29
votes
9answers
1k views

Often-heard advice for success: “Wake up earlier.” But how much sleep is enough?

A recurring tip I've seen in autobiographies or books on succeeding in business is "wake up earlier." I don't particularly remember which millionaires suggested that advice, but I'm sure it's more ...
29
votes
7answers
1k views

Why does procrastination happen? And why does it block all productivity?

Why does procrastination tend to block everything productive I want to do, rather than just the task I'm trying to avoid? I have a report to write up for next week and I've been procrastinating on ...
29
votes
8answers
7k views

My thoughts distract me, how do I keep my focus?

I recently started working full-time as a software developer. [potentially unnecessary background info here] I've always had a problem focusing. It's very difficult for me to push down my curiosity ...
28
votes
8answers
10k views

How to be more talkative? [closed]

I consider myself an introvert and never spoke much. For example, when I'm in class and I know and answer to a question my professor asks, I usually don't say anything. And when I'm eating with ...
28
votes
18answers
10k views

What is the best way to improve English vocabulary?

I want to improve my English vocabulary. I want to know some of the best ways to improve my vocabulary. How many words should I learn daily? What resources should I use?
28
votes
14answers
17k views

Is there software to log tasks daily?

My boss wants me to write a logs about what I do during my work day, and he wants me to write how much it takes to perform the given task and details. Something like: Revising the CSS of the main ...
28
votes
8answers
2k views

How to stop being a perfectionist?

For example, until I know each and everything about a topic, I just don't feel like moving ahead, I get stuck. And I find myself getting involved in very minute details of the topic, which usually ...
28
votes
11answers
11k views

Are there alternatives to the GTD system?

What are likely alternatives to the Getting Things Done productivity system? Full fledged alternatives that "compete" with GTD Group of smaller systems used together to replace GTD "Simpler" systems ...
28
votes
9answers
5k views

What is the linkage between “next actions” and “projects” in GTD?

Getting Things Done (GTD) defines a "project" as anything that will take more than one action to be considered complete. "Next action" items, with a specific context, are kept handy so that when an ...
27
votes
13answers
1k views

How can I succeed in remembering people's names?

Even after I have asked a person's name a number of times, I still have trouble remembering it. How can I improve my ability with recalling names?
26
votes
11answers
2k views

How can I manage several hours of intellectual work (web dev/coding) a day without getting mentally exhausted?

I'm a coder. It's what I do. It's what I like doing. It's also what pays the bills. I do this at home and I set my own hours. However, I have a problem. I have a very, very hard time getting in ...
26
votes
12answers
18k views

How do I get faster at typing when you already have a decent speed?

At the moment I type roughly with 60 words per minute. What kind of practice would I have to do to get to 90 words per minute? What practice is best and how much time would it take?
26
votes
12answers
2k views

How to concentrate without external stimulants? [closed]

I'm a programmer and my work requires intense mental focus. My goal is to get 8 clean, productive hours of programming per day. I tried this yesterday, and I managed to get only 2:35 hours of clean ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Can drinking coffee increase productivity?

Can drinking coffee especially in office hours increse your productivity? It is normal practice in many offices to drink coffee. Can caffeine increse your productivity? Some people suggest drink water ...
25
votes
11answers
7k views

Am I destroying my career as a software engineer [closed]

I have worked as a software engineer (.NET) for 2 years. Our job is easy and it doesn't require a lot of technical or conceptual knowledge. In fact, we always use console apps with XSLT and basic C# ...
25
votes
7answers
800 views

Do game-based methods exist?

Games have this fascinating power to invite players to become better at... beating the game. I like how after repeatedly smashing a damn Orc a few times I am magically more efficient at well smashing ...
25
votes
7answers
1k views

Would improving my penmanship improve my productivity?

I'm not... good with a pen. Years of hastily-scribbled notes and quality time spent with my trusty Model-M keyboard have left my penmanship in a sorry state; it's not completely illegible when I take ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the best way to approach large tasks, such as reading scientific papers, that require intense focus?

I'm in graduate school, and part of my job is to read widely in my field. Scientific papers are very dense and I tend to read slow, so I average around 2-3 pages/hour. Consequently, long papers can ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

I have burned out, what is best way to fix it?

I have burned out at my current job. I feel that my productivity is falling. What is the best way to fix it? In the past I have always quit a job then searched for another one. I think this is not ...
24
votes
12answers
3k views

Nootropics (“learning” drugs) [closed]

So I noticed that there are no questions here about nootropics so I will ask a general question first. Where is the best resource to date to educate myself about the effects, benefits, and dangers of ...
24
votes
6answers
808 views

How do I teach productivity techniques to kids?

I would like to get my kids to learn some productivity techniques so that their future lives can be as productive as possible. I am going to start with two of the most basic ones, but it is difficult ...
23
votes
12answers
40k views

How to wake up if even alarm clock doesn't wake me up?

I have deep-sleep problem. When I go sleep, I set up at least 3 alarm clocks on my notebook ("alarm-clock" applet on linux), and set volume to maximum. They are very loud. But I never hear them, and I ...
23
votes
9answers
945 views

How can I become a more effective listener?

I believe that I am a poor listener. Often after meetings, I find myself having a lot of loose ends, but in the situation I am not enough aware of this to be able to ask a specific question. I am ...
23
votes
9answers
4k views

How to motivate people to self-improve themselves?

I'm the curious type of person that likes to learn more, do things in less time, do things better, etc. I take that as a personal challenge and I honestly love it. Of course, it IS a challenge, not ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

Why am I not motivated in this excellent situation?

