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Recreation is Important and Here’s Why

Recreation is Important and Here’s Why

Having fun and enjoying life is what everyone wants. However, when duty calls, we sometimes need to place our hobbies in the background and make sure we finish what is more pressing at the moment. With work sometimes taking a huge chunk of the mental load, it can be difficult to justify a few hours of recreation.

Luckily, with a little bit of unlearning and relearning, we no longer need to justify the urge to place in a few hours of writing a short piece of fiction or finishing our favorite puzzle books, as new information shows that recreation deserves a spot in our busy schedules and here’s why:

Recreation Leads to Socialization

It’s no secret that finding people with the same interests is an absolute joy. Tackling similar topics of conversation makes an environment that’s far more welcoming to new friendships. This brings in a positive effect not only on our social health but even on our professions. Creating new networks of individuals you get along with is a healthy step towards a brighter career. In fact, networking is one of the core skills an aspiring worker needs to have. With that in mind, go and engage in your hobbies and be loud with it! Perhaps you’ll find a new friend that can share in your joy, and even teach you a few new things.

Happiness Boosts Productivity

With more scientific evidence coming out year after year, it’s not a surprise that finding enjoyment can increase a professional’s performance dramatically. Work becomes easier to attend to when you are experiencing mental wellbeing as an offshoot of doing recreational activities. It’s easier to find and maintain focus, and to drive stress and burnout away. Recreational activities can become a good source of important fun and relaxation that we all need to stay positively engaged. Hobbies that provide us entertainment value become anchors that keep us steady despite challenges in the workplace. If you’re finding yourself jumping from thought to thought at your desk, maybe it’s time to pick up a pastime to motivate yourself to push further.

Engaging in Hobbies Improves Physical Health

Many of us find ourselves in the unhealthy position of sitting in front of a computer for several hours. While we can mitigate some of the effects of long hours at our workspaces using standing desks, fidgets, and a few stretches, nothing beats having dedicated time away from your work. Physical hobbies such as exercising and engaging in sports offer a surefire way to keep your body in shape. Activities outside physical work aren’t exempt from having a few key health benefits as well. Simple leisurely pastimes help maintain optimal blood pressure and reduce the chances of other diseases by cutting down the stress we might feel. A healthier body can only mean good things, ranging from less downtime at work, to gaining security with an illness-free future.

Having a Pastime can Sharpen the Mind

Plenty of recreational activities require a significant amount of undivided attention. Chess, reading, writing, and many more interests require critical thinking and analytical abilities. Even a fairly new hobby such as playing video games provides a great cognitive challenge to its players. Constantly being subjected to these mental exercises allow for steady growth in multiple important skills. Aside from the aforementioned skills earlier, problem-solving and quick decision-making are also boosted by engaging in hobbies. Sports and physical exercises are also shown to provide positive effects on the mind. The benefits come naturally as we participate in these pastimes for our own fun.

About Rocket Station: Rocket Station prides itself in nurturing top talents in order to give the best possible service to its clients. With this in mind, Rocket Station works to ensure that its remote workers have a good work-life balance to truly reach their full potential. If you’d like to know more about how we enhance lives and better businesses, then sign up for our mailing list!

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While all individuals have their dreams and paths to take, there are a few common truths no matter the intended result. One of these is that leadership is important. It is many things. Leadership is a concept, an action, a goal, and of course; it is a requirement to achieve success whether you wish to be a business leader or a simple community volunteer.

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Success, accomplishments, and consequent rewards are things every person and company strives for. However, it is easy to observe that not everyone manages to reach these goals. In the same way, not everyone who gets these goals are equally happy about the results. Why is this though? There are countless possible reasons, but a fundamental idea that is quickly forgotten and dismissed is having the correct values.


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Why Taking a Break is Taking Two Steps Forward

Why Taking a Break is Taking Two Steps Forward

Being fixated on work is a trait that plenty of workers unknowingly possess. This is ever-present in a world that’s moving faster every day. We begin to harbor the desire to catch up to the many things in front of us. This nature is contagious, as seeing others doing things that seem productive makes us crave more things to do.

While it is true that hard work can be immensely beneficial and rewarding, it is not a one-stop solution. Working at a hundred percent all the time is very inviting of stress and burnout.

According to a psychological journal by Doctor Claudia Newbegin, work-related stress is one of the leading causes of lost productivity in the office. The question is; what should we do in the face of such pressing issues to both our personal health and the stability of our workplaces?

