Stop Being 'Always On'

Stop Being 'Always On'

Listen up, fellow remote devs! We need to have a serious talk about this whole “always on” nonsense that’s killing our ability to actually innovate and be productive. I’ve been in the remote game for several years (yes even before COVID), and let me tell you, this constant availability crap needs to stop.
Imma lay down the truth about why being glued to your screen 24/7 is messing with your brainpower, and I’m dishing out some real-talk strategies to help you finally disconnect and get s*** done.

The ‘Always On’ Lie: Yeah, I get it. Remote work gives you the freedom to set your own hours, but that doesn’t mean you should be chained to your laptop every waking second. Your best ideas won’t come when you’re a zombie scrolling through your inbox at 2 AM. Innovation needs space to breathe, and being “always on” is suffocating it.

…and while you’re at it, let’s address the elephant in the virtual room – busy work. You know, those mundane, soul-draining tasks that somehow creep into our daily routines, masquerading as productivity. We’ve all been there, right? You’re knee-deep in tackling a complex coding problem, and suddenly, ping, a barrage of Slack messages distract you from the real deal. It’s tempting to dive into these “quick wins,” like clearing out your inbox or responding to every notification, thinking you’re multitasking like a champ. But let’s be real, remote warriors – this is the equivalent of going for a jog while juggling flaming torches.

The truth is, busy work is the silent killer of true productivity and innovation. It’s like filling up on junk food when you’re starving for a gourmet meal. Sure, you feel full, but you’re far from nourished. And let’s not forget the dark side of the “planning fallacy” – those quick tasks that seem innocent and time-efficient, but end up sucking away more minutes than a black hole.

How to Actually Disconnect and Crush It Remotely:

  • Stick to a Schedule, Seriously: Treat your remote work like a real job. Set start and end times, and stick to them. Clock out when it’s time, so your brain knows when to switch off the work mode.

  • Deep Work, No BS: Carve out chunks of time for focused work. Shut off notifications and tell your colleagues you’re off the grid temporarily. Seriously, they can wait.

  • Talk About Communication Boundaries: Be real with your team about how you communicate. Set clear rules for response times, so you’re not being dragged into the abyss of constant chatter.

  • Claim Your Territory: Designate a workspace. When you’re in that spot, you’re in work mode. When you’re not, work stays behind. Period.

  • Digital Detox, Anyone?: Unplug. Seriously, just unplug. Your Instagram feed won’t collapse without you. Spend time doing non-work stuff to recharge your brain and let those creative juices flow.

  • Time for Big Brain Moves: Don’t let the day-to-day grind kill your chance to innovate. Set aside dedicated time for brainstorming and experimenting. Break free from the mundane.

So, while you’re disconnecting from the “always on” madness, remember this: choosing meaningful tasks over the allure of busy work is your secret weapon. It’s not about just getting things done; it’s about accomplishing the right things that propel you forward. So, fellow remote dev gladiators, as you carve out your schedule, set those communication boundaries, and claim your workspace like a boss, also wield your sword of discernment against the busy work horde. Let innovation breathe, let your brain focus, and watch your productivity soar like a phoenix from the ashes. Now, get out there and conquer the remote realm like the true warrior you are! 🛡️🚀

© 2024 Bence Stumpf