personal growth from the things that you need to complete. Think about the way you'll develop through the process. Perhaps keep a journal about how your finished tasks will give you meaning.

If you are the kind of person who gets so excited about new things that you throw logic and caution to the wind, then productivity has nothing to do with lists and organizing.

You will probably benefit from working on one project at a time. Your passion should be focused on a single task, be it grad school or finishing a project. You are most productive when you can give your all to one thing at a time.

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. The most important factor while managing time is the time to completion, the deadline that is assigned to us.

Example: If we have to finish a report in two weeks, we will do it as demanded and present a finished, well-researched report by the end of two weeks. The interesting part is that if we had only three days to make that report, we would still do it. The fact that it took two weeks was just a mental deadline.

Shorter deadlines force us to focus on what’s important: 20 percent of tasks that bring about 80 percent of the results.

Deadlines and time constraints are not our enemies, but a way to help our mind get to work creatively. Set realistic goals and give them short deadlines. Most of the unnecessary work will get eliminated by design. This also helps to plan your days in advance, making sure that we don’t kill time doing unnecessary stuff.

Prioritizing your tasks in such a way that makes all the forthcoming tasks easier.

  1. Ask yourself ‘What is the one thing that needs to be done which will make everything else easier or unnecessary?’
  2. Make a list of the essential tasks using the question above and then begin to work on that list.
  3. Delegate important tasks that are not a good use of your time or skill sets. You could find a freelancer or ask help from a team member.
  4. Ensure that you only do what is important, removing certain tasks as you move ahead.
  1. Time log your work: Using a time-tracking app, log the work that you do and how much time it takes in the real world.
  2. Outline your project goals: Have a clear vision for what you want to do. Having a vague idea of work makes you set long deadlines. Focus on what’s really important and add features later.
  3. Prioritize the tasks: If we are not smart with the limited time we have and prioritize our tasks, we would not be able to complete projects on time.
  4. Set a timeline: Have an actionable timeline that defines what will be done in a task, by whom and by when. Using insights from your time log you can allot time blocks to the tasks.
Productivity: The 24 Hours Of The Day
  • We all have the same number of hours given to us for a day. It’s up to us how we use those hours.
  • Productivity means simplifying our work, getting it done in a faster, smarter and efficient way, with the idea of the saved time being used for doing things that we love.
  • The concept of managing one’s time, which can’t be stored, borrowed or saved for later use, is the core skill one needs to learn to be productive.
  1. Prioritize high-impact tasks that actually matter. These tasks should be 80 per cent of what we do.
  2. As for choosing a task, find the meaning and purpose behind it, and then connect to it.
  3. Focus on one small task at a time, not doing any multitasking and becoming fully one with the task at hand.
  4. Break down big tasks into smaller tasks.
  5. Let go of the narratives that are causing fear and anxiety, most of which are false and are adding unnecessary worry to your day. Simply pop them like a soap bubble!
  6. Focus with full presence, gratitude and meaning.
  • Practice with meaning, purpose, gratitude, peace, focus and full presence.
  • Physical reminders and cues work best to help us remember our tasks or the way we have to do our tasks.
  • If we see a reminder, we generally have a tendency to ignore it, and we have to fight that default mode of behaviour, going against the resistance and moving towards the practice.

We need to find a way where we are:

  • Getting stuff done.
  • Focused, calm and relaxed.
  • Fully present and not rushing anything.
  • Having a sense of purpose and meaning in our work.
  • Completing important tasks even if they look daunting.
Always Too Busy

We have a standard rationalization for not honouring our commitments, not spending quality time with our family, or for not meditating or working out. We claim to be too busy.

Though it feels true that we are busy, it is all just smoke and mirrors and is reversible. We need to develop a habit of not being busy, even while having the same amount of workload.

  1. We say yes to things we find difficult to squeeze in our schedule. The key is to commit to less, and be committed to the task we say yes to.
  2. We move around, fiddling with one task or the other, habitually keeping ourselves busy, because we aren’t familiar with anything but being busy. This mental habit of rushing from one thing to the next is to be clamped.
  3. We don’t have a connection between the task at hand and anything meaningful, and just keep working like a zombie, due to deadlines, and commitments. We need to give meaning and devotion to the task we are doing and connect to it.
  4. We work non-stop due to a fear that if we stop working we will lose our job or income. We believe we may lose our respect in society. Focusing on high-impact tasks is key here.
  5. We have a tendency to procrastinate over the daunting tasks and keep ourselves busy on other tasks, avoiding the important ones that seem difficult.
Deliberate practice
It is a focused attempt to improve at a task that “also involves the provision of immediate feedback, time for problem‐solving and evaluation, and opportunities for repeated performance to refine behavior."

Sometimes your task is so mundane and so far away from being what is normally considered a skill that it’s hard to figure out how to practice it at all; so you have to get creative.

For example, to wake up early without hitting snooze, you should practice waking up. During the day, lay in your bed and pretend to be asleep. Then when your alarm goes off practice exactly what you're going to do in the morning. Eventually, you will strengthen your synapses associated with your routine of waking up early and you'll no longer hit the snooze button.

The more banal and ordinary a habit is the less likely we are to think about how to deliberately practice it

But deliberate practice applies to all habits no matter how big or small they are.

Some of the greatest artists, innovators, and athletes of all time became great because of their commitment to practice, not their commitment to seeing immediate results.

Kobe Bryant, for example, was well-known for starting his practice routine as early as 4 AM and refusing to stop until he made 400 shots, no matter how long it took. He explained his reasoning by saying that “if I do this consistently over time then the gap is going to widen [between me and my competition]”.

"If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” is a popular saying but, to count as truly helpful advice, it should say: "If at first you don’t succeed, practice, practice, practice, and then try, try, again”

Building habits is a long-term game, there's no immediate fix.

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