The answer is incredibly simple:

Taking a break is certainly something a lot of people can take for granted. However, this is a luxury for some. For others, it is fear that stops them from taking pauses. The thought of being left behind or potentially losing a job to take a break intimidates workers into more work. This form of work addiction is why information regarding the advantages of rest is important for both workers and the people who manage them. Leaders must know how to balance business targets with their staff’s needs.

While being unengaged in a task may seem unproductive in the workplace, proper guidance turns short breaks into a meaningful and beneficial practice for the business. Stretching deadlines to accommodate rest periods have shown results ending in better quality work, in record time. Giving people a breather allows them to reorient themselves and brings forward the best of their abilities.

People who don’t take breaks have significantly less cognitive performance than those who do. Being burnt out is like being a bucket with a hole. You can still carry water, but you’ll be doing it less efficiently, and you’ll also drench the people trying to carry you. After all, when one person stops functioning at his peak, someone will have to pick up the slack, thus affecting the whole group.

Aside from having better general performance, resting helps a person’s decision-making process immensely. Some of us have probably had the chance to hear the words “Sleep on it” once when we needed to make an important decision. There is a reason for these words. Getting adequate sleep, or taking short power naps greatly improve critical thinking skills. Therefore, leaders need to take a step back as much as their employees do.

The office also needs a significant amount of creativity. This is regardless of the industry as creativity comes in many forms. It can be in the form of an out-of-the-box solution, or perhaps even a history-changing development. The human mind can come up with the greatest things as long as we allow it to. This is why it is important to make sure that our brains are in the best possible conditions at all times. This of course holds true not just in the workplace, but in other areas of our lives.

As much as work is important, we must never forget about our personal commitments. Taking a breather lets us enjoy the fruits of our labor, and enjoy what the world has to offer. It provides us with a healthy time with our loved ones, and to pursue hobbies that we may end up neglecting. Our well-being and the well-being of others is something we must never take for granted.

Breaks offer us a healthier life physically and mentally. It also gives us opportunities to take care of ourselves emotionally. While the first points mentioned above state ways it can give you a leg up for your next promotion, let us not forget that achieving happiness away from your office desk is also a big step forward.

About Rocket Station: Rocket Station prides itself in nurturing top talents in order to give the best possible service to its clients. With this in mind, Rocket Station works to ensure that its remote workers have a good work-life balance to truly reach their full potential. If you’d like to know more about how we enhance lives and better businesses, then sign up for our mailing list!

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Success, accomplishments, and consequent rewards are things every person and company strives for. However, it is easy to observe that not everyone manages to reach these goals. In the same way, not everyone who gets these goals are equally happy about the results. Why is this though? There are countless possible reasons, but a fundamental idea that is quickly forgotten and dismissed is having the correct values.


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Manage Your Time Better with the POSEC Method

Manage Your Time Better with the POSEC Method

Whether it’s trying to level up your career, or wanting to spend more time for yourself and your family, there exists a persistent challenge a lot of people face: time management. Like most issues we face in life, there are simple solutions that are available for us to apply in order to attain a goal. In this case, the magic cure is something we’ve all heard of before: purposeful time management.

While most of us have heard these words repeatedly in our lifetime, not a lot have been able to properly manage their time. This leads to a drop in effectiveness, happiness, and productivity. For remote workers, this can be an even more daunting task as you become responsible for juggling between your responsibilities at home and your job. Thankfully, we now have a well-researched method that can be applied to both one’s personal and professional life.

The POSEC Method is a way to divide your tasks into multiple categories according to importance, and assigning an ample amount of time and effort to each. The word POSEC stands for Prioritizing by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing, and Contributing. The technique is loosely based on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which means that, unlike many other tools, POSEC also considers a person’s personal necessities. For people swamped with work, this becomes a big deal as they get to plan for their own recreation and self-care, making the process an exciting experience. After all, nobody wants to live their life like a robot.

The first thing to do in using the POSEC method is to set different priority levels for the tasks you have at hand. From there, we can organize a plan to tackle the different objectives that occur on a daily basis. Doing so provides a good routine and offers stability that we’ll be needing when new out-of-routine goals are given to us. 

