As a remote worker, there is a high probability that like me you spend more of your day in front of a myriad of screens than you do engaging with the world around you. If you also work across multiple timezones, you can quickly find that you spend days on end relating only to technology rather than the living humans in front of you, as you struggle to juggle various digital tasks and deadlines. Research shows that doing just two or three tasks at once puts more demand on your brain than doing them consecutively. “We are doing so many things, all we are doing is processing on a surface level. If there’s split focus, then memories aren’t encoded – nothing goes in to your long-term memory. This has serious consequences for learning”- Booth.
So what are you to do? As a remote worker, you don’t have the “luxury” of completely turning off digital devices and having a 3 day break. At the same time you live in an awareness of how juggling tasks and screens takes its toll on your relationships and mental health. What is a remote worker to do? How can you hold your own, and stand your ground against the daily notification onslaught?
Author Paul Levy shares provides some helpful tips in his book ‘, that can help you reduce the time you spend with your face buried in a screen, while still addressing all of the tasks that need to get done.
We built the Teamwork Onboarding Zone with that same balance in mind. We understand the constant tug-of-war that you feel between spending time reacting to the notifications that draw you in, while struggling to maintain real relationships. We are also aware of how amazing and creative the digital realm is. We aim to help users utilise technology, instead of feeling that technology is ultlising you, and created a learning platform that allows you to learn when, and as you want to (even learn as you work using the plugin) and not when a notification tells you to do so.
In the spirit of staying sane here are some of the best tips we have fond to help you stay connected without feeling overwhelmed:
1. Set aside time to do a digital audit and find apps and services that really will help you organise and work through your deadlines like Teamwork Projects. Delete anything that you are not using or are not finding really helpful. Keeping then just creates excess digital screen clutter.
2.Create a few digital-free spaces at home, where you choose not be to connected or distracted. Think bedroom and dining areas?
3. Create a dedicated charging station for all of your devices. Put them all there so that you aren’t checking your phone while it charges. You can lose so much time this way.
4. Don’t let your digital environment get too pushy with you. Switch off “push notifications” for times that you choose when you don’t NEED to be on call. Push notifications are the alerts that keep you “always on”.
5.Check your emails three times a day instead of constantly reacting to them as they bleed into your life.
6. Read a message out loud or in your head before you send it; you will almost definitely then edit it or rewrite it and send a much better written message. Better messages, don’t require further explanation, and keep fluff communication notifications down.
7. Don’t hunch over your laptop. Keep your back safe and always ensure you take breaks from bright screens. Get support for your wrists if you type a lot. We not only feel discomfort now, but also need to protect our bodies for later in life.
8. Set a timer and dive in fully for a digital hour of your choice – enjoy surfing and playing in the digital realm – then come out! For each hour “in”, have a couple of hours “out”. That isn’t because the digital realm is bad; it’s just that it claims your mind and senses very powerfully.
9. Protect your social time; you will enjoy digital interaction better when you choose to do it rather than drift into it. Can you leave your device off or, even at home, for a couple of hours?
10. Find and create healthy spaces for your digital work and play. A good chair; some natural light or access to fresh air; a favourite cafe, a social space or somewhere where you can also easily step away. Create one room in the house where you work instead of couch-slouching or taking over the kitchen.
11. Learn to write haikus and you might just tweet more eloquently! Taking breaks to learn skills can make you better at your job!
12. If you type or text quickly, your writing will often be more repetitive and cliched. Slow down. Occasionally say the message first or even hand write it; watch your writing quality rocket.
We hope that this list helps you as much as it has helped us!
December 3, 2018
December 3, 2018