7 Ways to Help Your Remote Team Make Time for Deep Work — Andy Sto

Identify the barriers

  • Level of difficulty — shallow work is easier to do. So people tend to complete these tasks first and get engaged in deep work. Crossing out many tasks from your to-do list might create an illusion that you are being productive and working hard. But it does not mean that you are getting work done. So encourage your team members to prioritize those tasks that have long-term value.
  • Distractions — whether you are working from home or sitting in a cozy café, there can be many distractions. With constant chat messages and notifications, and children running around the house, our everyday life can get chaotic. And deep work cannot be done when we are constantly distracted and lose focus every 10 minutes. We recommend asking your remote team members about the biggest distractions they have to handle and then thinking of ways to reduce them.
  • Context switching — we often tend to switch from task A to task B then to task C and task A again. Imagine you started writing an email, but did not finish it, and then opened a document for the report. But in the middle of it answered a call. As Cal Newport explains in his book, once you switch from one task to another, part of your attention does not follow, it stays with the original task. So you are still thinking about that email you opened but did not finish writing. Try to reduce context switching by telling your employees to do the same type of tasks in a certain period of time. For example, dedicate one hour to only sending emails or if they have several calls to make, do not spread them throughout the day.
  • Work-life balance — those working remotely know the pain of managing your working schedule. No matter how organized you are, it might still be a challenge to finish work on time. It’s important for you to set boundaries together with your team members, set the expectations straight and define exact working hours. As a result, they would be able to keep more energy during the day and stay motivated.
  • Work culture — if there is an established ritual of having a five-hour Zoom call every Monday, it would most likely get in the way of deep work. Try to minimize the time spent on unnecessary administrative tasks.

Help with creating a space

Less time for meetings and communication

Invest in tools and technology

Support good habits

Promote a healthy work-life balance

Be the advocate for deep work

The verdict

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Andy Sto

Andy Sto

Digital Nomad focused in #remotework and #digitalnomadism