Once we’ve done our organization of daily work activities, we now streamline mundane tasks such as chores into our schedule. Remember that while these activities tend to be less fun, they are a requirement for our daily needs. Fitting them into the schedule now reduces the chances of these small tasks impacting our schedule as a whole. I’m sure that none of us want to suddenly find ourselves with no clean clothes to wear as we’re rushing to an important meeting.

Once we’ve taken our important work activities and our small chores into consideration, we now need to set a certain amount of time for each of them. This is what we call economizing. By having a clear definition of what is important, and what needs less attention, we can distribute our time better. Economizing lets us decide on which things to put significant effort and focus into. Through this method, we may even identify areas where deep work is needed. Additionally, setting deadlines for ourselves gives us the motivation to become more efficient both professionally and personally.

Lastly, we need to make sure that we’re socially active for both the benefit of others and ourselves. Giving time for our contribution to the community through various means including simple forms of love and kindness makes sure we have time to grow as people. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs tells us that these social motivators play a big role in reaching our goals.

Contribution is exactly why the POSEC method is so effective. People are encouraged to consider their personal joys in life. This empowers someone to reach for happiness in their busy schedules. It is a great work-life balance tool that only takes a little bit of time to set up.

Remember, before you engage in the POSEC method, it is best to check your priorities multiple times.  This is due to the fact that we can sometimes give importance to certain things differently in different moments of the day. Once you’re sure of the schedules you have, then congratulations! You have now taken a big step towards a more satisfying lifestyle.

About Rocket Station: Rocket Station prides itself in nurturing top talents in order to give the best possible service to its clients. With this in mind, Rocket Station works to ensure that its remote workers have a good work-life balance to truly reach their full potential. If you’d like to know more about how we enhance lives and better businesses, then sign up for our mailing list!

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5 Ways to Better Motivate Yourself
There’s not a single person around that doesn’t go through slumps at work. It’s a naturally occurring event for the average worker that may result from stress, exhaustion, or other factors. However, that doesn’t mean we just step back and accept these episodes of lower productivity and overall happiness. These are the times when we need to step up even more to motivate ourselves.

How to Lead Towards Growth
While all individuals have their dreams and paths to take, there are a few common truths no matter the intended result. One of these is that leadership is important. It is many things. Leadership is a concept, an action, a goal, and of course; it is a requirement to achieve success whether you wish to be a business leader or a simple community volunteer.

Reaching Better Success By Finding The Right Values
Success, accomplishments, and consequent rewards are things every person and company strives for. However, it is easy to observe that not everyone manages to reach these goals. In the same way, not everyone who gets these goals are equally happy about the results. Why is this though? There are countless possible reasons, but a fundamental idea that is quickly forgotten and dismissed is having the correct values.


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This Innovative Approach can Help you solve your Work Problems

This Innovative Approach can Help you solve your Work Problems

Have you ever come to a point when you just hit a dead-end while solving problems at work? A lot of teammates and team leads deal with issues and problems daily, so why do we get stuck, still? Shouldn’t we be masters at tackling problems and finding solutions head on?

It turns out, problem-solving isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when you insist on looking at problems from a particular lens alone. 

Enter The 6 Thinking Hats: An innovative brainstorming technique used to view problems from all angles with the sole purpose to each an intended solution. It is an effective tool for decision making and problem solving that uses both sides of your brain. |

It was first coined by Edward de Bono, an innovator in the style of ‘lateral thinking’. In his book. The Six Thinking Hats, he was met with wide critical acclaim for all the usefulness his tool has brought to the business world.

The Six Thinking Hats is a simple, lateral thinking process that involves reframing one’s thoughts of a problem and requires a group or a person see it through different lenses, or in this case, through wearing different hats. This is an effective tool used by leaders to enhance effectivity, focus and productivity.

Each thinking hat represents a frame of thought, a kind of thinking, and a clear function based on the color that a team member can represent during discussions, team meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Where can we apply the 6 thinking hats?

Running Meetings – If you find yourself reaching an impasse in your team. You can use the 6 thinking hats to keep the conversation professional, objective and focused on the problem. 

Brainstorming and Generating Ideas – The 6 Thinking Hats can be used to look at a problem and peg for a solution. 

Process Improvement and Project Management – On a bigger scale, the 6 Thinking Hats also proves as a useful tool to get yourself “unstuck” from situations at work that demand changes to happen.

What are the 6 thinking hats?

