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49

Email is very distracting if you are reactive to it. Set a schedule and stick to it: e.g. check emails not more than once an hour; determine the priority of replies/actions to be taken based on new email and only perform the critical ones right away, otherwise "park" them and get back to the task you were doing. Make sure you have filters set up in your ...


38

I like using the Chrome extension called StayFocusd. You can add your time-waster websites to a list, and any time you spend on those websites comes from a shared pool of minutes. Once you've hit your limit for the day, it blocks access to those sites. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji


27

What works well for me is the Pomodoro method, which forces you to focus for 25 mins, see: http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/


25

You may be able to decipher your unclear handwriting, but you probably can't read it as quickly and easily as you could if it were neater. Additionally, the right business hand ("hand" is the handwritten corollary to "font") would allow you to write much more quickly than you do now (in addition to being neater). I highly recommend Write Now by Barbara ...


25

Idea overflow? Or Idea Processing Bottleneck? Your mind is a great place to have ideas, not to store them (as said by David Allen, author of "Getting Things Done"): I suggest you write those ideas down in a place you trust. And then move on. Build into your routine a time to review those ideas (weekly? monthly? quarterly?). A trusting place can be a ...


22

As Gruber said in his answer, Agile methodologies will suite well for you. If you decide to adopt Scrum for yourself, the key thing to remember is that no planning should be done during an iteration. This means that at the beginning of an iteration you'll plan what you'll be doing for the next 2 or 3 weeks (the iteration length can be adjusted to your needs, ...


16

that when i decide to learn a certain programming language I don't suggest it. Learning one or certain programming language is not good. I think first of all, you should learn Object-oriented programming without connected any specific language. After that, learn how many programming languages that you can. Try all of them. Make a small project for ...


16

This is a major issue for me as well. I'm still trying to improve my concentration because I will get distracted by anything, but here's what I do so far: Music - I find when I'm listening to music I'm much more productive. It helps that it blocks out coworkers and background noise, but just in general I'm more likely to focus on my work rather than goof ...


14

Agile methodologies (such as Scrum) recognise that we cannot know what will happen in the future, and accomodate for this fact by allowing users to periodically review their backlog of things to do. Whenever you come up with a new idea --- great, add it to your backlog. Then pick it up for implementation at the next review if you think it's an idea that's ...


13

This is a topic relevant to me too. For me I indeed think there are also technical tools lacking. Because I want to block internet access "smartly" - or at all for the first part. I didn't find a reliable, cross-computer solution that didn't slow down my network speed (like inbuilt router features seem to do). For IM, I don't use it anymore, I only use ...


11

Well, you're right when you say the best step to face it is logically to make a phone call. But since you're stuck without any chances to make a real one, why don't you make a fake phone call? Pretend you are calling someone and say whatever you would say to that person. If possible, try to simulate her answer (making a different voice). And there you go: ...


11

Sometimes I face the same problem -- not for all phone calls -- and here is what I do: Take a sheet of paper and write the name and the phone number on top of it (easy) Write down the first thing you want to say (easy) Make a bullet list with the things you want to speak about (easy) Write down how you want to end the call -- like "I'll call you again ...


10

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned simplynoise.com. The oscillating brown noise, which sounds like sea waves, blocks everything out and helps me to relax and focus. It's even better than music--but only if you have good headphones. It also works wonders to help babies sleep. ;)


10

1) If i try to put myself in your shoes and try to figure out why it is so. I would first and foremost say i need some routine changes. i would induct some new activities in my routine. maybe i would start baking which i have done. it gives me lot of pleasure. maybe i would run away from everything for a month and see how it goes. maybe i would learn ...


10

Here's an example. Put a rat in a maze. Have a piece of chocolate at the exit of the maze. The rat will smell it and find a path to the chocolate. After repeating this a few times, the rat will learn the correct path and go there over and over again, faster each time. The rat will take some wrong turns and maybe get lost, but will eventually gain the skill ...


