WFH Productivity Hacks | Hiten Shah on Below The Line with James Beshara

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Key Takeaways

  • Hiten Shah’s Top 3 Work From Home (WFH) Hacks:
    • 1) Practice good meeting etiquette
      • If you have an established relationship with someone you may not need to turn on video, but if it’s someone new it’s better to turn on video
      • Every meeting should have an agenda and action items that come out of it
    • 2) Experiment with what makes you most productive
    • 3) Prioritize documentation and clear communication
      • Design your team so you can work asynchronously
  • Additional WFH tips:
    • Create boundaries between work and life
    • Schedule time for socializing: Make time for yourself and time to socialize with people outside your daily group
    • Connect with your teammates: Spend the first 3-5 minutes of a group call to catch up with everyone
    • Do post mortems on key projects: Analyze the good, bad, and ugly of your projects
    • Build accountability: Identify what needs to get done and who’s doing what tasks
    • Define your and your team’s responsibilities
    • Focus on your health

Intro

About Hiten

  • As of 2020, Hiten has been working from home for 17 years
    • He’s the co-founder of FYI
  • Working from home is about comfort
    • “The more comfortable you are, the more likely you’re to feel relaxed and be able to actually work. Being able to feel comfortable trumps everything else, every other rule you could think of.”Hiten Shah

Hiten’s 3 WFH Hacks

  • 1) Practice good meeting etiquette
    • If you have an established relationship with someone you may not need to turn on video, but if it’s someone new it’s better to turn on video 
      • About 94% of communication is non-verbal so it’s important to see the body language of the people you’re talking to 
    • Every meeting should have an agenda and action items that come out of it
      • “You need a purpose for every meeting” – Hiten Shah
  • 2) Experiment with what makes you most productive
    • “You have to experiment with what makes you most productive”  – Hiten Shah
      • Hiten has found that sitting on a bean bag in his bedroom makes him more productive
        • Try different chairs, desks, rooms, etc.
  • 3) Prioritize documentation and clear communication
    • Design your team so you can work asynchronously
      • Hiten recommends using Google Docs because multiple people can work on something at the same time or individually
        • Ask yourself what will get the job done faster: synchronous or asynchronous work? Then take action
          • For tasks that require deep work, it’s better to work asynchronous

More WFH Tips

  • Create boundaries between work and life:
    • Turn off notifications
    • Turn off your computer
    • Create a space where you can leave your work behind
      • It also tells your family whether you’re in work mode or life mode
        • Having headphones on is a great signal to tell people you’re in work mode
  • You can sync your Slack with Google Calendars so people can see when you’re in a meeting and when you’re free to chat
  • Schedule time for socializing: Make time for yourself and time to socialize with people outside your daily group
  • Connect with your teammates: Spend the first 3-5 minutes of a group call to catch up with everyone
    • The first question Hiten always asks is: how’s everyone feeling?
  • Do post mortems on key projects: Analyze the good, bad, and ugly of your projects
    • Hiten’s guidelines for post mortem meetings:
      • Go wild
      • Be nice
      • Be honest
      • Don’t sugarcoat
      • It’s okay to make mistakes; it’s even better to learn from them
  • Build accountability: Identify what needs to get done and who’s doing what tasks
  • Define your and your team’s responsibilities
    • “Loose responsibilities don’t work in a remote environment” – Hiten Shah
  • Focus on your health
    • Take a break, go for a walk, meditate, exercise

Additional Notes

  • Try to wake up around the same time daily
  • Make the first 30 minutes or so of your day ‘me time’
    • Read a book, meditate, or do something else that’s for yourself
  • You don’t have to apologize for every interruption on a Zoom call; life is crazy for everyone right now and people understand things will pop up
Below the Line : , , , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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