The White Hat

Takes a stand of absolute neutrality looking at all sides of the fence and focusing the attention on facts and figures. 

The Red Hat

Is the emotional, gut feeling hat. This is an important hat because it brings into account things such as emotional value, social-economic impact, and simply just if the project “feels right” to even be doing in the first place. This is all based on one’s feelings, or gut instinct and has little to do with facts presented.

The Black Hat

Is the judgmental, no-type of hat that tries to talk about all the cons and drawbacks of the project at hand. 

The Yellow Hat

Looks at all the benefits of a project. All the positive things that can come out of it and why it would be a good idea to push for a certain venture. 

The Green Hat

Brings forth openness, novelty, and creativity this project can bring to the table. It looks at the project or idea with all the growth it can possibly accomplish. We are talking about someone who sees the potential and tries to find a different scenario that will make it grow.

The Blue Hat

The blue hat is cool and calm, and plans things accordingly. The blue hat is concerned with control, organization, and the use of the other hats.

How to use the Thinking Hats

There are two approaches to using the 6 Thinking Hats: Single Use and Sequence Use.

The Single Use of the 6 thinking hats are symbols or representations of a singular way of thinking that proves necessary for a meeting at hand or a conversation. For example, at some point in time during a meeting, you realize there is a need for creativity and freshness in the approach, so we will all wear our green thinking hats, instead. 

While the sequential use of the thinking hats will require the use of certain hats in sequence, depending on the necessity. There is an evolving style, wherein once the facilitator chooses a hat, the next hat is chosen depending on how the conversation pushes forward. Then there is the pre-set style, which is recommended if you haven’t mastered the 6 Thinking Hat styles yet. The preset style simply pre-plans the hats to be used in the discussion.

July is Global Enterprise Agility Month, and Rocket Station seeks to become part of this venture by sharing tips, tricks and tools to help people become better leaders, strategic thinkers and team members. 

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There’s not a single person around that doesn’t go through slumps at work. It’s a naturally occurring event for the average worker that may result from stress, exhaustion, or other factors. However, that doesn’t mean we just step back and accept these episodes of lower productivity and overall happiness. These are the times when we need to step up even more to motivate ourselves.

How to Lead Towards Growth
While all individuals have their dreams and paths to take, there are a few common truths no matter the intended result. One of these is that leadership is important. It is many things. Leadership is a concept, an action, a goal, and of course; it is a requirement to achieve success whether you wish to be a business leader or a simple community volunteer.

Reaching Better Success By Finding The Right Values
Success, accomplishments, and consequent rewards are things every person and company strives for. However, it is easy to observe that not everyone manages to reach these goals. In the same way, not everyone who gets these goals are equally happy about the results. Why is this though? There are countless possible reasons, but a fundamental idea that is quickly forgotten and dismissed is having the correct values.


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Proactive and Dynamic Reteaming for Remote Leaders

Proactive and Dynamic Reteaming for Remote Leaders

The Tuckman Stages of Team Development was designed in 1965 to aid leaders and organization team heads in helping their teams grow, face challenges, handle problems and deliver results. The Tuckman Stages involve the following stages in order: The forming – storming – norming and performing stages. 

Let’s talk about all the stages in sequence:

The team meets and addresses the agenda of the meeting which usually are the challenges, and or problems that need to be solved. Team members can behave independently now. They can appear motivated to handle the tasks but will always begin uninformed, so it is essential to have all leaders become efficient communicators as to the goal and problem that needs to be solved. During this phase, you can see more mature team members take on a more appropriate behavior. The key to this stage is the discussion of defining the scope of the task, how to approach it and tangential concerns.

Or better coined as brainstorming, is the second stage where team members hash out ideas and start gathering each other’s trust. Opinions can be voiced out; conflicts may arise, and power struggles will be evident. At this phase individual working styles will be acknowledged and group members will see what it is like to work as a team and the hierarchy of positions in the group. This part is where the group can freely express feedback and discomfort or give reactions on load, responsibility, and other comments on other team member’s duties. The leader of this meeting should be able to facilitate and manage all team members’ feelings, expectations with set ground rules for communication and resolving issues or resentment, competition or a feeling of unfairness in order to efficiently move onto the next phase.

