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How to focus on the work that matters

Stashed in: @caterina, Productivity, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Multitasking, Productivity

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Knowledge workers spend 28 percent of their time with email. Fifty-eight percent of smartphone owners don't go an hour without checking their device. Nine percent check it during religious services.

I love the fact that my battery doesn't last a day... it's like getting a furlough every afternoon.

Or perhaps it's an indication you're checking the device more than the manufacturer thinks you should. 

How do you break free?

In my interview with Cal Newport he said that the emphasis on productivity tricks was problematic. It's only part of the solution — and not the important part:

There's this notion that productivity alone, if you could just get the system right, is going to give you a meaningful career. I think a big shift is happening in people's thinking as they realize "No, no, productivity can't do that for you." It can't help you crack the new theorem or the new big product. What it can do is help clear the deck so that you can then start the sort of hard work of building and applying skills that leads to the really valuable stuff.

We spend time wisely when we plan:

Via What the Most Successful People Do at Work: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Career:

Preliminary analysis from CEOs in India found that a firm's sales increased as the CEO worked more hours. But more intriguingly, the correlation between CEO time use and output was driven entirely by hours spent in planned activities. Planning doesn't have to mean that the hours are spent in meetings, though meetings with employees were correlated with higher sales; it's just that CEO time is a limited and valuable resource, and planning how it should be allocated increases the chances that it's spent in productive ways.

It's even a good idea with your free time.

Caterina Fake points to management expert Pete Drucker who says working at home in the morning is the only real solution.

Via The Practice of Management:

The only published study of the way chief executives actually spend their day has been made in Sweden by Professor Sune Carlsson. For several months Carlsson and his associates clocked with a stop watch the working day of 12 leading Swedish industrialists. They noted the time spent on conversations, conferences, visits, telephone calls, and so forth. They found that not one of the 12 executives was ever able to work uninterruptedly more than 20 minutes at a time — at least not in the office. Only at home was there some chance of concentration. And the only one of the 12 who did not make important, long-range decisions "off the cuff," and sandwiched in between unimportant but long telephone calls and "crisis" problems, was the executive who worked at home every morning for an hour and a half before coming to the office.

So what do you need to do?


Drucker is the man... almost every thing he's written is applicable and works... morning work at home is awesome.  Work at home all day is awesome... but never as productive as in the early morning.

In general early morning is the most productive no matter where you work. 

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