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23

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 ...


19

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, ...


13

There is no quick solution to this. Okay, there is. Read the other comments for some good tips. However, the problem is deeper than that, and if you won't fix it, the problem will keep returning to you later. Pushing yourself, threatening yourself, punishing yourself, etc. those are all short-term solutions which may save the day, but will leave you more ...


13

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 ...


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 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 ...


6

The consequences of your (in)action won't be real until you actually suffer from it. If you want to go that negative route, visualize that suffering: the embarrassment, the realization that you lost that time and cannot retrieve it, whatever motivates you to do something with a longer-term payoff than the fleeting "thrill" a few hours of video games. Or, ...


5

I am so sorry for the emotional pain you are going through. It is difficult to get up and face the world after it has come crashing down on you. From what you said in a comment you are going through a period of grief which is hard to handle. Believe me I know, as I lost my beloved 5 years ago and of course I had to continue to work since it was now my only ...


5

it's important to not attach negative connections to the noise (I know, it is negative). So when the noise happens don't tut, don't get frustrated. This teaches your brain that it isn't actually important, therefore you won't be 'notified' of the noise when it happens and, because you've paid it no attention it will become background noise. This is ...


4

I'm not supposed to answer the phone, but because the company is so small I have to answer and take a message if everyone else is busy. I'd love to just turn it off but I'd still hear the other phones ringing and the boss would get annoyed as I wouldn't be taking any calls I'm answering this comment rather than the original question because I ...


4

Here's a technique I've developed without being aware of it: Multiple Browsers. Not browser windows or tabs but actual different browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE, etc. I use Opera for personal stuff, personal gemail, bookmarks, logins, etc. I use Firefox for work, work gmail, work bookmarks, work logins, etc. This one simple thing makes my ...


4

Make your studying a game (gamification). If you like games have you considered trying to create one? This also many be an indication that you don't like what you are studying. Your question is an example of instant gratification versus deferred gratification. For example, you are given 20 bucks. There are two choices: either spend it now (instant) or ...


4

Use a html mailto: link - give it any address and then change it when you come to the compose screen. Previously I've tried using Stylish to simply hide the inbox from gmail - and also using priority boxes (which you can close) so that I can't see any of the contents of the boxes. What's working best for me is to simply use the built in mail client and ...


4

I often feel this way—needing a sort of "clean slate" to be productive again, after a disruption. Once I "mess up" the flow, I often feel like I've already tarnished some record, and don't feel like starting right away again. Maybe some people can just tell themselves that a new start is a new start—that one shouldn't get so hung up about something that ...


3

If you've read Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour Work-Week, he provides, imho, an excellent guide on ignoring phone calls/e-mails that could be applied to this situation. Essentially, you should try to have two phone lines (the second can be cellular, skype, or some other number). One of the lines is to be served as an urgent line, you answer this immediately unless ...


3

What can I do to make the consequences of my action seem more real? I mean, come on, I wouldn't be homeless if I don't study for my exam tomorrow, right? Get a part time job. Move in a separate house and pay its rent from the money earned by your part time job. Pay for your studies from the money earned by your part time job. It seems to me that ...


3

Here is another suggestion - first, as others have said, write down the ideas as they come, to offload them from your brain. A tool like Evernote also enables tagging of the ideas for easy retrieval later. If a particular idea re-emerges at another time and/or in another context, then perhaps there is something to the idea that should be looked into, as ...


3

One of the things that you should keep in mind that ideas, when they come, are the highest level and as a result they sound extremely attractive. It's when you start digging deep into the idea with market research, competitive analysis, implementation challenges, time and resources, etc. you'd come to a conclusion more often than not, that it's not that ...


3

If you've got the time and energy to try and learn a concentration technique then all power to you - I'll leave possible techniques to others to describe. On the other hand, if you want a quick win, I'd try White Noise again. With a reasonably inexpensive pair of over-the-ear headphones you can turn the volume up quite loud without bothering other people. ...


3

In addition to my comment above (i.e, find the "perfect" place and be mindful of how well you can do for 30 minutes as a benchmark) here is something that helps me with very technical and conceptual material. Your problem sounds like a problem I used to have and sometimes still have. What I do works for me but I don't know about you or anyone else. Decide ...


2

Have you tried the Pomodoro Technique? Some people find that limiting your next bout of activity to 25 minutes (with a timer) allows the mind to relax and just focus on the current task. Knowing that you only have to stay with it for 25 minutes makes it much easier to focus. There are several good (free or cheap) pomodoro timer apps for phones, tablets, ...


2

Firstly, ask your boss to provide a separate room where you can work without distractions. It is in his/her interest too that you can work efficiently. Studies have repeatedly shown that open-plan offices lower worker productivity significantly, partly due to distractions. Secondly, research has shown that it takes 20-50 minutes to get back into "the zone" ...


2

Easy answer - Turn off/silence your phone. Facebook is famous for not disturbing programmers when they were in the zone. Maybe place a sign [lights would be cool] next to your desk/cube that says not to disturb. You can put it there before you get into the zone. You are a programmer, so you can probably just ignore the phone. Set alarms to check your phone ...


2

If television is your main time-sink, just don't turn the television on. Most days I don't even go near a television (I know...StackExchange is my timesink, but still) If you want to avoid wasting time in a particular location, just don't go there. Don't start the computer game - that way you can't lose time playing it. It is easier to avoid an addiction ...


2

You really, really want to beemind your studying! Here's a guest post on the Beeminder blog by a student who did so: http://blog.beeminder.com/gandalf Beeminder is all about setting up very real consequences, as well as visualizing your progress, which serves as the positive reinforcement. It's super great, says the co-founder of Beeminder. (Sorry for my ...


2

I recognize that Outlook under Windows isn't a hot growth area for email clients... but this trick has worked for me for years: Create a shortcut to Outlook on your desktop, and set the shortcut target (right-click, Properties, Shortcut tab) to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note Change the path to wherever your ...


2

Apply the Lean Startup concept to your work. As Gruber and superM said in their answers, you should probably employ an Agile methodology to develop your product. Remember though: While Agile can provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to feedback, it won't necessarily help with your "idea overflow" problem. A flood of good ideas requires idea ...


2

I like the list from The Cult of Done Manifesto In short, the Manifesto consists of: There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. There is no editing stage. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept ...


2

My version of "idea discipline" involves: 1) limiting the number of active projects; 2) rewarding the completion of projects with new ideas; and 3) avoiding stagnation with regular triage. The problem is that coming up with new ideas is way more fun than seeing the old ones through. To deal with this I have four folders on my drive: Defunct, Ideas, ...


2

I would highly recommend creating a "Spark File" to keep track of your ideas. Its basically a list of your hunches or ideas in a chronological order. Thats it. Its helpful because - This is because most good ideas (whether they're ideas for narrative structure, a particular twist in the argument, or a broader topic) come into our minds as hunches: ...



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