Once all feelings are out, comments and feedback is heard freely and without judgement or unprofessional conduct— these resolved disagreements and personality clashes result in greater intimacy, and a spirit of cooperation. This happens when the team is aware of competition, and they share a common goal. In this stage, all team members take responsibility and are motivated to work together for the goal that was set. They start tolerating the whims and fancies of the other team members. They accept others as they are and try to move on. 

Now that all norms, instructions, feelings, and issues are facilitated and decided upon, by this time, all team members are empowered and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous, and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Opposition is expected and allowed if it is channeled through means acceptable to the team.

July is Global Enterprise Agility Month, and Rocket Station seeks to become part of this venture by sharing tips, tricks, and tools to help people become better leaders, strategic thinkers and team members.

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5 Ways to Better Motivate Yourself
There’s not a single person around that doesn’t go through slumps at work. It’s a naturally occurring event for the average worker that may result from stress, exhaustion, or other factors. However, that doesn’t mean we just step back and accept these episodes of lower productivity and overall happiness. These are the times when we need to step up even more to motivate ourselves.

How to Lead Towards Growth
While all individuals have their dreams and paths to take, there are a few common truths no matter the intended result. One of these is that leadership is important. It is many things. Leadership is a concept, an action, a goal, and of course; it is a requirement to achieve success whether you wish to be a business leader or a simple community volunteer.

Reaching Better Success By Finding The Right Values
Success, accomplishments, and consequent rewards are things every person and company strives for. However, it is easy to observe that not everyone manages to reach these goals. In the same way, not everyone who gets these goals are equally happy about the results. Why is this though? There are countless possible reasons, but a fundamental idea that is quickly forgotten and dismissed is having the correct values.


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Team Topologies for the Remote Process Team

Team Topologies for the Remote Process Team

When we say “team”. There seems to be a broader idea of a group of people intended to charge at and approach the same goal within an organization. While this isn’t wrong, it can be very isolated. With the advent of modern technology and a new way of working from home comes nuances and facets that make teams and their needs diverse.

Luckily, Team Topologies, a book written by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais seeks to help leaders in that arena. The book discusses mixes of how different team recipes impact organizations and the workforce. For purposes of remote working conditions, Rocket Station will consider all theories that apply to the modern-day scope of working from home and the key factors that Team Topologies help in making the organizational structure more optimal. 

So, where do we begin?

Time matters

It is discussed that teams can take 3 months to make the team more effective in a particular project that is well hashed despite the sum of its numbers. The importance of having teams that stick together and that are given enough time to get to a state of high performance is paramount. 

Numbers matter

The authors make use of Dunbar’s number which highlights how specific numbers of people can work to a facilitated goal. There is a link to strong forms of communication when teams work closely together for a specific purpose, and usually these close-knit teams form a total of 8 people. The limit of people who can all deeply trust each other is 15 and there is also significance of the dynamics of 50 and 150 people.  This not only acts as a guide but helps leaders place limitations and expectations to team designs.

Culture Matters

The better the overall company culture is, the easier changing teams can be, but even in the best cases the research recommends no less than a year for teams to remain within their departments to maintain team culture and prevent it from sporadically shifting.

Minimalism Matters

Let’s make it more efficient by saying, simplification and not over-simplification of team dynamics, matters greatly. To do that you need to consider team responsibilities and make them crystal clear and to minimize and optimize communication. In essence, as you run it, you build it. The book explains that too much back-and-forth communication is costly, and as such isn’t going to help the company thrive. When thinking about communication, it’s important to view it as cost vs. benefit. Teams may communicate and prioritize effectively within their team, external communication across team boundaries is always much more costly and much less effective.  When teams have demands upon other teams, this can: (a) Be disruptive and lead to context switching, (b) start unnecessary queues, delays, and prioritization problems, and (c) create a large communication and management overhead.

Feedback Matters

An organization possesses enough feedback mechanisms to ensure software and service quality is understood as early and clearly as possible.

Mental Load Matters

This book also talks about the importance of Cognitive Load. This describes how much mental load a particular issue or tasks needs to take up in one’s headspace to be done effectively.  Because, whether we like it or not, not all types of thinking effort are the same in nature:

Intrinsic Cognitive Load – this relates to the skill of how to do a task e.g., which buttons to press according to the specific information available and scenario.

Extraneous Cognitive Load – this relates to broader environmental knowledge, not related to the specific skill of the task, but still necessary, e.g., what are the surrounding process admin steps that must be done after this task.

