17
votes
3answers
442 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?
16
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
16
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?
16
votes
8answers
781 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
7k 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 loudly. But I never hear them, and ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
674 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
698 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
771 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
7k 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?
16
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
453 views

How to control the urge of refreshing the forum pages to see if someone has replied?

That wastes time. Huge time. I also tried setting up mail notifications so that I don't have to keep on refreshing tabs, but in this case I get dragged to keep a parallel eye on the Gmail as if my ...
15
votes
15answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
9answers
832 views

How do I get my motivation going?

Often, tasks are delayed till a reasonable time before the deadline. Just because you feel like you can do it later; so, you are basically procrastinating by surfing the web, chatting with people, ...
15
votes
10answers
813 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
305 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
520 views

How do I apply 'CRM' in personal life?

I see the sales guys at work using CRM techniques where they have a massive database which reminds them when to call people, make notes about when and where they are going on holiday, etc. So, now I'm ...
15
votes
5answers
450 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
650 views

How to profit from quitting gaming? (aka how to overcome the quitter's anxiety?)

It always seemed to me that gaming itself was counterproductive, and I've always struggled to spend less time on it, but really never managed to. That is, until now. The only way I found to keep the ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Scanning documents, going paperless: what to keep, what not to keep

I have years of clutter that I keep around for that mythical "just-in-case" scenario that never happens. Even when I physically put the papers out of sight, I can FEEL them through the closet door, ...
15
votes
6answers
558 views

Cannot start actual task

My problem is that whenever I try to learn a new programming language such as Java, I start and give it up after 2-3 days. If I think about starting to practice programming I feel it's a very boring ...
15
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
497 views

When I'm going back to an old complex project, how can I restore my focus and motivation?

I've had a few weeks break from a large and difficult project that I've been working on for two years. The project could be a few weeks from shipping, if I can manage to focus on it. I've noticed a ...
15
votes
6answers
462 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
737 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
9answers
2k views

How to plan my weekend so I do more useful work?

My whole weekend goes in playing computer games and watching movies. However, I would like to plan my weekend for better productivity so that I can for example work on hobby projects and improve their ...
14
votes
8answers
663 views

Relaxing 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 ...
14
votes
13answers
1k views

Version control for homework?

Background: I'm a high school student. I've noticed lately that I'm not particularly fond of my current scheme for keeping my files up to date (ferrying around a USB stick, naming files 'essay-1.doc', ...
14
votes
17answers
1k views

What genre of music helps in increasing productivity? [closed]

I'm convinced some quiet background music can increase productivity and I'm willing to try. I'd rather listen to music on head phones than street noise. I believe that the music should : Be ...
14
votes
8answers
794 views

Struggling in coding [closed]

I have a problem that whenever I struggle with a programming problem, for example in computer vision or game programming, I try to look for an existing demo or some code that does that job. I always ...
14
votes
10answers
7k views

Is it possible to learn foreign languages effectively by watching tv series? [closed]

Some people say that watching TV series can be very helpful in learning foreign languages. However, I am skeptical about it as I think that this kind of activity is just too passive. My biggest ...
14
votes
10answers
885 views

Can reading electronic displays be made more comfortable?

We all have to handle large amounts of information on a daily basis, but some of us find it hard to focus on the information displayed on electronic devices. It's easy to read through tens of pages in ...
14
votes
5answers
836 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
649 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

What can I use to efficiently track progress on my tasks/goals?

I've been looking forever for a way to manage my tasks and goals efficiently. Most of them were too specific for project managers and had far more options than necessary to manage simpler tasks. None ...
14
votes
2answers
572 views

How do I prevent being overwhelmed by my GTD inbox?

The first thing I learned about GTD was to get things "out of my head" into an inbox. This results in an overly long Inbox list which tasks that I still need to rewrite into (multiple) "do-able" ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

How to set up a GTD workflow in gmail

I want to set up a GTD workflow based around my gmail account. Although I have some other possible sources of tasks and projects coming "in", most things I need to do come "in" through my gmail ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Being an introvert, how do I move forward and not feel dejected with my progress?

I am a student who is introverted and I believe in making my own success. I set goals, plan my time well and work towards the goal. However, of late, I feel that I am moving towards my goals at a ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

How to concentrate (read a book or work) when other people are talking instead of listening to their conversation?

I find it very difficult to concentrate on a task, if people are talking in the "neighborhood", e.g. reading a book in the tram or train or in a doctor's waiting room where other people are ...
14
votes
5answers
8k 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?
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How to improve my observation?

I have noticed that I do NOT notice the details which others seem to notice without any efforts. My mind is too occupied in its own thoughts to notice the fine details. Are there any ways to improve ...
14
votes
4answers
475 views

Has research been done between messiness on a desk and productivity?

Is there any correlation / linkages between productivity (whether it is digital or paper-based) and the tidiness or messiness of the desk? I love looking at other people's work spaces and I generally ...
14
votes
5answers
671 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
603 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, ...
14
votes
6answers
469 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
519 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 ...

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