There’s a divide in thinking between how to approach your time spent while you have important things to do. One school of thought is the conservative camp that focuses on a strict schedule where each task you do should be outlined beforehand and completed at an exact time of day. The other school of thought favors a more non-traditional and perhaps entrepreneurial attitude where tasks are done in alignment with ambition and for the purpose of knowledge seeking. It is difficult to adopt a purely entrepreneurial mindset, though, because for most professions you need to have some conservatism to stay afloat and be responsible.
Still, there’s a key difference that emerges when discussing both of these ways of doing work and completing tasks—energy levels. Energy and productivity are highly correlated. Therefore, we should seek to maximize one to benefit both. Of course, the question is how.
In today’s technological world, and increasingly digital one thanks to new remote working trends, managing your energy can and should be considered a great asset for completing tasks and being the best employee in the room (or in your house).
How conventional models of working life have changed
There’s been much written on the topic of remote working and staying alert and diligent throughout the working day while sitting in your new in-home office (and perhaps with a pet or children you need to check up on from time to time). But there’s been less conversation on how productivity works in the confines of new spaces and how it affects output.
In the old office setting before the pandemic, there was actually a phenomenon taking place whereby being around your co-workers, talking to them in the mornings in the break room, and listening to the ambient sound of keyboards typing acted as a sort of catalyst for productivity. The simple concept here is that being around productive people actually induces productivity, even if you start off the day tired. This is also the reason people who don’t have to be in the office check into coffee shops to work from time to time. The ambiance of the new environment helps to stimulate the individual. It’s a pretty established method of working.
This convention has changed though, given that the experiences of checking into an office in the morning are no longer an option for many. The question then becomes how to produce the same energy in a remote setting without as many stimuli around you.
Here are some ways to replicate the energy that was given off in an office environment:
- Go outside for short walks around your neighborhood during your lunch break
- Try to focus on new methods of stimulus—such as meditation or deep breathing
- Stay off of social media during peak productivity hours (one may think it might be a stimulating activity, but research shows it can be a draining process of constantly checking your feed and one that actually induces anxiety)
Finding the right balance
The above-mentioned tactics might work for some but can also be less effective for others. The key is to find some balance in your new environment so that you can be productive when you need to be.
Because new remote working trends are likely to become the norm (as many companies sign onto giving their employees lifetime or indefinite time to work from home), the reality has to set in sooner or later that the Mad Men-style of working is not just a part of the past, but can also hinder productivity.
Therefore, the new long term methods of productivity and maintaining a healthy energy level should be about keeping a good and consistent energy level and finding the new means to do so. It’s important to read up on new editorials about ways to keep your energy levels high, but just like listening to the ambient sounds in a coffee shop, remote employees will have to find new ways to re-create an ambiance that catalyzes their productivity.