Germane Cognitive Load – this relates to thinking about how to make the work as effective as possible e.g., what should the design be, how will things integrate.

As a team there is a particularly useful idea: cognitive load should be considered in terms of the total amount required by whole teams. In short, when you are thinking about team design and organizational structure, you need to consider how much you are mutually and collectively expecting the team to be able to perform and be good at what they do. Meaning the load shouldn’t be carried by just one person. 

July is Global Enterprise Agility Month, and Rocket Station seeks to become part of this venture by sharing tips, tricks and tools to help people become better leaders, strategic thinkers and team members. 

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Digital Minimalism: How it Can Help You Work from Home Better

Digital Minimalism: How it Can Help You Work from Home Better

Digital Minimalism sounds like a backwards push to the times when we didn’t have the internet, and in more ways than one, this can seem like a counter-productive approach to having work done, especially as a remote worker.

Let’s face the facts: if you’re working from home, your bread and butter has much to do with investing in the best work laptops, and other technologies that can boost your productivity while working remotely. However, there will come a time when the technology overwhelm can border on the excess, cloaked merely as ‘necessity.’

Just a few years ago, we were so glad at the usage of the cell phone to contact each other through calls and texts, now we can’t seem to last a day without constant messaging and listless social media scrolling. At Rocket Station, we’re inviting you to truly ask yourselves this important question: Do you really need all that?

Enter—Digital Minimalism 

In 2017, Cal Newport released a book entitled, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. The title alone is enough to leave a rather social media fraught generation aghast with anticipation and curiosity.

“Digital Minimalism? I wouldn’t dare! But would I?”

It sounds radical. And again, it even sounds counter-productive. But as Newport explains, this book is not anti-technology. This book is anti-technology excess. Which makes a huge difference. Simply put: Digital Minimalism is being more intentional with the technology one uses and therefore, cuts out the unnecessary excess. 

Why do we even need Digital Minimalism?

Digital Minimalism is important to achieve balance, especially for remote working professionals. The overwhelm can be consuming to a point of unfocused and distracted behavior, which can show up as: scrolling listlessly throughout productive time or endlessly replying to emails that offer no work output or spending too much time on one’s laptop on planning but never doing. 

If this sounds familiar to you, you’ll need the following advice below:

How can we practice it?

Delete social media apps or any distracting apps from your phone to lessen your phone ‘pick-up’ times. Access social media through the desktop if you must or find ways to access these apps outside of your phone. 

Be intentional about your usage. This isn’t about deleting your accounts or depriving yourself. This is about being mindful of how technology can haywire our brains. Give every app, technology, gadget a purposeful job and stick to it.

Take advantage of slow news, instead of gathering news from platforms that can have a lot of fake news, subscribe to just one credible source you trust that can efficiently hash out important data.

Tailor-fit your approach and keep it consistent. Not everyone is the same. Newport and other professionals in this movement highly recommend against going cold turkey on the apps and technologies that distract us. Rather, they recommend a more gradual approach that helps wean us out of brain washing. 

Get into doing hobbies that use manual dexterity, or simply, use your hands more. Get into gardening, crafts, journaling or better yet, into meditation and exercise. If that isn’t accessible to you, place all your gadgets on hold and have yourself work on simple things or chores that require your hands and headspace out of technology.

Have a set schedule to converse with people online, and whenever possible, meet people in person (preferably after the pandemic or with safety protocols)

July is Global Enterprise Agility Month, and Rocket Station seeks to become part of this venture by sharing tips, tricks, and tools to help people become better leaders, strategic thinkers and team members. 

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This Deep Work Skill will help you finish tasks with focus

This Deep Work Skill will help you finish tasks with focus

In Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, he emphasizes the importance of focusing on work without any distractions to obtain full productivity. At Rocket Station, we place so much importance in getting the job done in a way that exceeds expectations. However, we cannot do that with multiple distractions coming our way.

As remote workers, we are highly dependent on technology to keep us productive and connected with each other, however, Newport feels this can be more of a hindrance to our minds zoning in and getting the work done. Instead, Newport introduces a new skill called: DEEP WORK

Let’s be honest, nowadays, it is incredibly difficult to stay focused at work. All the distractions we have daily are too many to count. From the house chores to noises from our neighbors to our phones chiming nearly every minute to our children and pets sometimes grabbing our attention for a quick snuggle. We are all in the same boat with regards to focusing.

