Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

44

A few techniques that I find useful are: Keep a journal and write your goals every morning. The act of writing is often enough to keep the intent in the front of my mind and I am less prone to falling into a behavior I'm trying to modify. Use a timer and only do 45 minutes of work. The time pressure helps focus you and if you fail you've only lost 45 ...


31

I used to face the same problem. Here is how I cope with them: Use shorter lists with 4-5 tasks. Plan for half-a-day, instead of a full day. Then plan again at mid-day. Put the list where it can catch your eye, like a sticky-note or cellphone wallpaper. Use the Pomodoro Technique to work in short bursts. Treat yourself for completing a list (maybe a bite ...


28

It sounds like the core of your issue is a need for frequent goals that stretch you, in order for you to feel challenged. This is relatively straightforward to deal with: rather than define a single long term goal, list the milestones that need to be completed in order to reach that end goal This lets you focus in the near future with the frequent ...


27

Procrastination is the thief of time. I find that when I don't have a task list of things to do that I don't get anything done, even if I actually have quite a lot of work to do. I also find that I am much more likely to fill my task list if I write it out the night before rather than at the start of the day. I think there is a psychological effect of not ...


25

A lot of the problem is psychological - as is the answer. If you answer these questions, it may help you understand why you are procrastinating: What am I afraid of? What will happen if I stop procrastinating on this project? What will (ultimately) happen if I procrastinate on this project? What am I using to avoid doing what I should be doing? Note that ...


22

As silly as it sounds, getting paid more money actually DECREASES performance for non-trivial tasks (see references). This problem has been studied a lot in behavioral economics, and psychology. The problem is one of Extrinsic Motivation replacing Intrinsic Motivation. Intrinsic motivation is your innate desire to do a good job. It's what you feel when ...


21

First of all, if you are not familiar with GTD, I'd encourage you to read up on the literature. Among other things, the system is built to address the problem you are having with procrastination. To do the things on your list effectively, a big part of it is planning. First, there's prioritization: which tasks are most important to you? Obviously, you do ...


20

What gets measured gets done - Management Maxim Write a list of what you want to do on a physical piece of paper, listing each item line by line. If an item on the list seems too overwhelming to do, break it down into smaller parts. It's okay, even encouraged, to put down easy tasks on the list. If I want to do a software project, often the first item ...


20

Am I destroying my career? Yes you are... UNLESS you gain knowledge outside your current job you will become quite value-less to other companies. You have to keep yourself current. I worked as a SENIOR software developer for 11 years and when I changed positions I was clueless as to all other technologies and methodologies. I had no idea what Scrum was ...


19

Reading articles about programming is boring for me too, because reading hard technical text is not ivolving you into process. It's difficult to understand many new things fast. Since you lose understanding, you lose attention and interest. But I found decision. I download example source code and then repeat it. Don't copy paste. Just type on keyboard. I ...


18

Steven Covey likens efficiency is climbing a ladder as fast as you can, but views effectiveness as making sure it's leaning against the right wall. You're obviously efficient - you're organised, intelligent, skilled and experienced. But are you effective? Are you applying your talents in the right direction? Your previous questions suggest that you take ...


16

If you're into crazy lifehacks, I highly recommend using commitment devices on yourself. Here's a list of tools for doing so: http://blog.beeminder.com/competitors [disclosure: I'm part of Beeminder, one of those tools]


16

I used a couple of simple mental tricks when I had to work from home for extended periods: Put on a suit - this made me feel like I was in the office and ready to work Completely separate personal from office - when I was in my home office, I would work, and I wouldn't take any of that work out of there These both help to keep the routine going - don't ...


15

The first thing to realise is that ultimately most people don't really want to change. They may feel unhappy with the way things are - but when it comes down to it the effort required to change feels greater than the perceived benefit that they will get from the work. You would need to switch this perception around for them. You can do this in one of three ...


15

First, I'd suggest looking at some "How to Win Friends and Influence People" suggestions: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People Don't criticize, condemn, or complain. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Arouse in the other person an eager want. ... Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking The only way to ...


