14 Replies - 2834 Views - Last Post: 14 September 2012 - 11:19 AM

#1 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:15 AM

I have some major productivity problems. I work like a beast for 30 minutes but then I wander off. It's gotten really bad lately so I've looked for options on how to form a habit and stop mucking about.

It's said that habits take 20 days to form, and I recently quit smoking (30 days clean so far). Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I've done but I'm glad I sweated it out. Completely worth it!

Do you have any productivity tips you can share? What do you do when your mind wanders towards Reddit or Facebook?

Here's one courtesy of Jerry Seinfeld. The "Don't break the chain" theory.

Basically, each day you do something you color in a calendar box. After a couple of days you won't want to miss doing it because it'll break the chain and remind you of your failure.

There's even a website for it: https://chains.cc/

Some example chains: https://chains.cc/gr...sHmKzfoa4fcqyht

So: today I start a couple of chains.

1. Work on my thesis. Haven't even started it yet, it's due September 20th.

2. 100 Pushups each night. Getting married got the best of me, but I can bounce right back.

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Replies To: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

#2 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:54 AM

SHA-ZAM!

Edit; was short on time when I posted above links, but basically, those two things are a way to always be able to figure out what you need to be doing, at any time. really kicks ass in the context of "working like a beast for 1/2 an hour before wandering off": I use this system to be able to make use of the 'wander off' time, eg, I might use it to do necessary research (and know exactly what I want to find out, to what level of detail), or do graphics, or get some exercise and so on.

I'm not as disciplined about this as I'd like, but it does help without obsessing about it. the concept of 'buckets' and the set of relevance questions are really easy, universally applicable, and take almost no effort if you stay on top of it.

This post has been edited by Choscura: 02 September 2012 - 10:36 AM

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#3 Mike+9  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:00 AM

I'm really interested in what other people suggest. The only method I used so far is working for like 20 minutes and pausing for 10 minutes but it seems to work just for about 1-2 hours and then I wonder off to anything else just like you do.
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#4 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:06 AM

I've had problems with anemia for quite a while now and it completely destroys my focus. Taking my supplement helps, but anyone who talks to me on a regular basis can attest to the fact that I can't keep my focus on one topic for very long without heading off on a completely unrelated tangent.

Whoa. Maybe it's not my anemia. Maybe I just spend too much time in the Lounge. Y'all are giving me ADD.
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#5 shezzy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:15 AM

funny how I'm now reading an article about procrastinating less while I'm procrastinating something I was doing
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#6 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

I have the opposite issue generally. If I'm interested in something I totally lose track of time and will snap at anyone getting me off topic. If I don't care about it then I can't focus on it for very long at all...maybe 10 minutes at most and then I'm off on whatever I'm really thinking about. you either have my full attention or you have none of it.
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#7 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:15 PM

I follow GTD and Can't praise it highly enough. One of the things it excels at is helping you to make use of small blocks of time.
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#8 Bort  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

*
POPULAR

Use a machine gun?

More bullets flying = more bodies on the floor = more productive killers :)
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#9 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:36 AM

I love that chains.cc site. Whenever anyone asks how to kill a bad habit I direct them to that site for help. Congrats on quitting smoking as well, I know a few who are already addicted and can't quit.

For focusing, you sorta gotta get in the mindset. Make goals for what you want to get done and sit down knowing you are going to complete thos goals. Don't plan on it, know it. Music can help sometimes if it gets you in the zone, I find simple repetitive music like light techno to work best. And of course, there's always adderal if you have a prescription.

This post has been edited by creativecoding: 05 September 2012 - 08:36 AM

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#10 Zero Cool  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:33 AM

Not to just blindly throw a link out there (because let's face it, 95% of people just skip that post and never read the link) but this guy is my productivity guru: Cal Newport. He has a study hacks blog at http://calnewport.com/blog/ and I credit this guy for about 60% of my overall life's work.

So here's a little sample to see if you guys can dig it. If you do, you should check this guy out, he always seems to post some revolutionary stuff on there, not just about time management:


Today we focus on Gospel #1: Pseudo-work does not equal work

Here are two facts: (1) I made straight A’s in college. (2) I studied less than most people I know. The same holds true for many of the straight-A students I researched for my book. If this sounds unbelievable, it is probably because you subscribe to the following formula:

work accomplished = time spent studying

The more time you study the more work you accomplish. The more work you accomplish, the better your grades. Ergo, straight A’s imply more work. Right? Then how do you explain me and my interview subjects…

To understand our accomplishment, you must understand the following, more accurate formula:

work accomplished = time spent x intensity of focus

That last factor — intensity of focus — is the key to explaining why straight-A students never seem to embark on the same fatigue-saturated all-night study adventures that most undergrads rely on. Let’s take a specific example. Assume that you have a paper to write. The standard approach is to camp out in the library the day before and work until you finish.

