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15

It will be worth looking at Scott Hanselman's take on this - he gives a really good productivity talk 'It's not what you read, it's what you ignore', which is a personal favourite of mine. Particularly relevent for me is the section where he talks about News sites - making the point that if news is important enought, you'll find out some other way...


11

You are reading research, not fiction. Research by other people are the building blocks of your own work. It doesn’t matter that much what is written in the (whole) paper/book -- what is really important is what conclusions you draw from it, how it helps your work, your argument. Facts and thoughts in articles are the Lego building blocks for you work (which ...


11

I just recently started using what is called Seinfeld's productivity secret. Basically, you print a calendar for the whole year on a sheet of paper that you see every day (staple it to the wall over your desk) and set yourself a realistic daily target - for me, that is 15 minutes studying a foreign language every day. On every day you follow through on your ...


9

If you find that you aren't retaining the information after reading the article, why do you think you're going to retain exponentially more by reviewing it immediately afterward? I use spaced repetition techniques to increase retention when I'm reading articles. My process is that while I'm reading the article if I come across a point that I want to ...


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 ...


6

I think your main question should be why am I reading all these papers and textbooks? What do I want from a particular paper? What kind of information am I looking for and what do I expect to learn from it? I read somewhere that the amount of information that is generated currently doubles about every 10 years. I'm not entirely sure that this number is ...


6

A partial solution is always better than no solution. If you want to change yourself, focus on congratulating yourself for partial success instead of punishing yourself for incomplete success; then the success will grow. Let me re-frame it this way: You already have a solution that works (wrapping your fingers), and that's great! Honestly; it's an ...


6

I'm no expert on this but I've been reading the book "Willpower" by Baumeister and Tierney. In this book the writers state that willpower is a limited resource. If you want to do things that rely on willpower, like changing habits, you should change only one thing at a time until it you've changed it into a new and good habit that you like. If you try to ...


5

I heard that pomodoro technique is very effective for reading. I googled around and found this blog >> Reading and effective note as one of the reference[1]. My friend also tried it and shared that it's very effective for her. I believe the reason behind the effectiveness is that Hippocampus[2] (the part of the brain that writes what you have read into ...


5

Daniel Pink provides some very good advice along these lines in his book "Drive". In it he describes the science of motivation that suggests that motivation is dependent upon autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Autonomy deals with how much one controls the process and performance outcomes. Increasing this at the lowest levels, tends to increase the motivation ...


5

If you can, read it later. There are dozens of great services, like Pocket or Instapaper, that allows you to save texts, files and even entire web-pages to read them later, when you have finished your other tasks. They are great, since you can also have offline versions of site-pages and you can install them on tablets/smartphones. This should prevent you ...


5

I suffered the exact problem. Over the years, I've learned a couple methods/tools that helped. But in general, it's more of a habit/process issue than the lack of hardware. I'll first talk about some tools: For browser tabs, I like 'one tab' or something like 'simple window saver' (for chrome). Just find a session managing extension that helps you quickly ...


4

Eating healthy in general helps your brain function to it's best ability. Eat plenty of whole grains, oily fish, and things with your essential B vitamins (meats/animal products). I also did a little Google search and I found a study saying blueberries can improve/delay short term memory loss. And also, pumpkin seeds give you plenty of zinc, which is really ...


4

You might be suffering from some mild froms of OCD (compulsive obsessive disorder). Try to read about this disorder. There are many ways to modify your behavior and you can find them online. Also note that between "absolutely not redoing tasks" and redoing tasks so many times", there is not necessarily a definite right number of repetitions. Moreover, be ...


4

I don't have a generalized suggestion for the overall issue. For the specific cases of coding, I suggest adopting a Test Driven Development or similar methodology. (Google for definition and explanations). Then develop the habit of running your tests after a change instead of looking at the code. You won't break the habit, exactly, but you'll be doing ...


