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Maddox

@maddoxe44

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Overworking: Addicted To Work

Overworking is defined as indulging in work activities beyond your physical and mental capacity by increasing the workload and number of hours. It usually happens when the organizational structure is gamed to promote deadline-oriented work without providing adequate human resources.

Organizations ensure that the workers provide them with the required output at every cost, giving efficiency and project completion top-priority.

@maddoxe44

Overworking: How to identify its Impact and How to Get Rid of It

ntaskmanager.com

  1. Lack of energy post-work: This can be dealt with by separating your work and personal life and organizing your tasks and priorities ensuring the important stuff is covered. Use an app to track your work, making sure you are not working after the day is over.
  2. Insomnia: Lack of sleep is a common symptom and one needs to do regular cardio or Yoga to induce sleep. A cup of hot tea also helps. Many of us don’t even realize we are sleep deprived and need to go to bed early (without a smartphone), giving full rest to the brain.
  3. Distraction: A constantly distracted mind can be curbed by a good night’s sleep, and by making a to-do list of important stuff to do.

Many companies encourage overworking and employees feel that they are in a race to achieve more, and might get fired otherwise.

  • Our need to be 'well-off' socially distorts our thinking.
  • Many of us are aggressively and passionately attracted to money, and not the simple joys of life.
  • We need to change our priorities and work towards happiness, not accumulating wealth or indulging in consumerism.

We forgot long ago that health is more important than money.

  • Sleep deprivation and heart disease are the two most common and serious health issues due to overworking.
  • Other common physical and mental problems due to overworking are high blood pressure, migraines and ulcers.
  • Many of these are related to stress and anxiety and result in a lack of focus, fatigue and burnout.
  1. Sticking to a rigid schedule: Make your to-do list and stick to it. Prioritize your important tasks that provide maximum impact, and leave the stuff like replying to emails, or reviewing drafts to some other day.
  2. Exercise: Doing regular exercise produces important chemicals in the body like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, improving our health and mood in numerous ways.
  3. Me Time: Bring your mind at ease by sitting and relaxing, doing absolutely nothing. These techniques of self-care, like meditation or not doing anything particular, helps us balance our mind, body and soul.
What you must know about procrastination
  • You can put things off without being lazy.
  • It's your emotions that decide to procrastinate, not logic. Emotions prioritize short-term gratification.
  • The problem is not about the task, but how you treat it.
  • When you don't make tasks your priority, you'll put things off.

The Procrastinators Ultimate Guide: The 6 Types (With Tips for Each One)

medium.com

Procrastinators severely overestimate how hard it is to finish a task.

While it can be very tough to start, you'll gain momentum and achieve ten times more work with the same willpower. The result will also be much more rewarding.

You overestimate your skills and underestimate the challenge. Your goals may be too small, or you didn't break the big goals into daily tasks.

What you find yourself doing: You don't write a deadline on your calendar, but promise to start tomorrow. You may even tell everyone how easy it is or what you plan to do.

Solution: Commit to a deadline, or make it a challenge to get done as much as possible.

You may love your work, but other tasks seem more appealing because you gravitate towards the path of least resistance.

Typical behaviors:

  • You think bad habits are good in moderation and don't respect your time blocks.
  • You spent most of your day in minor tasks.
  • You never feel like being 100% present at work or play.

Solution: Block your distractions. Plan days where you reward yourself generously, to make smaller temptations less attractive.

Preparation scares you. You want improved quality when you didn't work for long enough to optimize. You may waste your time by giving too much time to irrelevant details.

Typical behaviours:

  • You know what to do, but irrational thoughts pull you back.
  • You spend hours planning the introduction.
  • You feel dissatisfied and always want to add one more change.

Solution: Shift your focus from results to actions.

Your interpretation of failure is preventing you from working.

Typical behaviours:

  • You accept distractions because you already lost, but then think things will eventually fix themselves.
  • You feel people are mad at you or don't understand your limited position.
  • You slack in other areas because you think one loss justifies failing in other areas.

Solution: When you failed, you did not understand how much you actually learned. Take a day off to stop thinking.

You have over-committed and have no time left. Even if you have time, you sometimes don't see the point in spending time on those tasks.

Typical behaviours:

  • You're multitasking.
  • You get about 70% done off your endless to-do list, but don't see results.
  • You want to spend time will all your favourite projects.

Solution: If a task is irrelevant, stop the task. Use only the best-performing ways to achieve your objectives. Prioritize your goals and work on one at a time. Also, know that you can make progress at a slower pace.

