I feel like my entire day is on a video call. Whether it be Google Meet, Teams or Zoom I spend the majority of my day staring at myself in a square mirror assessing how I’m coming across to a client or an internal team. In truth, they are probably doing the same so I shouldn’t worry.
This ‘new normal’ or what I like to call ‘work’ means I’m simultaneously more connected than I have ever been and more detached. I don’t remember conducting day long conversations when I was based in the office so what happened?
Whatever way you look at it, the constant stream of calls makes it challenging to get any deep work done. The projects I’m involved in are incredibly detailed and require a level of focus that jumping on and off calls makes challenging. In this blog I have added my tips on ‘getting shit done’ I hope you find them helpful!
Use the tomato
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo, the technique uses a timer to break down work into 25 minute intervals, separated by short breaks. The technique is named after the Italian for ‘tomato’ pomodoro, the tomato-shaped kitchen timer. This is absolutely my top tip. Much of my work is incredibly intense and long, it’s often anxiety provoking looking at the mountain ahead. But the best way to tackle the mountain or the elephant is one step or bite at a time. You will be amazed at the progress you can make in 25 minutes, then afterwards, you can reward yourself by allowing an email check.
Employ a default diary
If you’re like me your diary is blocked out with client and internal meetings and my to do list is full of work that needs completing. Block out the time in your diary that you will need to complete your work and don’t let anyone sneak in a meeting. In my experience this technique is the best way to plan and remove anxiety! It also prevents the default state of being in meetings all day and completing all the work in the evening.
Make all internal meetings 15 or 25mins
Most topics can be covered in this time, and not rounding everything up to an hour allows time for a coffee or a trip to the toilet.
Turn off notifications
Notifications have been proven to release dopamine. Why should that be OK? Flip it around and put yourself back in control. Personally I have all notifications turned off so when I want to check Whatsapp for example, it’s my conscious choice to go into the app and look. When I want to get deep on a project I switch off email and our internal messenger. I only do this for 25 min blocks (see above) and reward myself after that with a notification check and dopamine hit.
How often have you turned up to a meeting with no idea what it’s about and what you want to get out of it. Our time is valuable, creating an agenda not only ensures you get what you need from the meeting but also makes sure everyone is aligned and prepared.
Have a meeting free day
This is something we are looking to bring into Make it Clear, it will be one day a week where no meetings can be booked internal or external. Allowing the team to focus on project work.
Be kind to yourself
Be are working in a way that is new to us all and it’s difficult. The lines between home and work are blurred and replacing human interaction with video is not going to be a long term solution. Be kind to yourself, take breaks, ask for help and remember we are all just humans in those squares on the screen.
Have a call
We’d love to talk to you about how Make it Clear can support your organisation. Book a call here.