1. Busyness in the workplace is the expectation that employees put in at least eight hours of work each day - even if those eight hours are distracted and unproductive.
2. Work Mastery is learning how to use focus to become more productive and efficient in your workday, allowing you to become more present in your life outside of work.
3. In the coming module, you will learn how to work smarter, not harder or longer.
“The performer who focuses the best wins the most.” - Chad Rempel
Welcome to Work Mastery!
There is the long-standing belief that a productive workday must last, at the very least, eight hours. The concept of the eight-hour workday started with the Industrial Revolution. Ford Motor Company advanced the idea in 1914, when the company scaled back its forty-eight-hour work week to curb accidents.
Because we’ve been doing this for so long, eight hours has become the minimally acceptable measure of work. If you hold a salaried management position and work forty hours a week, you are meeting the bare minimum expectations. The unspoken expectation is you should be the first one in the office every morning and the last one to leave every night. Otherwise, you’re seen as a slacker.
I am a fan of hard work, and there are certainly times in our careers when extra demands require extra time, but it is not sustainable long term if we have any hope of living a balanced life. Many leaders of the newest and fastest-growing companies are far more focused on working smarter, not harder or longer. Balance and lifestyle have become important hallmarks of these companies.
This is where the focus effect comes into play.
When you eliminate distraction from your day, there is no need to be chained to a desk for endless hours. We have seen many examples of successful companies that have implemented five-, six-, and seven-hour workdays, with flexible hours and have shown far more daily productivity than the traditional eight-hour workday. Heck, some companies would be happy to go from ten- to twelve-hour workdays down to eight.
Distractions must be set aside during on-task time. When you are working, you are working. When you are not working, you are recovering and regenerating so you can do your best work again the next day.
When you give your tasks your undivided attention, you are able to produce higher quality work in less time. There is no logic to sitting at a desk for a designated amount of time if the work you are completing is not the best representation of your abilities.
So that’s the goal of this module - to give you the information and tools you need to work better, not harder. When you apply those skills in the workplace, you can begin to make changes that will improve every aspect of your life.
Today’s New Habit: Eliminate Distractions
The first habit I’d like you to work on in Work Mastery is to eliminate distractions.
Spend some time making a list of all the things that distract you during a typical workday such as email, social media, socializing, or surfing websites. You might get distracted by one, two, or all of these things.
Once you know what your biggest distractors are, you can come up with a plan as to how you will eliminate these distractions during work time.
We’ll check in next week to see how you’re doing on your list.