On remote work arrangement

It was when I reached four years of working at a publishing company that I negotiated for a remote work arrangement. It was the book The 4-Hour Workweek (affiliate link) by Tim Ferriss (@tferriss) that greatly influenced how I view work. By applying the principles in his book, I was granted a remote work arrangement by my former employer.

The cubicle isn’t the only place where productivity happens. I’ve tried working in coffee shops, coworking spaces, in my home office, and I could say that productivity isn’t location-dependent. What matters is how you keep your creative juices flowing.

For those who dream of working remotely, I have some tips for you.

  • Protect your daily routine as if your life depended on it. Working from home or working remotely will expose you to different distractions on a daily basis. It sounds draconian, but you need to stick to your daily schedule by using a reliable app. In my case, I use Nozbe for managing my to-do list.
  • Put the Pomodoro Technique into practice. This technique works best for me when I use my wristwatch with a countdown timer set at 25 minutes which is the equivalent of one pomodoro cycle. When the timer sets off the alarm, I take a 5-minute break or I continue working on the task until I complete 4 pomodoro cycles then take a 30-minute break.
  • Set aside time for deep work. Cal Newport defines deep work (affiliate link) as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Writing involves deep work. So does brainstorming. As well as accounting, among others. Ideally, schedule a day of the week when you’re going to do deep work (e.g. every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.). For me I have adapted a much more flexible approach to deep work. Like the classic Pavlovian stimulus-response strategy, I associate deep work with a thing or place such as coffee shops for writing, coffee for solo brainstorming, etc.
  • Eat on time and make time for exercise. It’s easy to neglect your health when you’re all deep work at the expense of eating on time and doing exercise. Of course, meal-time should be a basic part of your daily routine. It’s a habit that should not be listed in your productivity app, because without nutrition, there’s no energy to manage at all. And how can you exercise without energy? And how can you boost you energy without exercise? You already know the answers.
  • Wage war against perfectionism. How many times do you proofread your email before hitting the send button? How many times do you rehearse before pitching your idea to your employer? How many times do you analyze your report before submitting them to your immediate superior? If you’re that type of person who’s got used to overdoing tasks than necessary then you might be a perfectionist.
  • Get obsessed with systems and processes. Your daily routine involves systems and processes. You can achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself by following certain systems or processes of doing tasks. Let’s take the goal of writing a book as an example. By saying that you’ll publish your book by the end of the year seems like an overwhelming goal to accomplish. By having a book writing system or process in order, the goal of writing a book by the end of the year becomes more manageable. Breaking down topics to write based on your outline lets you focus on one task at a time. Do this on schedule and you’ll find writing a book a lot easier than just stating your need to publish a book at the end of the year without a dependable writing strategy.

If you have the proper tools and techniques, systems and processes of doing tasks you have on your plate, working remotely becomes more enjoyable by avoiding distractions as many as you can. There’s a risk to everything either your work remotely or spend your work hours in a cubicle. But what’s important is to follow your intuition. If you think you’ll be more productive working in a cubicle then so be it. If you think you can accomplish your tasks by working remotely then by all means do it. The corporate world has been quick to adapt when it comes to remote work. It’s just up to you to prove that you’ll be at your most productive state if granted to work remotely.


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Rick Concepcion on handling business deals

Rick Concepcion (@ConcepcionRick) is a son of a typical politician father of the 1940-50’s. He wanted to be an agriculturist, but as usual, parents dictate what field to study so he went for law, banking and finance.

His good grades earned him the chance to study abroad. He finished his Bachelors Degree in Accountancy and Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) both at New Mexico State University.

After graduation as a U.S. citizen, he chose to have a work stint in Guam. He became friends with some agricultural scientists of the University of Guam Agricultural Experiment Station & Cooperative Extension Services.

He retired from his job at the Government of Guam and worked again in California and once more retired from the Superior Court of California.

Happy listening!

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Thanks for listening! What was your favorite quote from this episode of The Aries Chan Show? Please leave a reply in the comments.


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QUICK NOTES

  • Aries shares his foreword for Rick’s book titled, “My Last Shuffle: I Fought Parkinson’s Disease To A Draw — How Past Experiences Pushed My Fights To The Limits.”
  • Rick gives 7 tips on handling business deals.
  • Avoid conditional deals.
  • Deals must be arm’s length.
  • Watch for fine prints.
  • No favored relatives in business.
  • Take care of timing.
  • When doing deals don’t forget your love affair.
  • Don’t get glib virtual assistants (VAs).

MENTION


The Aries Chan Show is a podcast that tackles topics in philosophy, law, psychology, tech, eSports, entrepreneurship, magazine publishing, and mental health. It was launched on January 20, 2020. Check out this page to listen to any of the past episodes for free.


Disclosure: Please know that if you buy from our link we do receive a small commission from the referral. It doesn’t change the price, but it does help support what we do here. So if you feel this content helped you out and you want to return the favor, this is a great way to spread the love, and we really appreciate it.