13

So do you have a procrastination or an energy problem? Procrastination is when you do other things than the ones you should be doing, and an energy problem is when you just lie or sit there doing pretty much nothing. Fixing procrastination is very hard but there are a number of books out there that can help. Personally I liked "End Procrastination Now" by ...


13

I also used to get in "trap"s like these... The best way (IMHO) that I follow is to keep yourself busy i.e. give yourself short term and easy goals regularly. As these short term golss are easy enough and do not take significant time, you will not get demotivated and you'll also save time. Now those short term activities should be in sync with your long ...


13

Get rid of your TV. I did it 10 years ago and never looked back. UPDATE: To complete my answer, I would like to generalize my rule. Whenever I want to remove a bad habit, I make it hard to indulge in the habit. If I don't want to watch TV so much, I throw the TV away. If I want to stop playing video games so much, I uninstall the games from my ...


13

I've been through not just once, but several times. World of Warcraft disks tossed in a dumpster, a Netflix account canceled, and a switch to a mini-computer that had on-board video. Games and shows are easy, soothing, and provide a steady stream of dopamine rewards. Interacting with the real world and creating in it are hard and anxiety inducing. I've got ...


13

Try to make your promises more realistic. Saying you will NEVER waste time isn't going to happen. Instead give yourself a time budget for fun things. Like you will limit yourself to one movie a week. You will limit your internet time to X per day. Etc. You can also come up with a way to reward yourself. For example, you can watch a movie after you ...


12

The short answer: Just efing do it. Force yourself if you must. The long answer: If you are a professional programmer, consult your project manager with this. Tell him that you are having trouble with your productivity and talk to him about helping you divide your work into small tasks, which you will commit on a daily basis. If you are a hobbyist / ...


11

I think this is part of the reason techniques like Pomodoro and virtually anything that forces you to break up the task into small pieces. It gets you to realize the first step is small and just gets started. Which gives you momentum to continue. It's harder in school because in the job most people feel compelled to work on some task. In school, I would ...


11

I faced the same problem as you are describing it. I am working on a personal project, every day but I was not moving as I wanted to move. I was always busy to do something for the project, but realize that although you are busy you can still be lazy (C.J. Mahaney). This view helped me a lot. I read a lot of productivity, but never did a weekly review on a ...


11

A couple ways I would do it: 1 way is to set intermediate deadlines. So in 1 week, you need to be 25% done, and in 2 weeks you need to be 50% done. You set the milestones depending on what kind of project is. So if it's a research paper, by week 1 you need to have the outline done. By week 2, you need to have a rough draft done, etc. When the first week ...


11

Why am I doing this Well, that is a hard question to answer. Maybe you have ADHD. Okay, maybe not. That is a bit extreme. Maybe you get distracted easily(sounds the same as ADHD, but a psychologist told me it's not the same thing). Or it could be that you find the content boring/cumbersome, and don't want to read it(Being excited about learning ...


11

As someone who has had problems with mood, motivation and goal-setting almost all of his life... and as someone who is similarly introverted and into the idea of self-made-success... I've learned that the single most important factor in keeping the momentum to achieve life goals is: A regular routine of a healthy diet and (near-)daily exercise This may ...


11

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 ...


11

I've been a .NET developer for going on 12 years and I'm still as passionate today as I was on day one. If you're stuck witting console apps and don't have much variety in your development work this can be difficult. I think I would probably feel the same as you in this position. The thing that has kept .NET interesting for me is learning all the new ...


10

I've tried a lot of book techniques, like keeping time sheets, banning internet domains in /etc/hosts, going on an internet and videogame diet etc etc, but none of those worked for me. A few years ago I came up with this method: I watchdog myself and whenever I find myself doing something dubious while I should really be doing things that have to be done, I ...


10

I guess it has to do with your work ethics and the values you hold important--this may be a result of your growing up so I'm not sure it's an easy thing to change, because really it's how you see the world. On the other hand, there could be defining events in your life that would completely change your outlook, redefining what you consider important. I think ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible