Monday, January 09, 2006

Productivity hacks I am currently using

You know me, I'm all about productivity. Why I just spent 2 hours trying to make it more efficient for you to read comments on this site. It didn't work out, but at least I think we're back to where we started. Here are the productivity hacks I am currently using:

  1. DMZ the Inbox: this is a suggestion from Merlin Mann (the Hipster PDA inventer) that he could have invented for me. In your email program, create a new folder called DMZ. Move everything in the inbox into it. From now on, keep the inbox to zero messages: reply, delete, forward, file, whatever. As for the DMZ, deal with those messages whenever you can. I created my DMZ on Saturday. It was 185 messages then. It is 122 messages now. [Merlin's Post]
  2. Involving Others: that's what the bar graph is all about in the sidebar. Knowing that people will know if I add words to the paper gives me incentive to add words. For the last paper, I found myself saying, why don't I just write a paragraph or two to move the line up a bit, and find myself with 500 words added before I stopped.
  3. Time Limits: I'm at the stage where the research to be done is overwhelming. So I only set out to do chunks that seem manageable, half-hour or one-hour time limits.
  4. Use Diversionary Work as a Reward: You know how your normally messy house can be the cleanest house ever when you're procrastinating on doing something else? I use that to my advantage. Instead of rewarding myself with cookies or chocolate (which I'm going to eat anyway), I reward myself by doing the tidying type stuff only after I've completed a chunk of priority work. (Tonight's reward was messing around with the blog comments and making this posting.)
  5. And here's the productivity tip I plan to use next (as a reward):

  6. Declutter with Clean Sweep techniques: Reducing clutter has all sorts of benefits. One of my problems at reducing it is that I'll put a few things away, but it's never all done. So starting with the desk top, I'm going to Clean Sweep: Remove everything (except the computer) and then only put back what should be on the desk. Everything else gets chucked or put where it belongs. If necessary, I will create a place for things to belong.

1 comment:

Ella said...

Thanks, Dave. That DMZ inbox tip just changed my life.