So, what is Deep Work? 

Deep Work is a professional activity performed in a state of distraction free concentration. It pushes your cognitive ability to its limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate. Newport differentiates Deep Work from Shallow work by defining shallow Work as non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate. Essentially, it is us on autopilot. 

Why is deep work valuable? 

It is valuable because it enables you to finish more tasks in a shorter amount of time. It is essentially, learning to single-task, not multi-task, without distractions, in a state of intense focus, for extended periods of time.

Intense focus – Placing all your energy into one specific task will help you work faster with this task as the only thing in mind. Thus, helping you finish tasks quickly

Single-tasking – Research has proven repeatedly that multitasking makes people less productive. So, by placing all your attention into just one task, you get to place more attention to your work and produce better results. 

No distractions – Noy having anything ruin your concentration can aid you in making things go your way faster in completing your task.

How can you apply Deep Work into your schedule? 

As a company, you can intentionally set a particular day and time frame for all your team members to focus on Deep Work. All notifications off and set that allotted time for work. 

For individuals, Deep Work can be done using these following steps:

Make Time – Make time for it and make it consistent. They say that consistently doing an action for 21 days can make it a habit. So, incorporate Deep Work into your schedule and make it a habit for uninterrupted workflows and increased productivity. 

Determine the goal and desired outcome – There are two types of goals: (1) Outcome Goals and (2) Process Goals. The desired outcome we are asking you to determine is an outcome goal. Outcome goals deal with what you wish to accomplish by finishing a certain project or establishing a goal. For sake of this discussion, process goals are step by step goals that you finish to reach the desired outcome.  

Turn off push notifications, avoid social media and e-mails— This may cause some adverse reactions with some of us, especially as remote workers; but the goal it to truly work with zero distractions so we can finish more work. So, it would not hurt to tell your team that you’re on your deep work session from let’s say 9:00am – 12:00noon; that way any emails or notifications sent, they know will be responded to after your deep work session. 

Beware Attention Residue

The reason why Newport places so much emphasis on Deep Work is because he warns us of Attention Residue. Meaning, if you multitask from one task to the other, your mind’s attention is still left at the previous task you had just finished. Blocking you from fully concentrating on the new task, thus hampering your productivity, and producing work poorly. You are more likely to produce poor results in the next task.

Ergo, to stop this from happening, you can work singularly, and work deeply. 

This June is Pride and Productivity Month at Rocket Station! We are using all our smarts to keep you clever and proud this month of the colorful flag. If you find these articles helpful, sign up in our mailing list and learn new things!

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Use the Eisenhower Matrix to Organize your WFH Tasks

Use the Eisenhower Matrix to Organize your WFH Tasks

We know that not all tasks are created equal. Especially as people who work from home; work tasks somehow get muddled into more important house chores and get lost in the process. Luckily, we have a tool to help you manage all tasks and organize your time better to be an effective and efficient team member. 

The Eisenhower Matrix, is also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix. This tool helps us prioritize and decide what tasks we need to work on first. It bases the priority of the task on its urgency. Avoid feeling swamped in the feeling that you need to do everything on your own and find smarter ways to get the job done. This matrix was created by Stephen Covey with the late president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States’ productivity philosophy in mind. 

Eisenhower was known to be a man with many accomplishments under his belt. He was able to build projects and finish a lot of big steps for his country, and he managed to do all his accomplishments using this matrix:

The matrix is separated into four aspects that interact with each other: Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, Not Important. 

The upper left quadrant is the most important and urgent task that needs to be done today or tomorrow at the latest. An example could be a performance review for one of your team members for their regularization due tomorrow. 

The upper right quadrant is an important task that does not need to be done urgently, so it can be set aside for a temporary date for now, until it becomes urgent. An example could be a strategy meeting for an upcoming project set to launch next month. 

The lower left quadrant is a task that is not important, but urgent. This you can delegate to others to get the load off. An example could be buying a few tickets for the movie tonight. You can delegate that to someone who is more able to do this and focus on more urgent tasks. 

The lower right quadrant consists of tasks that are not urgent and not important to warrant action. So, you can shelve it indefinitely, or better yet, remove it from your headspace. 

When using the Eisenhower Matrix keep these important tips in mind:

Try not to overdo your “Do now” pane. Fill it up with tasks that are aligned with your daily goals and work with it at the pace you are most comfortable. 

