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I have over the last few months noticed that there are many different, more effective and more efficent means of doing things then the way the general population does them.For example, learning the Japanese alphabet was somewhat difficult for me using the traditional method of memorization until I found a book called "Remembering the Kana". I also experienced the same thing when I was doing another task. The method I was using and what the majority of the people I knew were using was inefficient and not the most effective. My question to you is How do you find the most effective and efficient way of doing a task? Of course one of is to ask questions on the stackexchange but does anyone employ other, more different methods?

Thanks!

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Thanks for the clarification on your question; I was going to refer you to the same question to which @0x6d64 alluded.

Finding the tools that make me most effective is a crapshoot. I'll tell you this...the same tool that I use to code will NOT work for me if I need to, say, replace the gas tank on my motorcycle or complete a home improvement project. I find that the CONTEXT of the tool is very important to my effectiveness.

How do I find those tools? Mostly by accident as I research the project. For coding, I use a project management and status tool that a prior client had me use. I found it incredibly effective. For home improvement projects, I use a work order form that a contractor friend of mine uses. I've not found anything that I feel fits PERFECTLY for motorcycle repairs; that's just a to-do list on paper for now.

My sense is that tools and methods are incredibly personal to you as a person, your personality, how you prefer to work, where you are emotionally regarding the project (love it, hate it, indifferent), the type of project, and the context of the project (personal or for work, deadline or not, etc.).

You'll find the ones that are right for you as you progress. The most important thing I've discovered though, and which @0x6d64 mentioned, is that "... the most effective way of getting things done is to do them rather than contemplating how to do them."

I get started with a "close-enough" tool (e.g., the motorcycle to-do list) if I don't have the perfect one handy rather than waiting to start because I've not found the perfect tool. if I can't find something ideal, I take what I've got in my arsenal that's close, modifiy the list/technique/method to be closer to my needs, and start. Sometimes I find the right effectiveness tool along that way, sometimes not.

But I know enough about mmyself and my work habits that if I don't have a concrete reminder on a task list or calendar, nothing gets done. I do the ebst that I can with the tools I've got to be as effective as possible in a given circumstance.

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In my experience the most effective way of getting things done is to do them rather than contemplating how to do them. This question is somewhat related: In most cases you have to try first and then think again how to improve a piece of code (or a method for doing things).

However there are a few strategies which can help doing certain kinds of task: Automation, delegation, concentration. There may be other strategies that I use but am not aware of at the moment.

Automation can be used on some task which are very repetitive. An example would be filters/rules in your email client to sort email according to topic, which may help you clean out your inbox.

Delegation is a beautiful thing, because it means that the task is done for you by somebody else. The basic question here is: Are some of the task better done by an expert, which can do them very quick and how much will that cost me?

Concentration has to do with the fact that switching task takes time. If you have a larger number of similar task, it can make sense to collect them and then do them in one sitting. An example would be filing of documents: I collect the papers to be filed for a quite long period of time, and them sort them into folders in one sitting. If I did this for every single sheet of paper immediately this would take more time I think. Another example would be a shopping list, so you can make on big trip to the mall and get all the things you want.

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Hi, my question is slightly different. I'm asking how people go about finding the best materials to go about doing there work. –  gekkostate Jul 4 '12 at 22:14
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Asking is the best method. You are able to draw in other people's experience and expertise on the matter that you have not attained yet.

For me, I tend to jump into a new project and work by trial-and-error. This is one method of doing things, but it can lead to roadblocks. Just last night, I was trying to work around a bug that I had encountered in my code, without finding anything online in an hour of searching. I asked on StackOverflow, and had an answer within about 10 minutes that fixed my issue.

One thing you can do to ensure you do things the best way each time is to document how you did it. Many issues you may come back upon and remember that you solved it at one point in time; so you look up that blog post or word doc that contained your solution. Efficiency gained!

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