4

I need to change several habits but whenever I do something that is new to me, I get a little stressed. That happens to everyone, including me. You need to understand one thing -- change is a part of life. I am no expert either nor have I read any book on this topic however what I learnt from my experience is change should be slow. Any drastic ...


4

Better is to change one habit per time. When you are more familiar with the change, you can try to change another habit. Don't give yourself many target, you would be more prone to fail. In other hand, the small success will motivate you so you will be able to change another, more significant habit then. Write them down, choose most important and start with ...


4

There are three factors that create a habit. Cue, routine, and reward. Theory A simple example is a rat put inside a maze, with a hidden piece of chocolate. On a clicking sound, the door to the maze opens. The rat smells the chocolate, wanders around the maze, takes a lot of wrong turns, but eventually finds the chocolate. The experiment is repeated ...


4

How do you remember to work off your todo list? . I have a problem with working off my todo list (which is a canonical GTD next-action list in digital form.) The words in bold are the problem source. The problem is that the TODO list is in a file in computer. So it will be before your eyes only when you actually open it. Once you minimize or ...


3

If you’re going to read every single word in every single document you’re going to read very few documents. There is an 80/20 aspect at work here. Books and papers often repeat the same thing again and again so you’re getting diminishing returns by reading the whole thing meticulously. I don’t avoid long paragraphs, but I also don’t read every word. I ...


3

Before trying to become a more agile "task-switcher" you may want to consider these observations (I wish I had references but I don't at this time): People are more efficient when they don't switch tasks. You should stay focused on the problem at hand. That is why software development methodologies like Scrum puts emphasis on the fact that you put tasks ...


3

You seem to be the type who thrives when being thrown into the fire, so start throwing yourself in there. Instead of trying to force yourself to learn through an inferior-for-you method, play off your strengths. The barrier to entry to most things is smaller than most people realize. Do you need high-end tech to make a great video game, movie, stage ...


3

Totally agree to @J Kam's reply on autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Another good metaphor is the Horizons of Focus model from ingenious book on personal productivity Getting Things Done by David Allen. The metaphor is perfectly summarized by Arif and Ali Vakil. So you imagine you look at your life at 50,000 ft and ask yourself... What are my unique ...


3

As you'll see in my comment to proton, I think that this can be very different depending on your personality and the things that trigger a productive response in you. For me, one of the keys is a clear head, and a fairly popular technique for head-clearing is mindfulness meditation. This is a pretty simple tactic, and there's a good tool for it: calm.com. ...


3

Personally I find self-help books to be like religious texts. There are very good reasons why many Christians advocate daily Bible reading. The great things that you can take from a text will not stick forever and what you can get out of a text now will be different from what you can get from it later. If you find the reading of self-help texts to be useful, ...


3

Use OneTab. It is a Chrome/Firefox extension. It allows you to - with a single right click - move all your 500 tabs into a list that is then persistent. This is better than bookmarking them, especially if you only want to read them once and because bookmarking 500 items is a pain.


3

I also tend to "multitask" heavily on my Kubuntu Laptop, especially when working intensively on different projects as a college student. However I was pretty ok with it once I got a little bit organized. Additionally I have a heavy tendency to procrastination, so it is important as well for me to separate work from entertainment. I also work in 3, sometimes ...


3

A good start would be to reduce a number of things that induce your impulses. Something like this: internet addiction Remove shortcuts to browsers. Hide bookmark/favorite bars. Install "parental control" apps that limit your screen/internet time on schedule, and give admin access to a trusted friend/significant other, so that you can't just go around ...


2

I too had this habit until I was 34 years old. I used to chew my little finger so bad that it had a permanent crack and callous on top. I became self-conscious about people seeing the finger so decided to do something about it. I realised that the pleasure I got was from the actual chewing motion so I started to chew my jaw instead (as though I had ...


2

If you are being productive when concentrating you may find your simplest option is just to replace biting with another less annoying activity. So as before, use a temporary solution such as a bad testing product - not just for a month, but for a good length of time, like three months. During this time deliberately carry out some other activity - I ...



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