17
votes
5answers
606 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
2answers
853 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
898 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
26k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
585 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 ...
16
votes
29answers
2k views

What are famous quotes about productivity?

What is your favorite productivity quote? This is community wiki, so please one quote per answer.
16
votes
15answers
1k views

How to balance work life and personal life.?

How you guys balance your work life and personal life. Being a developer, I'm finding it very difficult to find out how to balance it. If I concentrate on work, I lose many things in my personal life ...
16
votes
6answers
594 views

How to avoid procrastinating on the Stack Exchange network?

I love the Stack Exchange network, but I often find myself procrastinating by looking at the most recently updated questions on the sites I visit most. Those questions are rarely (if ever) relevant ...
16
votes
10answers
1k views

How to improve concentration on more important priorities than facebook?

I used to be a very focused student in school. But after coming to college after i got access to unlimited internet,freedom my concentration has fallen very steeply. Even while studying for my final ...
16
votes
8answers
486 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is Mindfulness training and how can it boost productivity?

I hear Mindfulness training has many great effects for personal productivity. But what is it and how do you actually do it, if you want to get the results? And specifically what are those effects?
16
votes
9answers
950 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, ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How to take notes when reading technical books

Do you know of any systems such as mind maps or flash cards for taking notes while reading technical/programming textbooks? For example, after reading two chapters of a dense textbook and taking a 1 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k 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" ...
16
votes
8answers
8k views

How can I use Outlook folders to implement GTD?

I want to use Outlook folders to implement GTD so that I don't have to use a separate program. How can I set up Outlook folders to be GTD lists?
16
votes
4answers
7k 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 inbox....
16
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the most productive way of maintaining a TODO list on paper?

I have some tasks, some of which to be done daily and some other to be done on some specific days. I want to track what I did, what I did not do and why. Also, how should I handle the tasks started ...
16
votes
2answers
802 views

What should I do when my inboxes are filling faster than I can empty them?

I use the word "inbox" in the generic GTD sense, i.e. anywhere that "stuff" can accumulate, awaiting processing. At work, I receive a lot of emails. I also go to a lot of meetings at which I pick up ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
807 views

How to increase productive number of hours

I am working in software industry and my job demands me working 10-12 hours everyday. In addition to this I spend sometime in travelling everyday 1.5 hours approx. When I reach home in evening (...
16
votes
4answers
526 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
745 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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, ...
16
votes
6answers
630 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How to avoid being overwhelmed by what you have to/want to learn?

I study philosophy at university, a subject that covers a lot of ground. My problem is that I often feel overwhelmed by what's been done in the past 2,500 years in so many different fields. There is ...
16
votes
3answers
394 views

How do I get out of overcommitment?

I tend to procrastinate more when I am overwhelmed by overcommitment. Sometimes, writing down a priority list and future plan helps, but sooner or later, the plan breaks down and I find myself once ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Dealing with Existential Crisis [closed]

I was reading a comic on PhDComics and although it is funny, sadly, it is also true. Grad students I know (including me) usually fall into one of these existential crisis at least once a semester. And ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

Has anyone tried using Trello to track GTD projects?

For me, tracking projects has always been the hardest and most intractable part of GTD. In particular, how to manage future actions and keep track of sub-projects I've delegated to others. Future ...
15
votes
11answers
42k views

How to cancel out caffeine's effects on sleep?

I'm a programmer and I need caffeine in order to do my job. But, the paradox is - the same caffeine that enables me to do my job degrades the quality of my sleep, which in return degrades my ability ...
15
votes
8answers
921 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the “two-minute” rule really an efficient way of dealing with to-do items?

In one of David Allen's audio tapes I recall him mentioning his "two-minute rule", which means - if you recall something you need to do, and that something takes less than 2 minutes to do, then drop ...
15
votes
3answers
14k views

How to stop mind from drifting off while reading?

Lets say I'm reading a text on programming language which has some example on poker. As soon as I read it, my mind drifts off about some related things around poker, like probability, last time I won, ...
15
votes
7answers
43k views

At what time do “early risers” go to sleep at night? [closed]

There is so much information out there about people who wake up early - for example, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, wakes up at 4:30, as does General Motors' CEO and Disney's CEO. What I never hear about is ...
15
votes
4answers
406 views

One hour a day or 4 continuous hours a week for an activity?

Should I practice an activity, say drawing, programming, or even sport, in short day-sessions of one hour for example, or do it all at once in a week? If I choose to do one hour a day, I might waste ...
15
votes
10answers
20k views

Feel sleepy in the morning for a few hours after I wake up.How to fix it?

I sleep for 6-7 hours in the night everyday. When I wake up in the morning I feel sleepy continuously for 2-3 hours because of which my productivity has become low in the morning. Even when I have a ...
15
votes
9answers
1k views

How do you read programming books?

I'm wondering, how do you read programming books? I always don't do the exercises, I just read the book.. Do you read while sleeping or you really take the book and study like you do in high school ...
15
votes
3answers
527 views

Pomodoro: should I still take a break if I'm highly engaged?

Short breaks are definitely beneficial when I'm leaning on Pomodoro to keep me motivated for a task. But what if I'm highly engaged in the problem I'm attacking? Will pacing myself with 5 minute ...
15
votes
7answers
6k 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 talking....
15
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How to manage multiple simultaneous private projects?

I have a number of private web design projects that I work on during my spare time. Non of the projects have any real deadline, other than my own urge to finish them. As there is no real deadline, I ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

What is ZTD (Zen To Done) and how does it differ from GTD?

A recent RTM blog post mentions Zen To Done (ZTD), which the poster describes as basically a simplification of the Getting Things Done (GTD) system. What is ZTD, and what are the main differences ...
15
votes
4answers
829 views

How do I gauge the effectiveness of my time management system?

I'm guessing a lot of people here have some sort of time management system. I'm curious what techniques people use to improve that system over time. For me at work: Weekly look at where I spent ...
15
votes
4answers
665 views

Do programmers combine GTD and issue trackers?

I wonder how programmers here handle their GTD and issue trackers. Do you take the time to add your tickets to your personal GTD systems?
15
votes
3answers
830 views

How does sleep debt decay?

Sleep debt is the concept that if you skip half an hour of sleep now, you'll need to catch it up later. I would expect though, that if you skip some sleep, but then start having a normal amount sleep, ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to handle perpetually ongoing tasks in Personal Kanban?

I'm exploring organization systems like Personal Kanban and one thing I'm still not clear on is how to represent ongoing activities that are always there and always have to be done. For example, say I'...
15
votes
2answers
657 views

How to present my work overload to others

I'm getting overstretched with urgent tasks (writing reports, fixing bugs, etc) that are sapping my time away from non-urgent tasks (visioning, system integration, etc). From my perspective all the ...
15
votes
3answers
701 views

Is there evidence that GTD increases productivity?

Is there evidence that David Allen's Getting Things Done strategy actually works? I am aware of much anecdotal praise, but with anecdotes, it is hard to say whether the system actually helped the ...
15
votes
4answers
866 views

How do I register deadlines in a GTD system?

In a GTD system, I have (among other things) a list of "next actions" organized by context, which are things that I have decided I should act on at my discretion, and a calendar, which shows things ...
14
votes
11answers
2k views

Dealing with “waiting for reply” emails

When dealing with emails, there are many that I have sent (and so the "action item" is done), but I am waiting for a reply (and want to follow-up if I don't get a reply in a reasonable amount of time)....
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', ...

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