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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 ...


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 ...


21

If you enjoy your cooking but don't wish to compromise what you cook, here are some speed-ups: Minimise washing up if no dishwasher. Re-use bowls, giving them an instant rinse if necessary. Use just-emptied cans to measure liquids instead of measuring cups. Reuse measuring spoons by measuring out dry ingredients first (so they don't stick to a wet spoon), ...


20

Notes will come from all sorts of places: post-its, "note.txt", back of your hand, your brain's cache etc. and its nearly impossible to control that. More important  is to capture everything you can but as soon as convenient, process every disparate note and put them into one trusted place. For myself I have a few common sources for capturing: ...


17

First thing you need to do is set limits for yourself, you only have X number of hours in the week to work on project 1, Y on project 2 and Z on school. Add 8*7 hours of sleep and 4*7 hours of wind downtime - trust me you need it - leaves you with 48 hours in the week to spend on X, Y and Z. Second without fixing the bugs all your work is worthless, use ...


15

I agree that these answers will probably be quite subjective and personally tailored. For myself, I only use paper as a means to get things into electronic form. Specifically, everything goes into emacs org-mode. It also comes down to my specific line of work. I need to document my work for intellectual property purposes, and the bottom line, for me, is ...


14

I would recommend that you make sure that every important item has its dedicated spot. For my keys and my wallet this is a kind of place mat on my desk. Every time I arrive at home my keys go there along with my wallet. If the keys aren't there, they are in my left pant pocket or the left pocket of my jacket. For other things there are document drawers ...


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

Where do you currently keep data you wish to see? For me, spaced repetition is critical to internalize anything. I put a lot of stuff on flashcards that magically goes to my phones, tablets, and interwebs. I still have to consciously spin through my flashcards, but that's become a habit while standing in line, waiting for a long build process, other ...


12

What you describe is called a light version of the Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, I would suggest you to read up on this and what different solutions exist to make sure that you get rid of any Circadian Rhithm. Work on it while you still can, because DSPS can have a great impact on your social and work life. If you ever get so far that you're really stuck ...


12

I use a trivially simple system suggested by David Allen's Getting Thing Done: things go into manila folders labeled with a cheap printed label maker (easier to read than hand-written) (the one I use). name folders the first thing that comes to mind when you go to file the item; that's how I decide between things like car insurance vs. auto insurance or ...


11

Most email systems include a feature with this specific goal in mind. In Microsoft Outlook, "Flag for Follow Up" is the best way to achieve this goal. You can even mark a date when you are following up. In GMail, consider using the "starred mail" feature for areas that require a response.


11

I've found two concepts, projects and next actions, which are a key part of the GTD system, to be particularly helpful for this kind of problem. In brief, the idea is to maintain a list of projects, which are usually high-level goals, that will take significant time and effort to achieve. For example, "write paper about structural advantages of geodesic ...


11

I have found that Personal Kanban by your desk can help to show others what is your load and what are the tasks you are going to take next. This can help you and others understand what you do and be more open about it. Simple example of Personal Kanban:


11

There's a difference between mess and disorganization. I can have a dozen piles of paper on my desk - each for one task. I know exactly where everything is. Although it appears messy to others, it is organized and aids in task switching/productivity. Then there is disorganization where everything is one giant pile or things get lost. Disorganization ...


11

Multitasking may feel more efficient, but research has shown that it will actually reduce your efficiency. This is because multi-tasking is more like rapid switching between single tasks and your brain needs time to focus at each task switch. More on the multi-tasking myth from a computer science point of view can be found here So it's best to do as much ...


10

David Seah have a whole bunch of templates or forms that you could print out and use. I found his compact calender quite useful.


10

Here are some thoughts. 1) Learn how to use a microwave oven. Not all food that comes out of a microwave oven has to be fast food or taste bad. You can also use it to cook "real" food. Look for a cookbook that focuses on microwave cooking. 2) Precook fresh food in larger batches, keep it in the fridge, and heat it up when you're ready to eat. I have ...


9

Being able to plan an entire month (without having to completely redo it every few days) would require a level of workday predictability that few are able to achieve. One sick day, project emergency, or even just an unscheduled meeting and the whole thing is shot. You can do a high-level review and pick some areas of focus. As part of my weekly review, I ...


9

When I end up working on a failed idea, I sometimes write it up anyhow because the value it provides is a warning to others that this is a dead end. I'm making some assumptions here, you didn't post what your thesis was about. There is a question in philosophy about which end a gnat farts from, the front or the back. I suppose if my thesis was on that ...


9

When I have the problem you described, I go out from house at 9-10 PM and begin my evening workout. It is important to do it at fresh air, not at gym. Then I take warm shower and eat something light for stomach like cottage cheese. Then I go to bed. It is miracle, but I get up early next morning! So, you need: Evening physical activity on the fresh air ...


9

Create a folder for them, e.g. @pend. cc: yourself with ones you need to follow up on. with the text @pend in it. Create a rule to put them into that folder (from you, text includes @pend). Review weekly. I have a repeating task to do remind me of that. Outlook 2000 directions from DavidCo.


9

If using Emacs does not pose a barrier, definitely try Org-mode - it has the Pros of the software solutions you noted, while mitigating or removing many of the Cons. For example, it provides very flexible tree/hierarchical overviews with quick folding and unfolding, tagging, archives, dated entries, linking to other files/websites, and more. You can also ...


9

I like wikis and onenote (and I get onenote for free), but for organizing project ideas - especially in early stages, I prefer mindmapping. I use mindomo, but there are plenty of other options. I use it the same way I use a whiteboard, but since I work in a number of locations, it's like taking the whiteboard with me.


8

Keep what you actually need/use out and everything else away. For example, at home, I have two pens on the fridge, one by the phone and one on my desk. I then have a couple dozen pens in a rubber band in the closet. Similarly for markers. Two whiteboard markers (different colors) by the whiteboard and the rest in a rubber band in the closet. Three ...


8

For all the important items in the backlog, you don't have to worry because the will soon be done. But, for the minor/less important stuff, I think you should reserve some spare time to finish that. Try to think in a more lean way: if it's too long in the backlog than it's probably not that important and it's probably not worth it. Why not just remove it? ...


8

You may want to check out d-i-y-planner. Search terms to find a wealth of templates would include Hipster PDA and diyplanner.


8

But I'm always fighting with the tool, trying to learn how to add a cool style to the map node or export it to HTML, or whatever instead of really using it. I recognize this - I'm the same way myself :-) I suggest you try the Pomodoro Technique. It doesn't get much simpler than that. A piece of paper and an egg timer. I feel it really helps focusing on ...


7

When I was in college I brought my laptop to every class and used Microsoft OneNote to organize every note I took. I kept a physical notebook with folders for those times when teachers would hand out things that I needed to keep track of or when I wanted to draw something out, but 95% of my class notes existed in OneNote. I also backed up the directories ...



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