4 Min ReadBusiness 20 May 2020
I feel I'm at my most productive when I am free to travel, learn, and create without the constraints of geography, an office, or a time card. So, when I founded Final just over two years ago, I sought to develop a company culture that inspired people to approach everyday problems with ingenuity, and was determined to create a team that was 100% remote. Initially, there were people who pointed out all of the reasons that a company operating remotely couldn't be successful; however, I knew that I could make the model work.
Fast forward to Spring 2020. In the unexpected shift to a work-from-home lifestyle brought on by the pandemic, companies around the world have joined the remote workforce. In light of that, I wanted to pass along some ways I've found to help stay creative, productive, and connected, no matter where you work.
I feel I'm at my most productive when I am free to travel, learn, and create without the constraints of geography, an office, or a time card.
Curate Your Workspace
Even when I'm traveling, I have a dedicated workspace with everything that I need to stay focused within reach. I am at my designated desk about 80% of the time, so good lighting, an ergonomic keyboard, wrist support, and mouse are non-negotiables. I also like to create a little ambiance to help me stay in the zone. Background music is one of my favorite ways to do this; I frequently listen to classical music or French jazz.
I begin every day with a 10-minute meditation as soon I wake up in the morning. This allows me to set an intention for myself before I face the demands of life and work. Following a good cup of coffee and a protein packed smoothie, I workout and then am ready for whatever the day might bring.
Hold Yourself Accountable
I recommend blocking out time on your calendar for specific tasks, such as emails, exercise, calls, and meals. Not only does this serve as a reminder of tasks that need to be accomplished, it also allows colleagues to gauge your availability throughout the day.
I have found that some of my strongest periods of productivity occur outside of the constraints of the 9 to 5 lifestyle.
Limiting interruptions also helps, and I have a habit of turning off Slack notifications when I am engaged in a project that requires either creative or critical thinking.
When I need to get the creativity flowing, I like to get out of the house. When I have a call scheduled that does not require the computer, I'll head out for a walk with my dog, Buritta.
Discover Your Work Rhythm
I've always been a night owl, but it wasn't until I became CEO of my own company that I was able to fully embrace the darkness. Now I frequently work well past midnight and allow myself to start my day later than "regular" work hours. I have found that some of my strongest periods of productivity occur outside of the constraints of the 9 to 5 lifestyle.
Seek Inspiration Everyday
Whether you go on a trail ride, listen to a podcast, or write a poem, allow yourself time to seek inspiration daily. You never know what might ignite your next spark!
Do The Top Three
To maximize my efficiency, I try to write a list every morning with the top three things I would like to accomplish for that day. I have found that as soon as the list grows any longer, it becomes overwhelming and far too easy to push tasks off until tomorrow.
I've found that the true measure of success in any work environment is not the number of hours put into a project, but rather the quality of the outcome. That's what matters most. It's important to take time to find and use the methods that work best to keep yourself productive, creative, and fulfilled—and above all, to achieve that quality outcome.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist