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The 8-Hour Workday Doesn't Really Work | LinkedIn

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We all need to manage four different types of energies every day:

  • Physical energy: How healthy are you?
  • Emotional energy: How happy are you?
  • Mental energy: How well can you focus on something?
  • Spiritual energy: Why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?

Machines move linearly, humans move cyclically

For an efficient work day that truly respects our human nature, the first things to focus on are ultradian cycles.

Wait, what?

Most of this article was tl;dr but here are the takeaways:

  • Manually increase the relevance of a task: It can be hard to maintain focus, especially if what you're doing doesn't have a deadline. Overriding your attention system, and adding your own deadline together with a reward can significantly improve task completion, according to researcher Keisuke Fukuda. 
  • Split your day into 90 minute windows: Instead of thinking about an 8, 6, or 10 hour work day, split your day into four or five 90-minute windows. That way you will have, say, four tasks you will get done more easily.
  • Plan your rest so you actually rest“The fittest person is not the one who runs the fastest, but the one who has optimized their rest time,” says Tony Schwartz. A lot of the time we are so busy planning our work day that we forget about “how” to rest. Plan beforehand what you will do to recharge: Nap, read, meditate, get a snack, etc.
  • Allow zero notifications: One of the best ideas I’ve ever had was to follow Joel’s advice on zero notifications. Having absolutely no alerts on my phone or computer that breaks my focus has been a huge help. If you haven’t tried it, try to turn off every digital element that could become an alert.

Not everyone's work can benefit from this advice, but it's a perspective.

Good stuff. I usually created an excel grid based on my priorities.  I have one grid for 168 hour week and another grid for the 720 hours in 30 day month. Its not perfect but helpful.

That's good, Sonya.

I'm not as organized.

I have the thing I want to get done today, the things I want to get done this week, and everything else.

Pretty much just text lists.

Its part of managing my creativity... i go to that extreme so I can play in the middle.  I heard a story by these folks from Brilliant Noise who have a booklet out called Design Your Day.  They talked of sitting with some Army Generals, one happened to be female. They all talked about their lists. She said she makes a list of everything she wants to do that day, then she goes back and crosses everything off but the two most important things.. because in reality those are the ones that matter most. The other stuff not so much. Hard core but a good discipline.  

That is a great discipline. 

I wonder why two instead of one or three. 

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