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The Nonlinear Workday

Lesson 5 from: Work Remotely: Thrive in a Job From Home

Darren Murph

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Lesson Info

5. The Nonlinear Workday

Lesson Info

The Nonlinear Workday

All right, the non linear workday so uh as was mentioned, this is the chapter of one of the chapters titled chapter of my book and nonlinear worked I'm not sure if I caught in this or I heard this somewhere else but you know what? I'll just give credit to the universe for this one because I just want it widely adopted and so we'll just go with that the concept here is to work when you're most productive and to destroy the nine to five construct, so I'm not entirely sure how far back the nine to five construct exist or came from but it just makes no sense to me whatsoever we've what we've already had people in the chat room saying like I'm in a time zone that's just vastly different than this company I work for how do we make this work? It's it's a digital world their time zones matter less and less every day and we're spending more time just figuring out how to make them work then it being to be all end all and so with this you know, if you if you get rid of the ninety five construct y...

ou say you know what, I'm a morning person I want to get up at five wouldn't shoot through a few hours of work and then I want to take a break spend some time with my kids spouse would have you what's stopping me well, what's stopping you is your office doesn't open his doors until nine. And so even if your most productive before nine kind of stock, you have to do what they say because that's when the real estate opens their doors that's ah it's a pretty terrible way to run a business these days, so check this when people really need to get work done, they carve out alone time in a special spot on a plane or odd times like before anyone gets to the office or after they all go home creative types in particular designers, programmers, writers, engineers and like they need long uninterrupted period the time to get things done. This is a quote from jason freed. He founded thirty seven signals and they created a product called base camp, which is an amazing collaboration. Tools that remote teams and office teams used to keep track of ongoing projects keep track of where they are at different stages of the project and just communicated keep all of that in one place. It's an amazing, amazing tool. This is an incredibly smart guy. This was said during a ted talk, and the name of the talk is where work gets done it's not where you think it gets done, and the anecdote that I have on top of this is a couple of years ago the day before thanksgiving, I called into a conference call up in new york, and the person hosting the call did not know that I was on the line. This was a few minutes before the call was supposed to start, and she was speaking to someone just beside her and said, I wish every day in the office was like the day before thanksgiving because no one's here and I've gotten so much work done before lunch that was what she said to the person right beside her and I overheard this and I'm thinking, yeah, exactly so even people that work in the office think you know, when I get a lot more work done when there's just no one here there's no distractions to take me away from work and it's because of this last point long interrupted periods of time are phenomenal for making massive gains on a project. Whether you're writing a book and you just want to plow through a few chapters whether you're on a complicated client project, you just need to focus to get it done. Being interrupted every twenty minutes is is pretty rough on in an office it's pretty tough to avoid, especially if you have an open space people were running back and forth all the time they're tapping on the shoulder there's nothing wrong with that that's come robbery, but it does make an impact on productivity so when are you most productive? Anyone here have any specific times of the day? We're like yes that's time that I want to work I love the around ten eleven a m to about two to three p m and then another block like forty six okay all right anybody else? Yeah four am the nineteen ok super super cool for me also really depends and how do I start my day? And if I have this morning routine that I love to follow and if I could follow it through then I have like the probably like starting from eight thirty to eleven twelve like really good chunk off so I love these answers because here's what here's what is what you guys have pointed out? So you've told me your most productive basically during lunch so if you go into an office during launch, everybody is taking lunch like people are just, you know, noisy we're talking about last night's game it's at the worst possible environment to get work done, but unfortunately that is when you are most productive. So if you have to go into an office every day, you're never going to change the fact that that is launch and so it's going toe it's going to wreck your productivity every day so your most productive from forty nine most companies won't even open their doors until seven or eight and so half of your most productive hours you'd have to squander just because the office says, you know what? We won't accept any work performed between the hours of foreign seven I mean, that sounds that sounds crazy, but that's, what an office does, they don't they don't really care about the work that happens outside of those hours, and yours is perhaps the most akin to mind where you basically said it varies maybe day today I have different areas of time that are most productive, depending on how my day starts. I'm the same way if I get up really refreshed in the morning, those first four hours are unbelievable, but sometimes I wake up and I'm still thinking about something from the day before on I just need something t get it back in the groove, they might want to start my day with a run just to get everything clear and then eleven to two is going to be my most productive hours on that day working from home gives you the flexibility to be a human and not have to have the most productive hours every single day you have to say, I have certain times for certain projects. Yeah, so I much prefer to dio starting client work in the evening, but I would never do my work, my own work. And then I want to do my own work like in that middle chunk in in the morning don't ask me to do anything too complicated I'd rather just do menial tasks and take care of administration so that's challenging because you're like that window gets taken up by something else then I miss my peak time for that kind of activity sure and it has to be pushed to the next day otherwise I'm kind of not doing a very good job yeah, yeah complicated yeah there's a people in the chat room who agree have a different schedule rebecca tap is talking specifically about when she writes block post so from nine to eleven a m and then after dinner is when she's best that writing her block post and kurt says that he's the most productive again in the middle of today are actually at night from ten p m all the way to three a m so we have some night owls as well. Yeah that's true, especially for creatives and I think a lot of what goes into the nine dollars early morning fewer distractions yeah, you get fewer emails, fewer text messages, there's less things that are commanding your attention at the's odd hours and it gives you a long interrupted periods of time to plow through it when you're in an office you're just there whether those hours air optimal or not that's what's going to happen so I want to share this photo as well as the story behind it so this is this is me and I'm on white fish mountain in montana and this was on a tuesday and on this particular tuesday I did not take any vacation so you're wondering well how did he end up on a ski mountain without taking any vacations so here's the quick story of it I got up at eight am I spent the first three hours working so from eight to eleven I took two steps out of my bed walked over to my computer there's not commute maybe five seconds I mean it was it's early in the morning is going to take me five seconds if you were a little later I might sprint over there but you know coming some slack so first three hours of the day spent working and then from twelve to four it's an optimal time to go skiing skies are clear ski resort closes at four so I think you know what? I'm going to go get four hours so I head out at about eleven thirty I ski from twelve to four comeback at four thirty from four thirty to about nine thirty or ten finish the rest of my workday have a late dinner good of it so I don't have a lot of time for things outside of skiing and work on this particular day but I was only gone from the office for for four hours, and I managed to work a full day on both sides of that and you think, well, if most people take that extra four hours in the evening, it's dark, really the only thing to do is netflix nothing wrong with netflix? Binge watchers, you know, just like everybody else, but what if that's not really your thing? What if you don't really want to stay in every single night? What if to be the most creative and imaginative person you can be? You need to take some time out in the middle of the day and an office environment? This is practically well to just vanish from the office from twelve to four is almost impossible when no one else is leaving, but in a remote working situation, you have the flexibility to say, I'm going to make sure that I scheduled my calls in client responsibilities around this twelve to four block and this is what I choose to do with it and maybe it's not skiing, maybe it's just hanging about friends and family, maybe it's just relaxing, reading a book, whatever it isthe the point is, if you're in an office, you're only four our leisure block it's always at night, and if you like seeing the sunshine that's not very good

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Top Apps for Working Remotely

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Living The Remote Dream - Nonlinear Workday
Living the Remote Dream - Preparing for a Remote Transition

Ratings and Reviews


Full of valuable information. Talks about pro's and con's of working remotely. I already work remotely as a freelance graphic designer but Darren had plenty of tips that I will implement for myself. Class moved at a nice pace.

MIke Woitach

Love it! I've been working from home for two and a half years and have been struggling with my productivity. This helped me think through the classic sticking points and how to think about my day.

Student Work