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The future of work needs to give you back your schedule

May 18, 2020 . 6 min read

future of work

wfh

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There are very few things in life that are certain. The fact that time is limited is one of them. We all know it, yet we all take it for granted. Humans are generally bad at managing time and I am certainly terrible at managing my schedule. It seems that we live in this constant battle to be more productive, work less and spend more time with our loved ones; however, we normally do a terrible job at it. Why is that?   

We do need to collaborate in smarter ways and that can’t be done without humans being able to communicate with one another in a effective way. The intersection of these themes will quickly impact the way anyone manages their own time and their schedule. The conundrum here is that my meeting invite, that I so urgently need, will surely disrupt your focus, day and flow. All of a sudden, you’ve lost control of your schedule. 

  How can you regain control of your time so you can stay focused on the task and be output driven? Meaningful and impactful work needs dedication, focus and thought. In short, it requires distraction-free time – something that clashes completely with the need to collaborate and communicate with your others. We need to claim back our schedule to immerse ourselves in craftsmanship.   

Scheduling

Meeting invites creep into diaries across the globe, they are the heartbeat of white collar employees as they share progress, notes and try to get stuff done. While no doubt important, they fracture the day into tiny pieces and make everyone hostage to other people’s agendas. Individually we all have less time for “deep work”

Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate. By Carl Newport

According to Carl Newport, we need distraction-free concentration to push our capabilities to their limit and create value. Any type of organization will rejoice with the hypotheses of more value creation. Yet, the opposite tends to happen as we jump from meeting to meeting ad infinitum.

To better understand how you can regain your schedule back, I have mapped some of the useful tools available, you can check them out here.

⏰ Get your time back

Deep work can’t be done in 30-minute sprints while you swing from one call to another. We need more time to produce something meaningful and relevant. What if you can “shelter” yourself from the incoming slack messages, meeting invites and emails? Or even better, what if AI could rearrange your schedule so you can regain big chunks of your day to practice “deep work”?

Focused around the creed that “deep work” should be prioritized, Memory built Dewo, to enable you to maximize your state of flow. Dewo blocks notifications automatically, reschedules your appointments,and more importantly, tracks your “deep work” progress. With a similar mission, Clockwise promises you a solution to escape the chaos of work, freeing up your time so you can focus on what matters. In short they optimize your calendar so you can claw back more time to develop your craft.

🤢 No more shallow tasks

You wake up fresh, only to learn that all your appointments were shuffled around – your previously pristine schedule is now in complete chaos. You spend an hour or more trying to rearrange things as newly created meetings clash with the ones shuffled overnight. To salvage the day you have to shoot a couple of emails and make a couple of calls. What if this would be done automatically?

Fortunately, companies like Mixmax, Woven and x.ai – to name a few – can help you organize your schedule. Woven proposes smart templates and scheduling links to help with organizing all your meetings. Mixmax is deeply integrated in your email, understands the context of your conversations, and is able to generate email scheduling sequences in an automated way. x.ai handles the meeting request with your connections and schedules them instantaneously.

🆘 Get help when in need

You are scaling and growing super fast. You need to focus on execution to continue to expand, but also need time to think about the next strategic move. You have to free yourself from that research piece of work, or you might need someone to reply to that email for you. Sound familiar? What if you had someone who could automate work for, just waiting for your input? Or, if you had a fantastic executive assistant at your disposal without having to pay a full time wage? Too good to be true?

Invisible runs and automates business processes with a wide range of solutions across both sales and HR operations to help your business grow. Doudle helps you to delegate work that can’t be done by a machine. They offer you high calibre executive assistants, with up to 5 years of experience, to handle complex tasks for you. In short they combine humans and technology to get your tasks done in an efficient way.

☝️ One more thing

All these solutions, and their outcomes, are only possible if we integrate them with our current systems. It is important that we understand the benefits of API’s to tap into different capabilities without having to build them. There are risks in doing so, however I personally believe it’s far riskier to not embrace these new capabilities.

Mapping the future of work

I created a small directory of startups crushingwfh with the intent of helping anyone that is working from home. In my mind, this simple web app would be the cheat- sheet for everyone that is working from home. As such, it will need to have all possible tools and, as off now, you will find tools that could help you with:

Coding, or better, learning to code;

  • Collaboration;
  • Communication;
  • Design;
  • E-learning;
  • Kids,homeschooling;
  • Password Management;
  • Productivity;
  • Project Management;
  • Scheduling meetings;
  • Time Tracking;
  • Video Conferencing

This is a live directory and will morph and evolve over time. Anyone can add tools, if they feel they are missing, but more importantly you can download the tools here.

I hope this is helpful and thank you for reading this far!


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