Tips to Reduce Screen Time While You’re WFH…

It’s exhausting to look at a screen all day. And yet, if we’re working remotely, it may feel unavoidable. To maintain our energy throughout the workday, let’s try to proactively disconnect from screens whenever you can.

Here are a few tips that can help:

Avoid Video calls if possible – Remember that video calls aren’t necessary for every meeting: Let’s try a regular phone call every once in a while to mix things up. Also, choose physical over digital whenever possible.

Use Pen/Paper if possible – Brainstorming ideas for an article? Write out your thoughts on paper or post-it notes. Creating a road map for a big project? Sketch the initial draft on a whiteboard or butcher paper instead of typing in a laptop.

Move around as much as possible, even if it’s just standing up and rolling your shoulders or grabbing a glass of water between meetings, take frequent breaks.

Take tech-free breaks over lunch, tea time, and find activities that don’t involve a screen to wind down.

Taking these steps will help us reduce our digital fatigue and feel more energized at the end of each day.

Learning Tools…

How good are you at Google Sheet?

Can you write a query? A filter? Do you know how to install add-on tools to trim extra cells or create a mail merge? If you wanted to learn those things, do you know how to find out how?

It’s an interesting litmus test.

Google Sheet is not particularly difficult to use.

You can explore it in private, with no fear of screwing up. And it’s widely applicable to just about any career or community work you might choose to do.

If you get good at a type of technology, you’ll find yourself using it often. On the other hand, if you decide that you’re somehow untalented at it (which is untrue) or don’t take the time, then you’ll have sacrificed leverage and confidence that were offered to you.

Of course, it’s not just Sheets, or the web, or even computers. It’s a posture of possibility when it comes to the tools we’re able to use.

We can ignore the tools that we have access to. We can fear them. We can understand them.

(And, after we understand them, we’re able to hire someone else to use them on our behalf.)

We can even master them.

Decide Your Meeting Agenda Before…

A good agenda is the first step to any successful meeting. If you want to make the best use of everyone’s time, turn your bullet points into questions that drive to the outcomes you’re looking for.

For example, instead of a general topic like “Budget Problems,” try a specific question like, “How will we reduce our spending by $100,000 by the end of the fiscal year”? Or replace an item like “Strategic Planning” with a challenge like, “What is the key market threat we need to be aware of, how could it affect us, and what can we do to anticipate?” Preparing these questions before the meeting will make it easier to determine who should be there and how much time you’ll really need.

Ultimately, a questions-based approach to your agenda can bring focus, engagement, and better performance to your meetings. And if you can’t think of questions to ask, maybe you don’t need that meeting after all!

Effort and value…

One of my blogs took more than a week to write, 4 hours a day. Another took a total of 3 hours. Both attract the same traffic. The quicker one outdid the other 20 to 1 in traffic.

2 years of product work solves almost exactly the same problem as a one-month product work.
The effort of something is largely irrelevant, people are paying attention to its value.

Your customers don’t care what it took for you to make something – Effort. They care about what it does for them – Value.

Perfect moment for upskilling…

Now, today sprint in learning something that’s difficult to learn. Not because a teacher or a boss made us do it, but because we chose to. Not only do we get to keep that skill forever, but the act of taking control and expending the effort will change our mood.

And this is the perfect moment for generous connection. Going way beyond the news of the day, we have the chance to create intimate digital interactions that last.
It’s a significant posture shift, one which might change who you see when you look in the mirror.

We might not be able to do anything about external events, but we have control over our actions. Sometimes, it’s hard to stare right into that opportunity, because it comes with a lot of responsibility.
What will you learn today? Who will you teach?

By starting small, we can achieve big results…

High achievers often have lofty aspirations for self-improvement. But big goals — such as “meditate for an hour every day,” or “reading 50 books a year” — are often more burdensome than they are sustainable. So, start small by focusing on “microhabits” — more achievable behaviors that you build over long periods of time.

These habits should be ridiculously small, like meditating for 30 seconds or reading a paragraph each night. To minimize effort, piggyback on a daily task. Perform your new action at the same time as (or right before) something you already do every day. Read that one paragraph while brushing your teeth. Meditate while waiting for your coffee to brew.

Then, track your progress, but keep it simple. Try using a “yes list” where you write down the desired action, and under each date simply note a Y or N to indicate if you completed the task. Once you’ve accrued several weeks of Ys, you can increase your microhabit by a small increment, say 10%.

Continue these tiny, incremental adjustments until the new habit is part of your muscle memory. Focus on “Microhabits” to Change Your Behavior.

How to Leave Work at Work

Some jobs have very clear lines between when you’re “on” and when you’re “off.” But when you work in a role where the lines are blurred — or potentially nonexistent — it’s important to protect your non-work time.

If you feel like work is taking over most of your waking hours, start by clearly defining what “after hours” means for you. Take into account the number of hours you’re expected to work each week, as well as personal commitments like taking your kids to school, making a certain train, or attending an exercise class you really enjoy.

When do you need to start and stop to put in the appropriate amount of work time? Then, develop mental clarity about what needs to get done and when you will do it. Keep track of your tasks and plan them out. Make sure you block off time for an end-of-workday wrap-up, where you review and make sure you did everything you needed to do for the day. Lastly, communicate with your colleagues about how (or if) you want to be contacted during your off-hours. Really guard your time.

If you don’t, you won’t get the mental break that everyone needs.