9

You have to do the action everyday for ca. 30 days. A good tip: get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall get a big red marker For each day you do your task, make a big red X for this day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like ...


9

Definition Different books with 'discipline' in the title could be talking about entirely different things. Let's get our definition straight so that we're not disagreeing. This is the first definition that appears on Google: "The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience." On a site like ...


8

Plans are nothing without execution except giant todo lists. Try to follow a method such as GTD focusing on next action steps "what's the very next action I need to take to advance this project?" I would also suggest maybe your plan is too broad and your mind procrastinates because it knows the task is too big or nebulous to be done in the unit of time ...


8

I think it depends on how the person interprets the religious rules and teachings. In Islam for instance, there is wide spectrum of interpretations and life styles whose adherents consider that they are following Islam. Some interpretations motivate productivity and hard work, others justifies surrendering to the status quo and going with the majority ...


8

If you really want to change, you may need to work on: Knowing why it is important to be on time (intellectual) Understanding how to be on time (practical) Feeling it is important to be on time (emotional) Making it easy for yourself to be on time (environmental) One of the reasons you have not changed already is that the sanctions imposed by your ...


7

I want to put the programming stuff aside (it's just content) and focus on your process. This process you have in place will come up in all kinds of areas in your life. The underlying issue here is plainly stated in the title of your post - "How to stop being controlled by others". You are not being controlled. You are choosing based on what others want. ...


7

There are two key questions: Is it legible to you? Do others read your notes? If you can't instantly decipher what you've written, then you're wasting some time. Instead of aiming to "perfect" your handwriting, a more useful goal would be to get it to the point where you can comprehend what you've written without issue. The above applies if you're the ...


7

I too generate a ton of ideas- most bad. I wake up in the middle of the night with random ideas. I always write them down but for me it doesn't matter where. Just putting them somewhere gets them out of my head. If I don't write them down then they are always distractingly dancing around the back of my head chanting, "don't forget me!" So I have ideas in old ...


7

I had similar problem long back. I used to begin a task, work on it regularly for 2-3 days and then give up. Like I began learning keyboard playing. I bought a keyboard and a book. I practiced everyday for one hour for two weeks. Then I had to go for a trip and once returned, I never touched the keyboard again. I found that this happened when you decisions ...


7

It's hard to work on a big goal all the time. You don't have anything until you reach the final goal. There is a talk by Ray Bradbury, which may be of help. What's important for you there is this: The problem with novels is that you can spend a whole year writing one and it might not turn out well because you haven’t learned to write yet. But the best ...


6

On a Mac or unix system you can block time-sucking websites at the system level by adding 127.0.0.1 www.nytimes.com 127.0.0.1 www.reddit.com 127.0.0.1 www.otherdistractingsites.com to your /etc/hosts file. This tells your computer that the website is located on your computer. Since it's not, your browser will fail to load anything if you try to navigate ...


6

I'm unproductive when: I'm bored. So I work on something I'm excited about to get me going. I don't see the value in the work I'm doing. So I sit back and dig into my tasks and attach value to them. Why am I doing what I'm doing? I don't have a clear understanding of what I'm supposed to be doing. So I go somewhere I can think. I think clearly when ...


6

There's two things I prioritize in the morning: - Preparing for the day's events - Strengthening willpower for the day To comment on the second bit, willpower is like a muscle. If you don't use it, it degrades. If you use it to small degrees regularly, pushing it to painful levels, it improves over time. But when you use a lot of it, it is difficult to use ...


6

Do not stop it, just schedule it. Choose best movies you can find and select special time for watching. For example, watch it on Friday night with fiends or family. If watching movies is a form of procrastination, you need to think about what part of your life you're trying to avoid to think about or what job you're trying not to do. Then do this job ...


6

Learn to recognise the trigger situations, which normally result in your habitual response. Be ready for those triggers, and when they happen, fully observe what happens, with interest - not judgement. Sometimes you may be aware enough of the moment of decision, and avoid taking the habitual path. Other times, you may miss that moment, but have enough ...



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