Your poor time-management/prioritization skills are setting you back. You hate routines because you feel they take away your freedom, but then you never have time to do what you love.

Typical behaviours:

  • When you want to work, you instead waste time preparing the workspace.
  • You do a quick two-minute task and then add other little jobs that fill your day.
  • If you find yourself procrastinating, you will rather finish what you're doing instead of your important work.

Solution: Learn to work smarter with the Pomodoro technique and the Eisenhower's Matrix.

  • Impulsivity. Impulsive people prefer short-term results instead of longer tasks.
  • Sense of urgency. Our motivation to finish a task is inversely proportional to the time we have left. But we also underestimate how long a job takes if the deadline is far away.
  • Perception of work. Work looks more daunting than it really is.
  • Agreeableness. Trying to surprise others with unexpected work patterns. But it is inconsistent and makes it harder for people to gauge you.
  • Busyness because you don't manage your time well.
  • Create checklists by imagining the best way to complete your task in detail.
  • The 2-minute rule. Take enough 2-minute tasks to create momentum. Start with anything, but end with tasks related to your intended work.
  • The hour non-negotiable. Force yourself to work on your project for the first hour of the day to give you momentum for the rest of the day.
  • The celebration/resting day. Plan a day where you allow yourself to do anything you enjoy doing, regardless of what it is.
  • Habit bunching. Create support habits, such as making coffee before you start working.
  • Mini-days (time-bocking). If a day feels too dull, break it down into mini-days: one for work, one for learning skills, and one for relaxation.
  • The hourly challenge. Plan to give your best work every hour. Define how much work you need to do in that hour to consider it a personal record.
  • Buffering. Allow a 30-50% margin of error for all your expectations.
  • OKR Goal-setting system. (Objective Keyword Result). Set a quarterly or monthly goal. Give yourself three actionable metrics based on numbers. (e.g., Make 500 sales calls in three months.)
  • Environment optimization. When you finish using a room, make it ready so you can use it next time. Keep distractions out of sight.
Prioritizing Your Life

Time is of the essence and it is one that does not wait for anyone. Therefore it is our job to make sure that we spend our time wisely.

When we don't prioritize our lives and what's important to us, we won't go anywhere and we won't be able to reach our goals. Our priorities in life should be aligned with our values and our personal goals within the next decade.

How to Prioritize Your Life and Get More Done in 4 Easy Steps

dansilvestre.com

The Principles of Prioritizing

There are two principles to understand when it comes to prioritizing:

  1. What do you want to prioritize?
  2. How much time will you spend on each one?

Once we learn the answers to those questions we can only then behind to properly prioritize what is needed.

We usher in the factors of time and scheduling, our reasoning, our capability of pursuing, and proper tracking of progress. When we hold ourselves accountable for each action taken, we are able to waste less time and become more productive.

Being able to perform any type of professional activity with a focus that is unable to be penetrated by any type of distraction is deep work. This habit helps push our cognitive capabilities to their own limits into which improves our skills and adds value to ourselves.

Having periods of long-focus allows us to focus less on the pressure of time and more on what we produce in that time. By finishing what is needed, we have more time to ourselves and it is easier to see our priorities.

Don’t be discouraged even you are being left behind, as long as you are making a progress, you are already making a difference.

The Pareto Principle

medium.com

Why Winners (Almost) Take All

In Pareto Principle, the winner takes almost all. The-Winner-Take-All effect happens isn’t because winners are better, smarter, and stronger than everyone else. In fact, most of us started at about the same place. But that tiny little advantage can take a person a long way by compounding effect over time.

Strategies for Keeps
  • Pick one goal for your business to improve focus and decision-making.
  • Optimise the first item in a funnel that has cascading effect to the entire funnel
  • Work hard to understand the 20% of your customer.
  • Create high margin products that bring 80% of all profits.
  • When assessing risk, recognise not all risks are equal.
The Pareto Principle (the 80/20 Rule)

It is an idea discovered by an Italian economist. It says that power and wealth is distributed like a reversed hockey stick where a small percentage of the population (20%) owns majority of the wealth (80%). 

80/20 Rule: Threat or an Opportunity?

It is hard to accept the truth that there are inequalities everywhere. But depending on how you see it, the rule could help us filter out unnecessary data, better channel our resources, and make better decision in work and life.

The Pareto Principle could also be observed in almost every industry:

  • In software, 80% of the errors and crashes in a system would be eliminated by fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs.
  • In sports, 20% of athletes participate in 80% of the big games
  • In business, 20% of the products bring in 80% of the revenue.

