20
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I properly integrate The Pomodoro Technique with GTD?

The Pomodoro Technique isn't merely about setting up a timer and working for 25 minutes. To truly benefit from the technique one must look at how to spend those 25-minute blocks across tasks. This ...
20
votes
3answers
536 views

Is written stenography still useful?

Are handwritten stenography systems (such as Gregg shorthand and Pitman shorthand) still useful today for personal productivity? If so, how can they be incorporated into daily life in a digital age?
19
votes
14answers
3k views

How do I free my mind of random thoughts while meditating?

When I sit for meditation, there are a lot of thoughts that come to my mind. How can I be free from thoughts while meditating?
19
votes
10answers
876 views

How do you fill in the “dead” time when using a computer? [closed]

Working with a computer generates periods of "wasted" or "dead" time. I'm talking about the time during which the computer compiles your program, performs a sophisticated computation or downloads an ...
19
votes
9answers
806 views

Short relaxation break at work

What is a good way to get instant relaxation at work? At home, I can just sleep or play video games. At work, that looks like slacking off, even though I can't concentrate productively while stressed ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Mind keeps wandering during conversations

I have trouble remembering instant things in mind. It really feels weird when I am talking about something and then I ask the person talking to me as, "Excuse me! Where were we?." I have been told by ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Restoring integrity after capturing too many ideas in GTD

GTD as the Curse of Facebook (GTD buzzwords italicized): Like any human, I generate many more ideas than I can execute. However, I meticulously capture these ideas with a GTD system (ticklers, ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

Where should I store good advice?

I sometimes come across good advice like 11 Essential Habits for Success or How To Listen Effectively, and I can't use it immediately but I like it enough to want to keep it around. However, if I ...
19
votes
4answers
461 views

What are the first steps to unfreezing a mind paralyzed with stuff bouncing around in it?

This happens to me so often I've lost track. I have so many things to do. One thing gets to the frontal lobe (top of the heap, whatever) then something else jumps on top of it before I have a chance ...
19
votes
4answers
746 views

What are some of the techniques on increasing memory stamina?

Maybe it is my age (approaching 41), but my short term memory isn't as good as it was when I was younger. As such, I feel that my level of productivity is suffering. I am looking for ways to increase ...
19
votes
7answers
1k views

How to stop myself getting caught in the unimportant details of a task

I find it so easy to get bored with what I should be focusing on and I start going into all the finer details and processes around actually doing the task. Before long something that should be a quick ...
19
votes
9answers
21k views

Best headphones/earplugs to drown out loud nearby conversations [closed]

I'm a programmer in an environment where people talk loudly. Nearby passionate conversations can be distracting when i need to concentrate. I'm sure I'm not alone. What headphones/earplugs would ...
19
votes
8answers
3k views

What could I do to convince myself to finish my projects?

Here: you can read : "Often, tasks are delayed till a reasonable time before the deadline. Just because you feel like you can do it later; [blabla] ..." This is not the real problem I've been facing ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I get myself to go to sleep when I know I should?

I've read on resetting one's biological clock and clearing my mind before bedtime (and I do most of the things there, using F.lux, being physically active mostly every day), taking melatonin (0.5-1mg),...
19
votes
8answers
9k views

What does a digital tickler file look like?

I'm in the process of implementing my GTD process, and I'm starting to run in to items that I want to put in a tickler file. The implementation of a physical tickler file makes tons of sense, but its ...
19
votes
13answers
2k views

How to organize and analyze structured data without building entire database applications?

UPDATE: 2012-06-01 Added Non-Ideal Solution #2.5. The Puzzle I'm Looking to Solve As an organization and analysis nerd with professional database experience, I frequently encounter situations in my ...
18
votes
6answers
688 views

Are there fundamental behaviors that cut across multiple productivity systems?

A variety of productivity systems and techniques are discussed on this site (e.g. GTD, Inbox Zero, FTF, Pomodoro, etc.); however, lots of folks probably land here because they're looking to learn more ...
18
votes
11answers
1k views

How to stop being controlled by others opinions?

I'm 21 years old. And I dream to be a computer programmer, I really do. The problem is (I am going to get a bit technical here) that when i decide to learn a certain programming language that i see my ...
18
votes
11answers
2k views

How can I learn about complex subjects?

I am very interested in certain subjects which are quite complex (and not very mainstream), but I find it hard to learn about them since there seems not be a lot of introductory content about such ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

I have trouble motivating myself to read programming books

I honestly love programming but I find it tiresome to read programming books. Well, I find it tiresome to read most books actually, with the exception of short stories. Do you guys have any advice you ...
18
votes
10answers
973 views

How to prevent oneself from feeling overwhelmed?

Sometimes, there are a lot of things that you are expected to do and you just don't know where to begin. You feel like you are being overwhelmed with a lot of tasks and deadlines. How should one ...
18
votes
7answers
336 views

Staying concentrated during small pauses

My workflow includes some steps that make me wait for 0.5 to 2 minutes to complete: long remote git operations, creating / rebooting an instance in the cloud, etc. It's safe to assume that these ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

How to prevent/control daydreaming?

Daydreaming is becoming a serious issue for me as I miss valuable information in places such as classes, meetings and presentations. It doesn't depend on any specific element. In fact, it may be ...
18
votes
5answers
9k views

How to use Remember The Milk (RTM) to implement a GTD system?

