If you spend enough time on the internet, you'll come across article after article discussing all of Google's amazing workplace hacks. While your first reaction might be to be jealous of them, your second should be that many of them are easy enough to implement in your own life.
And, in an effort to convince you that this is true, I rounded up my three favorites that aren't just awesome, but also totally do-able.
1. They're Better at Avoiding Burnout
You might assume that Googlers have built personal robot assistants to ensure they don't work too hard. And while I'm sure that they could if they wanted to, a recent Wired article found otherwise.
When engineers on their self-driving car project found that they had a difficult time separating themselves from work, they started meditating. And they realized that it helped them better transition from an intense work mindset to a restful state.
While you've no doubt heard this advice before, learning that the top minds at Google do it (rather than turn to some app) should make you want to give it a chance. And don't worry--if you feel unsure of how to actually do it, I can totally relate.
That's why I recommend you watch this one-minute meditation video to help get you started.
2. They're Better at Managing Their Time
With so many different initiatives, it'd be easy to imagine the typical Googler working crazy hours. However, I was surprised to find that plenty of employees are intentional about how they make the most of their time--and not only their "catch up on email" block of time on their calendar.
In a Huffington Post article, Jeremiah Dillon, Head of Product Marketing for Google at Work, tells his employees to set aside what he calls Make Time. This is time where he wants his team to manage less and behave more like makers. To get the most out of it, he suggests the following schedule:
- Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend -- schedule low-demand tasks like setting goals, organizing, and planning.
- Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy -- tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, schedule your Make Time.
- Thursday: Energy begins to ebb -- schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.
- Friday: Lowest energy level -- do open-ended work, long-term planning, and relationship building.
If you're struggling to balance meetings and actually get stuff done, give this a try. As Dillon says, even a quick meeting when you're in the groove can derail your entire day.
3. They're Better at Collaborating With Each Other
The most productive teams at the company have figured out that collaboration's crucial to getting things done. In fact, it's become so obvious to people across the company, that it's actually become an unwritten social code.
An article on Redbooth talks about the fact that leaders of all levels at Google agree that an open-door policy gives everyone the opportunity to have their ideas heard.
It would be easy to dismiss this as something that's only possible if your company's executives are on board. But this is something you can also implement for yourself. If you know you have a tendency to throw a pair of headphones on to block everyone out, or eat lunch at your desk, or keep your head facedown in your computer during meetings, take a break from those habits (every once in a while) and open yourself up to hearing your colleagues' ideas--or at least making eye contact.
(Of course, be careful not to derail your productivity by making yourself too available.)
There's a running trend through all of these things Googlers do "better" than anyone else--and it's that these things are fairly easy for you to pull off, no matter where you work. There's nothing stopping you from being more open to collaboration, budgeting your time more effectively, or avoiding burnout.
You're not excluded from doing these things just because you don't work for the one of the most recognized tech giants on Earth. All these habits take is a little bit of effort to pull off.