I am working as a freelance contractor. For a long time I have been paid by the hour. This has worked fine and my motivation has never been a problem. Now, I have gotten a deal where I get half of any ...
23
votes
10answers
933 views

How to stop your rss feeds becoming a mess/information overload?

So like probably many I use Google Reader to manage, read, filter my subscribed rss feeds. Subscribing only as much feeds as you can read doesnt really work. From time to time i delete some feeds, but ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

What tools/techniques are useful in managing notes in different physical/digital locations?

When keeping numerous notes on any number of subjects, whether personal, work, school, etc, it's easy to let the notes grow out of control, and start missing things. I run into this a lot. I have ...
23
votes
11answers
16k views

Time-tracking software to measure when I'm active or idle on my computer (i.e., keystrokes being pressed and mouse moving)?

I want to see how much time I spend on my computer every day and be able to browse past days' activity levels as well. I've been using http://www.manictime.com/, which tracks nearly everything I do. ...
22
votes
16answers
18k views

Is it possible to train to sleep less?

I have been trying to reduce how long I sleep so that I have more waking hours available. I have read this question, and this one but it does not really give an answer. My question is whether I can ...
22
votes
10answers
1k views

Methods for reducing time spent in meetings

One of the biggest hits to productivity is time lost in meetings. Are there any methods to avoid unnecessary meetings and improving the productivity of the meetings that are held?
22
votes
9answers
957 views

Being productive without energy

I use a variety of GTD-related systems that work smoothly for juggling many projects---as long as I have plenty of energy to pick out the right actions for 'now' and get cracking. However, when I sit ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

How does office temperature affect productivity?

I'm curious if there have been any studies that can tie office temperature to productivity. Is it better to be warm or cold or 'just right'? Is there a standard temperature that is best for everyone,...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

What methods exist to keep yourself motivated when working alone?

When I studied, I went to the library to have some form of social control. The social pressure made me work better. I'm now working from home for a living. It's my first week and my motivation isn't ...
22
votes
14answers
1k views

How to capture thoughts in inconvenient moments?

I use a GTD system, which places a lot of focus on capturing thoughts for processing into next actions or projects. I've personally found this to be very helpful in getting myself more organized, but ...
21
votes
17answers
4k views

How can I speed up my coding?

I am currently studying Informatics and Computer Science. Cause I know there are quite a lot of programmers here on SE, I would like to ask for advice on speeding up my coding. First, a brief ...
21
votes
12answers
993 views

How can I improve my workplace to have less interruptions?

In the past week I've tried switching between several work spaces Office If it's open space and someone starts talking loudly you get distracted. There are also people around who may want ...
21
votes
11answers
979 views

How do you organize ideas?

I'm trying to figure out the best way to manage all the ideas related to a project (drawings, text, pseudocode, etc.). Until now I tried: Notebooks/paper: Pros: Cheap Easy to use Hard to change ...
21
votes
11answers
3k views

Too lazy to do programming?

I am a programmer, or could be called so because with my laziness with programming I am more often doing half a job and then start gaming. The other half I do tomorrow, next week or next month. What ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

How to organize my gaming time?

I see all kinds of people (including some of my friends) that simply don't know when to stop playing (for instance, wake up, play WoW, eat , play WoW, eat, play WoW , sleep). Lather, Rinse, Repeat. I ...
21
votes
14answers
119k views

How to study long hours without being burnt out or getting bored?

I can't continuously study more than 2.5 hours. After that, I become exhausted. If I continue to study after that time limit, I read something but the materials seem to be not entering my head. I just ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

How to keep up with academic publications (papers) as a researcher?

As an academic researcher involved in a field with lots of academic publications, I find it hard to keep with these constant stream of publications. Even if my field is already specialized, there are ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

how to keep focus in long term?

My problem: I can't keep focus on a few selected areas. Part of the problem is that I want to learn too many things simultaneously. But another, more serious problem is that I can't keep the same ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Personal experiences with image streaming

Did any of you invest significant time into training image streaming? How much time? Did you do any modifications to make the process work for yourself? If so did it produce subjective benefits? Did ...
20
votes
17answers
3k views

Why am I not making money and success even If I am organised, motivated and hard-working?

I am totally organised. I keep a file of everything, I monitor my activities, keep my expenses analytically, process my todo list and my projects with different types of gtd. I have an above average ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

How to use GTD both at home and at work

I'd like to use GTD, but work in an office away from home. I rarely take work home with me, but sometimes, for example, bring bills to be paid to work with me. I would especially like to hear from ...
20
votes
11answers
6k views

Waking early without waking others

At present I'm a night-owl. However, I'd dearly like to change. One of the problems is obvious - going to bed earlier. But I'll ignore that for this question. The question is - if I want to wake ...
20
votes
6answers
11k views

There's so much that I want to know. How to learn everything?

I am a programmer but this can apply to any field. There are many technologies that I want to know. So I start to read some book and then I jump to another book and so on. This makes me feel bad. Any ...
20
votes
10answers
15k views

How often should you take breaks for maximum productivity?

When working on a project, how often should you take breaks and for how long for maximum productivity? Are there any studies or research on optimal use of breaks (universally), or is it more of a ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Why am I wired to be motivated to go to work everyday and not motivated to do other things?

I have wondered for some time why I find it so hard to keep motivated to do things like exercising, reading, looking for business opportunities, getting up early etc. I have tried a raft of different ...
20
votes
6answers
620 views

How do you get yourself to do “assigned tasks”?

Aaron Swartz (co-author of the RSS specification, founder of reddit.com, Demand Progress, and generally a very cool guy) wrote an (you may want to not click on the link yet) article on productivity ...

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