How can the Remember The Milk (RTM) task management system be used to implement the Getting Things Done system?
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Paper vs. digital: both have advantages, but which adv. is more important?

I started wondering recently if paper really could be the way to go. That is, in my everyday, non-GTD-obsessive personal issue tracking and task management. Here's why I'm considering this: A task ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

How to overcome the constant feeling of not being good enough?

I constantly and obsessively question myself during many kinds of activities. When I play Tetris, I cannot stop thinking that world class Tetris players have way faster motor and cognitive abilities, ...
18
votes
7answers
976 views

How to beat the “Too Long Didn't Read” syndrome?

A large portion of my work deals with reading research papers and textbooks which run for hundreds of pages. However, with all the pomodoros going on, its frustrating to be reading redundant or ...
18
votes
6answers
13k views

Self-hosted Evernote alternative?

I'd like to have an app running on my own server that stores and syncs notes, with a great interface. Any suggestions?
18
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the weaknesses of the GTD system?

For those who use the GTD (Getting Things Done) system or have used it in the past, what are some areas where GTD is weak and might need improvement?
18
votes
4answers
933 views

What nutrition is best to stay productive throughout the day?

I read in Steve Jobs's book that he used to avoid coffee during the week and drink lots of water to remain productive and energetic throughout the day. I would like to know what food and beverages to ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Do digital wrist watches have productivity advantages over software based features?

My wife recently received a digital wrist watch (Casio Baby GShock) as a gift. She is a teacher and uses the watch for (other than quickly telling the time) timing her lessons, other presentations and ...
17
votes
10answers
1k views

Is there a proven method for managing emails?

I find I often have an overflowing email inbox. Are there any methods or systems to help efficiently and effectively filter through, sort, and reply to emails?
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Methods for Goal Setting

There are a lot of methodologies for doing more and doing things faster. The problem is that you end up doing the wrong things faster. At the other end of the scale you set many important goals, but ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Be able to focus and read books when your partner watches TV

I like reading books a lot. Usually have only time for that at night, after work, but at that time my wife likes TV a lot and specially zapping; continuously jumping from one channel to another. I ...
17
votes
12answers
813 views

How do you start working?

I am a student, so doing my homework has to be the most horrid part of my day. Although I know I can do it, and it really won't take that long, I hate it. Something in my mind makes me repel against ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I keep working if I'm going to die anyway?

Steve Jobs said that the single most motivating factor for him was that he was going to die. However for me that is the most demotivating factor because after all, if you're going to die, what's the ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a positive correlation between coming to work early and productivity?

I work as a software engineer. In this line of work, we typically have a flexible schedule, and as long as we get stuff done we can come to work late and leave early. In my experience it seems that ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Which is more productive: doing lots of work in parallel or one by one?

I always feel hesitant about this particular problem of mine. Sometimes several ideas come to me, and I feel, I should start doing all of that once. But then I have a problem, I get lost in Where I ...
17
votes
5answers
442 views

How can I turn productive actions into routine?

Every now and then I start doing something which helps my productivity: devise a better todo list, wake up earlier etc. However, I find that I only engage in this activity for a short period of time ...
17
votes
4answers
778 views

What is “Getting Things Done” (GTD)? [closed]

Rookie question that a lot of people who are using this site may want to know the answer for (including me). I have read a couple of things referring to GTD but nothing definitive. It'd be good to see ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How to work while depressed?

A depressed person must stop working while in depression treatment. But if that person needs to keep working, what can be done? EDIT: Some reasons why I prefer stopping to work: FOCUS:near ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

What are the best things to do when reaching home after work in order to be productive?

I am working as a computer programmer in a government firm. My job timing is 07:30am to 02:30pm. I leave for work at 7:00am and come back to home at around 04:00pm. After reaching home, I usually have ...
17
votes
9answers
10k views

how to get over something stupid done in past?

I have a tendency to act out wierdly and angrily, (usually throwing stuff here and there) when I suddenly remember something stupid that I had done in past, and then bang my head over how stupid I was ...
17
votes
8answers
792 views

What features should I look for when choosing task-management software?

There are a seemingly-endless variety of tools available for keeping track of tasks. From feature-clogged behemoths that will do everything (tracking time and generating Gantt charts) to the venerable ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I measure how tired I am?

In order to stay productive I want to make sure I don't try to work when I am too tired, as I should get some rest instead. Working on computers all day long as I do can make it hard to detect. What ...
17
votes
5answers
817 views

How to master a large variety of technical literature

I've an Engineering background I like to read technical literature (college level onwards) quite omnivorously - especially mathematics, computer science, engineering, and medicine. This is part of my ...
17
votes
9answers
699 views

How to fall asleep

I think many people can relate with this problem, eventhough I'm giving a personal description Ever since I was young I had extreme trouble with sleeping. I think I can best attribute it to ...
17
votes
5answers
602 views

Loud conversations in workplace

I work in a small room with 9 people, and the area is completely open (think school classroom). People are frequently having loud conversations and I am unable to concentrate when writing code (I am ...
17
votes
6answers
893 views

How to setup linux as a pure working environment

I am a freelance programmer and I suffer from procrastination - a lot. When I manage to dive into work I really enjoy it, but then after a while something crosses my mind, and I have strong urge to ...
17
votes
9answers
25k views

Do noise cancelling headphones block human speech and PA systems?

Often, when people have wanted to reduce sound from nearby conversations, people have recommended noise cancellation headphones. However, I have heard that they cannot block this kind of noise. They ...

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