Use sticky notes to effectively transition “Do Later” tasks into the “Do Now” quadrant.

If possible, try to combine personal with work tasks in this matrix to achieve balance in prioritizing to-dos

This June is Pride and Productivity Month at Rocket Station! We are using all our smarts to keep you clever and proud this month of the colorful flag. If you find these articles helpful, sign up in our mailing list and learn new things!

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Productive tips to Make Habits that Stick

Productive tips to Make Habits that Stick

Do you ever get caught up in a cycle or loop that lets you get into the same negative results? Most of us do and, we are not even aware of why we end up getting the same results. This is where the powerful function of habit comes to play. 

In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, the value of developing keystone traits that become habits cannot be overstressed.  A habit emerges because the brain is constantly looking for new ways to expel less energy. In other words, the brain is always looking for a faster, more productive way for us to do things. 

Our brains develop habits through a three-step cycle or better known as the ‘Habit Loop’. First, your brain is cued to go on autopilot. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps you brain to figure out if this behavioral loop is worth remembering for the future.

Because this is such an automated response, our habits emerge without our permission. It happens as a mechanism to help us adapt better to our environment. Forming positive habit loops can get you doing things more productively. Habits can develop cravings without us even realizing it, and because of this important aspect, you can use the ability of cravings to develop a habit.

So what about bad habits?

Bad habits can be changed if you change something in the loop. Usually, the best thing to change the routine, instead of changing the cue or the reward. 

To break your bad habits, identify the cues and rewards, then, you can change the routine. Err on the side of grace: Not everyone has the same success or reaction to changing bad habits or adjusting to new ones. Be patient with yourself and figure out a way to make it all work according to your pace. 

Pro-tip: Place Emphasis on Small Wins

Small wins that are celebrated help us leverage our mindset to bigger and more substantial achievements. The loop of achieving one small task is like a domino effect to help us tick off more small wins, which will eventually lead us to bigger wins. 

Pro-Tip: Develop Keystone Habits

Keystone Habits are habits we perform that creates a culture with positive effects on your psyche as a person. Examples of keystone habits can be seen with parents learning to choose certain words in front of their children so a culture of temperance and mindfulness among adults is developed. 

How can we apply this at work?

Companies can develop Keystone Habits to create better company culture. Keystone Habits such as: learning to celebrate small wins which fosters positive work culture and pushes people to do better. When you create keystone habits, you eventually trigger routines. Routines help with team members wanting to experiment and find better loops to get the job done. These in turn become organizational habits. Most of us call it work culture, but now that we are discussing this, we know that it is more a habit.

Pro-Tip for Leaders: Use Obstacles to Form New Habits 

Great leaders use obstacles to as platforms to create new habit loops as solutions. They see obstacles as opportunities to improve organizational habits. This will not happen with people merely being ordered around to change the system. There must be an air of ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ that will push the organizational habits to change. Thus, adjusting the habit loop. 

At the end of the day: You need to do the work

Habits must stick for it to work, and if you want it to work, you need to cultivate it. It is not enough that we establish a loop. Most of the time, we need belief systems that will push us to further cultivate habits into transformative behaviors that can change our lives. 

This June is Pride and Productivity Month at Rocket Station! We are using all our smarts to keep you clever and proud this month of the colorful flag. If you find these articles helpful, sign up in our mailing list and learn new things!

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5 Ways to Better Motivate Yourself
There’s not a single person around that doesn’t go through slumps at work. It’s a naturally occurring event for the average worker that may result from stress, exhaustion, or other factors. However, that doesn’t mean we just step back and accept these episodes of lower productivity and overall happiness. These are the times when we need to step up even more to motivate ourselves.

How to Lead Towards Growth
While all individuals have their dreams and paths to take, there are a few common truths no matter the intended result. One of these is that leadership is important. It is many things. Leadership is a concept, an action, a goal, and of course; it is a requirement to achieve success whether you wish to be a business leader or a simple community volunteer.

Reaching Better Success By Finding The Right Values
Success, accomplishments, and consequent rewards are things every person and company strives for. However, it is easy to observe that not everyone manages to reach these goals. In the same way, not everyone who gets these goals are equally happy about the results. Why is this though? There are countless possible reasons, but a fundamental idea that is quickly forgotten and dismissed is having the correct values.


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