82 STASHED IDEAS
When you're working from home, don't work more. Use that flexibility to bring more balance in your life, not less.
There's no commute when we work remotely, which can easily add extra hours to our day. It can be tempting to pour these hours into work. Working longer often means burnout, which means doing less. It is best to make a routine to prevent work from consuming our day.
If you work longer than reasonable, consider creating a system that ends your work session.
You could wrap up your day by reviewing what you spent time on and what got done. Look at your completed tasks from your to-do list and check your time-tracking app. You may find that you accomplished a lot, which could bring closure to your day and help you to stop working.
Remote work is about trust. Research shows that remote workers put in more hours, so any time-tracking may be a waste of time.
Moreover, micromanaging gives a message that employees won't do their jobs unless someone is watching over their shoulder. That message can be demoralising.
Loving your job often means that you may be working more. It's harder to stop when you care.
It's deceptive to think that remote work means that you can start and stop whenever you want. Bloomberg reported that people who started working from home since the beginning of the pandemic are working three hours longer per day.
When we work remotely, we don't have to replicate the nine-to-five workday. Remote work means you have flexibility, so you can order your work that will suit you.
Some people will split their days into two four-four blocks, with a four-hour break in the middle. Others may swap a weekday morning for a weekend one. Ensure that your coworkers are aware of when you are and aren't working.
So that we may be able to make a significant change we must reassess the way we communicate with each other at work.
Many schedule wasteful meetings that are evidently not helpful most of the time. In order to reduce overworking, we need to communicate policies and expectations to workers clearly but this doesn't mean we should micromanage them.
When we end presenteeism in our work culture, we are establishing a healthier habit of knowing when to log off.
When we prepare for tomorrow, it gives us a big boost in productivity levels; 1. Because we'll be able to plan out our day without worrying about what gets left behind; and 2. Prioritizing tasks is not as hard as it seems.
Anxiety for what's to come tomorrow happens every so often that we tend to lose sleep over it. When we prepare we will have lower anxiety levels, therefore, getting a better quality of sleep instead of being sleep deprived.
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.
Multitasking slows down productivity by about 40% and actually has long-term negative effects on our brain such as memory impairment on new subject matters, difficulty in learning new materials, and increased stress levels.
It is recommended to transition into the habit of monotasking where you focus on one task at a time. It will take a few weeks to get used to it but daily practice for more than a couple of weeks will be able to retrain your brain for longer focus.
By the time you wake up, it is important to choose to be proactive and not stay reactive while interchangeably scrolling through your phone's apps.
Spend this time to think about your priorities for the day and run through your calendar to make a to-do list. It's a huge mistake to start the day without knowing what you intend to do.
Skipping breakfast is not ideal when starting a new day. It is important to take care of your body, provide it enough food to create energy in order for you to focus on the things that you have going on for the rest of the day.
The most recommended breakfast is a balanced breakfast containing both protein and carbs. Alongside this, it is also important to drink enough water to hydrate the body and the brain. Even mild dehydration can impair one's mood, memory, and concentration.
When we force ourselves to wake up early and fail to do so we tend to beat ourselves up over it. However, we must keep in mind that we are wired differently according to Chris Bailey, the author of The Productivity Project.
It doesn't matter what time we wake up as long as we're able to finish the tasks that are supposed to be done with the schedule it won't make a difference whether you wake up at 5 AM or 10 AM as long as you act deliberately within schedule.
What complicates matters is that many managers who are managing the makers think of time as short blocks and try to break the focused time of the makers, requesting them to juggle work or multitask, which kills any productivity or quality with the unending context switching.
The real problem according to experts, is making the switch between managing and making, due to the fact that our brain does not immediately obey us and is stuck on the work that was happening earlier, something known as attention residue.
We can take the help of certain rituals and routines that can help us switch between the two modes, like taking a walk, a few minutes of deep breathing, a short burst of exercise or even a slow cup of coffee.
Scheduling of work falls into two broad categories: Makers and Managers. Most of us are either managing people and projects or making something, like documents, apps or other creative things that require sustained focus.
Our attempt to balance our managing time with our making time is the fight for our focus, and creates the core problem that overwhelms most of us.
None of us can get creative in short 15-minute bursts of work sandwiched between a mandatory meeting and a sales team call. It is also a myth that people work for 8 to 10 hours a day.
Most people are productive in sporadic periods of time, like 15 minutes, followed by an interruption, then for 20 minutes, followed by a commitment/obligation/meeting and so on.
We need to align our schedules with our goals and create a strategy that helps us focus on deep work.
A way to organize our schedule is to split the days in our week into two categories, marking our calendar as:
Many note-taking apps can mimic the functionality of the Zettelkasten system but have certain limitations like few backup options, and loss of insight links in case of a shutdown of the app. Others offer pristine functionality of the idea filing and linking system but have the same proprietary and database concerns.
The best way is to go manual and build a word file using hypertext links, notes and references.
One can try a mix and match approach, making sure that one is able to:
The Zettelkasten way or the ‘slip box’ method was pioneered by Niklas Luhmann, is an always-on, filing system that one can use to categorize and ‘slip’ any new insight or idea in a separate file or cabinet.
With this method, any new idea or insight now has a readymade home where it can be placed easily, with the growing collection facilitating new projects and cross-connections.