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Each of us has unique triggers and rhythms of distraction
Are you constantly fighting off distractions in your remote work environment? This week, we tackle this universal challenge by creating a personalized productivity playbook
Did you know that the average person gets interrupted every 3 minutes at work, and it takes us about 23 minutes to return to a task after an interruption?
This makes navigating distractions and maintaining focus in a remote work setting a vital skill for us remote warriors.
So, let's cut through the standard advice and explore some unconventional methods.
Define Your Distraction Pattern
This isn't just about creating a distraction-free space.
It's about understanding your Distraction Pattern.
Each of us has unique triggers and rhythms of distraction.
Some might find their attention wandering every few hours, while others might feel the itch every 15 minutes.
Start by tracking your distractions for a few days to understand your pattern, and then customize your workflow to accommodate this.
For instance, if your attention wanes after 45 minutes of work, structure your tasks in 45-minute blocks.
Craft Your Personal Productivity Playbook
With your distraction patterns identified, you are now ready to build a personal productivity playbook. But how?
Identify your productivity tools.
List all the tools you use throughout your workday, such as email, Slack, Asana, Google Calendar, etc.
For each tool, go into its settings and tailor the notifications to suit your needs. Turn off non-essential alerts and customize notification times to align with your defined focus blocks. This way, you reduce the 'noise' these tools can generate.
Establish email processing times.
Set specific times during the day to check and process your emails.
For example, you could decide to handle emails three times a day: morning, after lunch, and end of the day.
This helps prevent the constant interruption of incoming emails.
Automate routine tasks.
Leverage automation tools like IFTTT or Zapier to automate routine tasks. For example, if you find moving emails to specific folders a recurring task, set up a rule in your email client to do this automatically based on exact keywords or senders.
Build a 'Brain-Pause' Routine
It's common knowledge that our brain needs breaks to stay focused.
But it's not just about taking random breaks.
It's about strategically 'pausing' your brain to recharge its cognitive capacities.
Introduce the concept of 'Brain-Pause' routines.
These are not your standard coffee or lunch breaks but specific activities that can help reset your brain, like a 5-minute mindfulness practice, doodling, or even taking a short, brisk walk.
Experiment with different activities to find what best helps you reset and return to work with a fresh mind.
I found mine recently → Running 🏃♂️
The quest for focus in a remote work environment goes beyond the cliché advice of eliminating distractions and taking regular breaks. It requires a deep understanding of your distraction patterns, using digital spaces for accountability, and experimenting with brain-pause routines.
It's time we approached the noise vs. signal battle more personalized and strategically.
Will I see you next Thursday?
On June 22, I will discuss it with 3 highly experienced digital leaders:
🎙 Luca Rossi - Founder of Refactoring.club
🎙 Chris Cerra - Deal-Hunter at RemoteBase.co
🎙 Gregor Ojstersek - CTO and author at Eng-Leadership.com
We'll cover everything from the transition to remote management to maintaining effective communication and collaboration, from ensuring employee well-being to building a resilient remote culture.
Our panel discussion will feature the following:
📍 The shift to remote leadership: Transitioning experiences and overcoming hurdles.
📍 Communication and collaboration in a remote setting: Strategies, tools, and practices.
📍 Remote leadership and employee well-being: The criticality of mental and emotional health.
📍 Building a robust remote culture: Creating and nurturing a sense of belonging and unity.
📍 A live Q&A session: Addressing your specific questions and providing additional insights.
Whether you're a founder, a remote team leader, or an aspiring digital nomad, this event promises to equip you with valuable insights to lead with success in the remote landscape.
Join this exciting journey towards a more flexible and inclusive future of work 🌎
That's all for this Saturday.
REMOTE.HOW - Become a Better Remote Leader in 2 mins/week.
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I wish you a great weekend!