Phase I: Self-analysis
Reflect
on where your current focuses are. How do these impact you in different areas in life?

Phase II: Identify the 20 Percent
Link
those good or bad results to the source of your activities.

Phase III: Focus on the Fat Tail
Eliminate
or at least, minimize destructive routines and focus your time and energy on the top 20% habits that lead to good progress

The constant state of busyness

We often walk a fine line between feeling challenged with the tasks we set and feeling overwhelmed by them.

Living in a constant state of busyness as a badge of honour can cause stress and damage our health and relationships. And when stress is self-made, it is less likely to disappear.

5 tips to get out of "survival mode" and start to thrive.

draudreyt.com

  • Ensure that your challenges are achievable with the resources you have. Make sure your support team is available.
  • Try to assess the situation by recognising what you can do and what you can't, then directing your efforts there.
  • When you want to take on something, ask if this is really your responsibility
  • Be the person you want others to see. Rather than focusing on losing weight, decide instead to simply be a person who exercises daily and eats a diet lower in carbs.
  • Cherish the positive influences around you - good friends, supportive colleagues, opportunities.
The lack of true rest

It drains us out of our energy to the point where we're never fully present, fully alive in the moment.

And this could have negative consequences on many level of our lives: our relationships start to lack energy and connection and we sap the joy out of our lives.

The Lost Art of True Rest : zen habits

zenhabits.net

A few ways to rest that feel very replenishing:

  • Closing your eyes, lying down, and doing nothing.
  • Going outside without using a device.
  • Relaxing with someone else. Feeling connection with them.
  • Being fully present with a simple activity, like drinking coffee.
  • Playing music, creating art, dancing etc.

You can relax while doing something (having a bath, a cup of coffee etc.) You don’t have to be lying down, with your eyes closed.

The key is to make this the one thing that you’re doing. Be all in with this task, instead of jumping around.

Thich Nhat Hanh
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
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.

Productivity Isn't About Time Management. It's About Attention Management.

nytimes.com

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.

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.

Contrasting effects, which compare your mundane task to the more enticing and juicy alternatives, make the task even more escuricating and dull. This Attention Residue happens because our mind keeps wandering to a more interesting task, making the timing of the various tasks at hand something to consider.

Example: Eating a sweet dessert makes your sour vegetable taste even more yuckier.

Based on the kind of work and energy levels, one can plan the days or weeks into different kinds of work zones, where there are clear demarcations on the kind of work you plan to do.

  • Maker Days: Days or times of the day where we enter the flow mode of creativity with no distractions.
  • Manager Days: when we answer emails, make calls and hold our meetings.
Decluttering is not the same as organising
  • It’s impossible to declutter if you’re not organised: you don’t know if you have 10 versions of the same thing and you don’t know which one is the best of them.
  • You declutter by category, whereas you organise room by room.

The truth about time management: how I went from chaos to punctual calm in one week

theguardian.com

Patience

Patience is the simple recognition that things take time. That achieving greatness and creating a masterpiece takes time. It takes the ability and willingness to be frustrated. To overcome difficulties and to persevere.

Society's Problem With Patience

medium.com

Overnight success stories

Media feeds us the idea of the overnight success stories that make it seem that in just a few weeks or months, someone could become a billionaire or a superstar.

They fail to highlight the years of toil, luck and hard work, and the entire background that led to the success, just reporting the end result.

Technology is making us impatient

Our brains are being re-wired by the constant distraction & interaction with digital devices

Social media and smartphones drain our time, and suck our mental energy, even changing the chemistry of the brain. And our constantly distracted state of mind is having a serious effect on our creativity.

Leo Tolstoy
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” 
Busy With Short Attention Spans

We all have mastered the art of being busy, with zero or little attention spans, and are getting incapable of focusing on and pursuing a singular goal.

Intrinsic motivation and procrastination

Understanding the key components of internal motivation is a good step to find the source of your procrastination.

A study showed that participants with higher self-esteem and a higher resistance to peer pressure tended to show lower levels of procrastination. The finding suggests that intrinsic motivation works better against procrastination.

Pressure and procrastination

nesslabs.com

Leaving a task to the last minute may makes us feel like we are working faster to complete the task. However, it does not mean we work better.

Time pressure generally impairs performance because it limits thought and action. Parkinson's law suggests that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." The key is to find the right balance between productivity and performance.

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