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I (& I'm sure many of others) go through a lot of trouble to read about improving productivity. This includes

  • Books (59 seconds, Seven Habits, GTD etc.),
  • Blogs (Pavlina, LifeHacker)
  • Studies/Research.

My question is : How do you effectively convert the advice you read to a part of your life?

For instance, I read that one should maintain a notebook called "Internet Notebook" where you list all the stuff you want to use the internet for and once in an hour, you switch the internet on, open ONLY as many tabs as the things in your list, open the respective websites and consciously close them once you are done without looking at other links. I liked this a lot and I was motivated to do it but I kept forgetting I had to do it. Sometimes it's laziness (I don't have a notebook, nevermind this time) and other times it is lack of willpower.

This is just an example, I'm not interested in specific solutions to my internet problem. My real question is:

How do you make the things you an active part of you effectively?

Some things I thought of

  • 21 day challenge?
  • Keeping it as wallpaper/stick it note etc.

but both have deficiencies.

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Related: Where should I store good advice –  w00t Jul 3 '12 at 20:33
Whatever method you are going to use, make sure it gets in your face. And do not start another information management system to maintain all this - a simple list at the most. –  Jan Doggen May 21 at 8:20

6 Answers 6

How do you make the things you an active part of you effectively?

Spaced Repetition. This means having the information presented to you regularly at increasing intervals. I use Anki for this.

Some examples: I have an Anki 'deck' of Linux commands that I don't use often enough to remember but are very useful and I want them available in my brain's L2 cache when I need it (not in the brain's swap space!). I have another deck for family and friends' anniversaries that I might need to know. Another deck for PHP and .NET gotchas and tips. And so on.

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I understand this all too well, as I face the same problems. But the answer, IMO, lies in greater focus and self-control. Remembering to close the tabs once you are done should not be a challenge. The real difficulty is deciding when to stop digging for more info? That is what makes us digress from our original search.

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I believe the best way to convert the things we learn to result by having the time and effort to apply them in real life, I think that the things I applied I didn't need to find ways to manage them, I am not with a lot of reading or learning without having the opportunities to practice those things in real life,

my ideas here applies here to life learning ideas and not technical or career level ideas, which need to be noted and read regularly or while doing a project or some task,

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The things that you do every day, these you become.

  1. Read for change, not just for information.
  2. Make notes on how you will use what you read.
  3. Be specific about what you want to change.
  4. Start small.
  5. Focus on one thing at a time.
  6. Practice every day.
  7. Change your environment to help you to practice what you're learning.
  8. Schedule time to review your progress and adjust your approach.
  9. Be patient with yourself.
  10. Don't give up.
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Bonus tip: Use reminders. For example, a post-it in the fridge to begin the day with a renewed intention while you have breakfast. –  borjab May 25 at 9:17

Surfing the internet is a common way of leisure, and I think everything has a place as long as you know what you're doing. I mean, maybe it would help you to define different, separate periods for 'research & inquire' surfing, and 'relaxed surfing'. Maybe even creating some kind of balance between both, for example, rewarding yourself with some idle surfing after researching some topic...

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I have the same problem, and I've found it useful to summarize things periodically. But since this takes concentrated time, and since there's so much useful info out there in books, TED Talks, and blog articles, you have to be selective.

Basically I use Evernote to hold list of my own summaries, and thus have a handy notebook of summaries that I can quickly access and review when I have time again later. If I don't summarize things, I tend to just bookmark or keep every great piece of advice that comes my way...and usually without using it again.

This process forces you to be selective in what things you keep around -- in the back of your mind, you know that a personally-written summary is going to be worth it to read again, because you went to all the effort in creating it.

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