Here’s the problem: even with little breaks, there are only so many consecutive hours of work you can manage before your intensity of focus crashes (in practice, this value is probably close to 2-3 hours for most students). Therefore, most of your time spent working features low focus, increasing the time required to accomplish the task at hand.

Let’s say, for example, that your heroic paper writing marathon takes around 10 hours (which matches my experience for a mid-sized paper written in one stretch). The following chart describes your focus over time (rating focus on a scale of 1 – 10):

Intensity of Focus over Time for Marathon Session Approach
hour 1 : 10
hour 2 : 9
hour 3 : 5
hour 4 : 2
hour 5-10 : 1

[For math geeks, this is standard exponential decay.]

If we take the area under this curve, we see that the pseudo-worker has accomplished: 32 units of work.

Now let’s consider another approach. Assume, instead, that you break up the paper writing into two bursts. One burst you do for two hours Saturday afternoon. The other burst you do for two hours on Sunday morning. The long gap in between ensures your focus can recharge. Following the rates of focus decay used above, your chart looks like:

Intensity of Focus over Time for Short Burst Approach
hour 1 (sat) : 10
hour 2 (sat) : 9
hour 3 (sun) : 10
hour 4 (sun) : 9

Clearly, this work schedule is much less painful. Just two hours at a time. And a whole day separating the two sessions. However, when we calculate the area under this curve, we see that the short burst approach accomplished: 38 units of work!
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#11 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:48 PM

Sergio, I like you have had trouble continuing to work out. However, I have come up with a system that seems to work for me. It wasn't so much that I didn't have time, but that I wasn't using it wisely enough. Now, I bike to work (about 5 miles) 4 days a week (about 20-30 minutes of constant peddling finished with a mile of straight uphill -- which I attempt to keep on the highest gear possible - managed to only go down to 5 today (on a 7-gear bike)). Then, on the other day of the week I do leg lifts (at least 75, after that point I go until my legs burn and then do a few more :) ).

I also got annoyed with how little time I had left when I got home from class/ work, so I have pushed my sleep schedule out an hour and a half (taking 30 minutes off the mornings and an hour off the evenings -- leaving me with 8 hours a night, and I am considering taking off an extra 30 minutes in the morning so I can work out then some too while still having time to shower).

I find that sometimes I like to have habitual activities, but taking a day off now and then doesn't really upset me (I took a day off last week for recovery). I also like to be slightly spontaneous about what I do to ensure that I have a little fun with things.

When it comes to work, I generally lag a little on Mondays (because it is the beginning of the week) and then get into the swing of things on Tuesdays to finish out the week. Once I get started on something I tend to think about it until it is completed of I have something more interesting to work on (which is why so many of my personal projects don't ever get finished).
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#12 nick2price  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:19 PM

I actually do something which isnt for everyone, but it works well for me. I am from the U.K but I basically live on American time. I work self employed so I go to work normally from about 10am-2pm, come home, and have a power nap for a few hours. I then start working while laying in my bed, from about 7pm to 3-4am. I then catch another 4-5 hours sleep before getting up for work again and starting over. The reason this works well for me is because at night, there are no distractions. Everyone in my house is asleep, and t.v. is generally poor at that time. So even if I am working on something which I would normally find difficult getting into, it sure beats the lame babestation channels covering the tv at 2am. If there is something on tv that interest me, I have become used to working and watching at the same time. My work gets really sloppy anytime Eyes Wide Shut is on :bananaman:
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#13 h4nnib4l  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:50 AM

View Postnick2price, on 05 September 2012 - 07:19 PM, said:

My keyboard gets really sloppy anytime Eyes Wide Shut is on :bananaman:


FTFY
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#14 CharlieMay  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:45 PM

I wear a lot of hats so it's very easy for things to become over whelming to the point of just getting up and walking around or jumping over to a web site to become lost in. One of the things I started doing is every morning I list out tasks that I would like to get done for the day. As I get something done, I reward myself with internet time or I might go out and talk to people on the floor about various topics. I've noticed that as the day closes to an end, I tend to jump to the next item on my list so that I can leave knowing my list was completed. When I'm programming and something has me stuck, I'll jump over to my list and work on completing the next task. Sometimes the solution to my problem becomes apparent, but if not, I at least go back to my code with a fresh mindset and usually start moving forward again.
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#15 Welly  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killer Productivity Tips? Here's one of mine.

Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:19 AM

Adderall. But seriously what I like to do is to unplug the internet. It is the main thing that makes me drift away from what I am doing. Put your cell phone in another room or turn in off as well.
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