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About productivity for the other half of the planet

mdev88 profile image Martín Vukovic Updated on ・2 min read

I am really really tired of reading "awesome productivity tips" that are oblivious about a half of the planet (I'm making this number up), the half that has a family, that have children, that has a life other than work and comfortable sleep.

I have found many techniques, tips and advice related to productivity that has certanly improved mine, but I have to say that most of the times I end up crashing against reality and thinking "this is just not possible for me", or "this is unrealistic" or "I wish I were 10 or 20 years younger to be able to do this".

When you have a demanding life, a family, responsabilities and time-consuming daily occupations, when you live with other people under the same roof and you can't just decide to do whatever you need whenever you need however you need, it gets a little anoying when all advice seems to be targeted to single, young, wealthy people.

I am baffled by the lack of productivity related material targeted at... well, people like me. People who really need to squeeze the very last drop of productivity out of a busy, crowded and interrupted schedule. These are not the ideal conditions to be productive, believe me, I KNOW, but that's precisely why we need to focus on those type of problems.

It's not just about what tools to use, or how to track time, or what to do when you wake up, it's also about how to deal with interruptions, how to deal with frustration, how to cope with the reality that maybe the productivity that you once had and that you wish you could go back to is never coming back, not fully anyway.

I don't want this to just be a rant. I really want to find quality content about productivity made by and for people other than youths in the pinacle of their lives.

Got any and care to share?

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eruizdechavez profile image
Erick Ruiz de Chavez

My situation:

I am 39, web developer, currently working from home, although I’ve work 100% from home for the past 6 years. I am married, no children, 1 small dog. We rent a house in the suburbs and we have a dedicated "work" area (basement).

Now that you understand my situation, my tips are the following:

Space boundaries. Set up your working space to be that, your working space. It does not matter if it is a dedicated room, or just a corner in your bedroom, keep it as clean and organized as possible, no only because you will have all you need at hand, but also this helps to avoid distractions.

Time boundaries. Unless you have really special circumstances, set a couple of alarms to mark the start and end of your day, and respect them. This is very important to keep your work/life balance, but also, in this times where lots of us are working from home, it is very easy to work more time that what you should (either start earlier, or end later).

Communication boundaries. My wife knows I am at home and available if I am needed, but she also respects my working hours as if I were at the office. She knows my job is flexible and I can be interrupted if she has to, but she also avoids doing this unless it is really necessary. In the same way, set your notifications (email, instant messages, etc) to follow your work schedule and do not allow/respond work distractions when you are not working. I have setup my Slack notifications to only be enabled from 1 hour before work, to 1 hour after work (8 am, 7 pm), and only on weekdays. I also disabled email notifications and badges.

I hope you find these 3 boundary tips helpful. I know everyone’s situation is different, but you should get at least some inspiration to adapt them to yours.

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mdev88 profile image
Martín Vukovic Author

These are good tips and I try to follow them as much as possible, but sometimes reality just smashes the door down with an ax XD

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admantium profile image
Sebastian

Hi Martin, the only time-proven method that works in every company is to have a calendar in which you make self-appointments for your most important projects. Schedule 1-2 hours each day for your top-priority project, find the focus and work on it.