Breaks, Time Management, and Remote-First

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    Welcome to this week’s edition!

    As ever each week we drop a video to help you more productive in work and life, a future of work insight and share our favorite new thing. Let’s get going!

    I’m writing this week’s edition from a plane, and it reminds me of something that a BillionMinds user recently mentioned. She had just taken an international flight and worked for the duration of it. By the end of the journey, not only had she got a huge amount done (despite the discomfort) but the flight itself seemed only half as long compared to when she would sit back and soak up the plane’s movie catalog. “What IS this time thing?” she asked one of our coaches, somewhat perplexed.

    That may sound like an odd question, but it turns out that the nature of time is actually very complex, and how we interact with time makes a vast difference in how we work. The rate at which time appears to pass is influenced by our age, the type of activities we are performing, and how excited we are by an upcoming event, to name just three elements. Some theoretical physicists even believe that time as we observe it may not be a reality at all, and is just a reflection of how we perceive our surrounding universe. In other words, time is more biology than physics.

    All of this is connected to the habits of some of the most sustainably effective people we’ve ever seen, who have a fundamentally different relationship with time. Of course, they have the same 24 hours, and in fact, many of them have FEWER waking hours because they sleep more, but they are doing something different with what remains.

    One example of how things are different for these people is that they often think less about how much time they have, and more about how much energy. They maximise the amount of energy they can use in their available time by getting good rest and by balancing work, rest and play appropriately. To the extent that they DO think about time, it is to understand the times of day when they are at their most productive, and working hard at those times.

    Perhaps most fascinatingly, some of the most effective people we have spoken to almost never self-describe at “busy”, despite getting more done than most people each day. As one interviewee put it “Busy is a state of mind, and to me shows I’m not working effectively”.


    This week we had a great chat with Corey Hynes – CEO of Skillable. We could have spoken about many things. Just like BillionMinds, Skillable uses experiential learning to build up great skills in employees – though while we focus on soft skills, they focus on technical skills. But our conversation was focused on another interesting aspect of Skillable – they have been remote only for 20 years! As you can imagine – Corey had a ton of insight on how to make remote work work really well.

    Key Insights:

    • To be a great remote employee you need great soft skills and an approach that keeps you physically and mentally healthy outside of an office
    • Working remote doesn’t mean never gathering, but it changes why and when you gather
    • Trust can erode quickly in remote environments, and trust is very closely related to transparency

    You can watch the podcast here, or listen to it wherever you get your pods!

    The Tip: Using Breaks to Keep You Healthy

    Video Length: 59 Seconds

    One of the most productive ways to work is tight focus periods interspersed by short breaks. A question we often get asked is what to do with those breaks? Our video this week examines how to use those breaks to improve your overall health. Check out the video below!

    About Us

    BillionMinds bring you Skills for the Future of Work each and every week. But that’s not all we do. We also help employees and managers in companies around the world embed key soft skills to thrive in the modern workplace, and get certified in those skills. Each of our Learn/Do experiences is less than 10 minutes a day and you can see meaningful change within two weeks.

    We work with both companies and individual employees. Certification programs start at $200 and we provide discounts for those seeking work. For more information, visit us here.