quick note, I think this will work better if we break it into 'stuff' and 'actions', and those can probably both be broken up by timing (all the time / regularly / intermittantly / as needed) and necessity (gives me an extra XX%, gets me up in the morning, picks me up when I'm down, I'm fucked if I don't have or do this), and desirability (I hate this, I don't care about this, sometimes is OK, I love this).
(action- regularly, extra 10%, sometimes is OK).
I got into meditation because of youtube, of all things. I started with short five to ten minute segments like this, I'd listen to them first and skip through to make sure they weren't, eg, trying to take control of my mind (fundamentalist Christian upbringing ftw!), and I poked around a bit and found better ones. there are a few noteworthy categories (self hypnosis, guided meditations, mindfulness, ASMR, a handful of others) that have different methods and goals. Self-hypnosis things take a lot of practice but also targets useful or desirable goals, mindfulness is the easiest place to start, and ASMRis the most relaxing- and the most bizarre, and probably the most difficult to explain if someone walks in on you.
If you've never done anything like this, check out the mindfulness link. It's from a Google talk, it really clearly explains what to do, and it gets rid of a lot of the myths people worry about when attempting to meditate (eg, "I can't make my mind silent", or "I get distracted" or "I fall asleep").
"The Great Dictator" speech
(stuff - as needed, picks me up, I love this)
This speech is the only speech I've ever found that I've been moved by. when you've been up for two days , your head is pounding and your eyes burning, do the normal stuff- get a cup of coffee/tea, stretch, breathe, relax, wash your face, whatever- and then watch this. After this, I don't feel tired. I don't feel the headache. I don't care about the obstacles. This sets my soul on fire; nothing can stop me.
The Pomodoro Method
(action- regularly, I'm fucked when I don't do this, don't care)
I found this one on another thread here, actually! It's useful enough to mention it again. Essentially, you break work into short manageable chunks of 20-30 minutes, only work on one thing in that time, use a timer, and when the time is over you take a short (5-10 minute) break. every 4 or so work segments, you take a longer break, ~20-30 minutes.
There are two benefits to this. First, it does help you concentrate on one thing, rather than get mixed up in a mess of different tasks, and second, you know exactly what you've been working on at the end of the day, and how well you did. A physical windup timer is recommended a lot of places because of the ticking, but this program keeps track of your pomos, how many times you've worked on a task, how many tasks you've completed, *and* it plays a ticking sound if you want it to.
(action- all the time, gives me an extra 25%, I love it)
I found this site the other day and have been going nuts with it; I'm up to 700 words per minute, and I've been copying chapters out of books I want to read (using things like this as a source) and going through them. Yesterday I read the Grand Inquisitor chapter from The Brothers Karamazof. Earlier this evening I read the first chapter of The Great Gatsby. Both took about ten minutes, with about 70%+ comprehension, and I can go through either of them again in a few minutes.
So: what do you use?
This post has been edited by Choscura: 28 September 2012 - 12:40 PM