“Right to Disconnect” & Time Management for Marketing and Business pals
Like many people, a good part of my job is being present, answering questions, being on social media and being available. It consumes my energy and on the evening, it’s hard to make a break. I’d like to show you some techniques I found to separate work from leisures. I’ve been a remote worker for 5 years now!
Your body is made to walk, run,hunt, gather, eat, sleep and do primal things. You’re the result of the Human Evolution across 2000 years. That said, in the last 50 years, we got accustomed to sitting 7 hours a day with hard mental work and low physical work.
This has impact, obviously. It means you’re not exhausted physically, but still mentally. Your body doesn’t understand fully how to process this. It can continue but lacks the way to give you feedback about exhaust.
Your mind & body both needs to separate work hours from leisure hours. The two should merge the least possible.
Plugins for Chrome & Firefox
Disable Facebook News Feed
With this plugin, Facebook becomes very bland and straightforward (the perfect thing for focus).
DF Youtube (Distraction Free)
This one will clear the side columns of Youtube (the one that makes you last on Youtube forever. Super efficient!
I’ve tried Apps & Websites blocking apps, but when you work on social media it’s kind of hard to use.
On phone: the least apps possible!
Your phone must have the least apps possible. No Slack, Discord, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Messenger lite, nothing.
It’s important to tell to the people around you that you don’t use any apps on your phone. This way they know that they can sell you good old text messages.
Smartphones & apps highly play around your Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). If you want to get better at focusing, it’s important you understand and read about those patterns. It helps you deconstruct and destroy them.
Read Nir Eyal and his book about hooks in social media. Watch Netflix’s Smoke Screen and you’ll understand this is ENGINEERED.
On the road: liberty!
Game marketers can participate in lots of events & conferences! It’s important to be highly mobile and able to speak with people quickly to setup meetings. During my trips, I install Slack, Discord, Facebook Lite back again for a few days.
At home or outside work hours: prefer console games & work the least possible here
As a Freelancer, after a few years, I realized how important it is to get an office! Your mind makes the mental separation between your home (comfort, rest) & your work (focus, efficient).
At home, I will mostly play games on my PS4, watch Youtube & Netflix on it. I try to get a fair ratio between movies, games, music and other forms of cultures. Being monomaniac is not very healthy on the long term.
In the office / work hours: getting into focus mode
It is possible to train yourself by triggering certain action, like a Pavlovian effect. When I want to get into Focus mode, I usually shut down completely Twitter, Slack, Discord. I clean my Tweetdeck columns.
If you shut down apps and then focus onto work for a solid hour, you will get this habit and shutting down apps will trigger this habit over time.
A cool tip to know is that music with lyrics decrease focus. You can listen to music without lyrics such as Solar Fields, Blazo, Piano Albums, Faster Than Light OST or even lo-fi.
I think another important thing to get “hard focus” time for 1–2 hours is to also make “soft focus” time and balance between the two. For instance, one of my work days (Wednesday) could go like this:
- 10am-12am: soft focus
- 2pm-3pm: soft focus
- 3pm-5pm: hard focus
- 5pm-6pm: soft focus
This way I’m sure I get 2 hours of solid advanced work a day and the spare is mostly messing around but working lightly.
As a creative director and CEO, I get a lot of calls. When I was a producer or freelancer, I would do 5–6 hours of calls every week on average. Sometimes even up to 10.
I advise to group everything on Tuesdays and Fridays.
This way, the Monday is for good productivity tasks. On Tuesdays & Fridays, I know I don’t get much practical work done but at least I have my “communication days”.
Programmers often know this, but calls and attention-grabbing discussions break the focus.
Breaking down Tasks
Linked to calls, I generally try to break down tasks into groups and assign them in the week.
Short tasks — they can be put between calls, at the end of the day (if not important) or right after launch break (if they’re important)
Medium Tasks — they usually take my mornings (10am to 12am)
Long Tasks — they usually take my afternoon (soft focus + hard focus from 2pm to 6pm)
This is it! Thank you for reading and have a great focused day!