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51

Something I have been taught while studying English and then preparing for tests/exams like IELTS which may be of help here. (this applies to reading which requires level of attention/thinking for comprehension above the average newspaper in terms of content and length) Do not try to comprehend the whole piece in one reading pass (i.e. read once, ...


33

I'm sure others will post fancier responses here, but I really think this one is pretty simple. Read more. I have always been a voracious reader and read quite fast (at least material that doesn't require too much thought to digest -- the slower stuff takes longer because you actually have to think about it). The other people I know who read a lot read ...


21

I learned speed reading techniques at a very young age (honestly believe that children should be taught to speed read in elementary school, but I digress), and I think it's helped me considerably, since I can cover a huge amount of material very quickly, and retain a high percentage of it. http://www.evelynwood.com.au is one widely recommended speedreading ...


21

I'm having the same problem, so I can understand you very well. I'd suggest: If you find yourself getting stuck in something (e. g. as you are not willing to begin with the "real work"): * Make a step "back" from the topic/work to see why you want to do it: What's your motivation? What's your goal? Then, remember the 80/20 rule (also called "Pareto's ...


13

There are far too many metrics to consider, especially if you want to see how much you're getting done instead of how much you're working. If you are a cook, you might want to see the rate of dishes out per minute, and so on. But from your profile, it seems you're a programmer, and you don't need an explanation why 'lines of code written' is a bad metric. ...


10

Its a fairly big if - and raises questions like 'Raising kids is hard work - should that count towards my 40hours when I get back home from work?' But, even if true, I suspect that what actually is being said here is "People are only good at doing things that don't want to do for 40 hours a week" - if you're the sort of person whose happy to volunteer for ...


8

A few ideas: Have you tried setting aggressive deadlines for the small projects to try to make it harder to get it done in time? Have you considered looking at your work from other angles than just getting tasks done and seeing what areas could be improved beyond just output and quality? Have you tried to change your perspective on a "trivial" project so ...


7

There is no definitive answer to this; as you outlined yourself in the article and comments this does depend on your energy levels which depend by itself on your cortisol levels. We are different people; so, what works for one person might not work well for another... As you have been a night owl for some time you have had a shift of your cortisol/energy ...


7

I spent a reasonable amount of my working life teaching IT skills to beginners, and it's my opinion that the feeling of safety is massively important. Being willing to experiment with things is exactly the sign that marks a 'continuing beginner' from a 'temporary beginner'. In terms of moving people out of 'beginner' status I think it's best to remove them ...


6

Have you tried the Pomodoro technique based on time boxing? See official site or comments on this forum with a tag pomodoro technique. Good luck with your concentration!


6

The answer to your question is a commitment to block a certain bucket of time to a task. If something serendipitous pops up, have your notepad handy to jot down ideas, but immediately go back to the task at hand. Personally, I like to plan my time based on priorities and urgency. When you say you need to read "10 hours a day" to study, that signals to me ...


6

I'm a wanna-be psychologist, from the way I understand it, a perfectionist is a person who has higher needs for structure, who thinks that failing of maintaining such order will give rise to mishaps. But really, not being perfect is just being a human being. Rules of thumb: Establishing more pragmatic, realistic standards for you and people around you ( ...


6

I agree with you Martin, I also use the Pomodoro Technique, this is a good way to avoid getting to exhausted. The root message, I think, is under Pareto's Law; you need to be clear on your goals, so you can stop when you reach them. People get lost trying to do the perfect thing because they do not set themselves in a Time Box with very clear goals. So ...


6

The #1 skill as all of us "intermediate" and "advanced" users know, is how to web search properly. That is, knowing google.com operators and finding the information we're looking for. Obviously, a good grasp on basic outlook, word, excel and powerpoint is good, but skill #1 can do that for them.


6

I think the relationship is probably better thought about the other way around - not 'How do I best eat to be productive?' but 'How do I best arrange my working day around a good balanced diet? - this gives you the follow on question, which I think is the really important one here, 'How do identify my high and low energy times in my day and schedule ...


6

Protein tends to give energy, and carbohydrates tend to make people sleepy. So, eat protein in the morning and at noon, and carbohydrates in the evening. Also, I find that eating a large meal makes it very difficult to be productive. So if I have work to do I eat a snack instead. Each person is different. Keep a log of what you eat and how you feel. Then ...


5

Activities you choose can improve productivity on your main job that 'you don't want to do' as they can give you a chance to forget the frustrations of the day job, relax and release. In addition to my main job (60 hours a week) I volunteer for a range of organisations, and play in a band and I find each has aspects which make the others easier to cope ...


5

The most important effect to be aware of is oxygen toxicity. Courtesy of Wikipedia: Oxygen toxicity is a condition resulting from the harmful effects of breathing molecular oxygen (O2) at elevated partial pressures. It is also known as oxygen toxicity syndrome, oxygen intoxication, and oxygen poisoning . . . Severe cases can result in cell damage and ...


4

As well as reading whenever possible (ie over breakfast, at lunchtime, instead of watching the TV), and reading everything (books, newspapers, technical papers etc) I would suggest using something like Rocket Reader I haven't used it myself but a couple of my friends who were slow readers used it to improve to a reasonable speed level)


4

If you haven't already done so, I suggest checking out assertiveness training as a good place to start to learn how to say "no" effectively. There is a lot of information about assertiveness training on the web. Wikipedia has a good section on this topic at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assertiveness If you go to the self help section of your local book ...


4

I wonder if you have the same problem as me: A "should" voice that incessantly tells you what it thinks you should do when really so many of those things aren't shoulds but coulds. My latest strategy to prevent myself from immediately assuming that I have to do something presented to me is that I am changing the "should" in my head to "could." "I should ...


4

Use a squeegee on wet floors. It also works well (depending on squeegee size) on windows, shower enclosures, tile walls, and bathtubs. We keep a small one in the shower, and spend about 30 seconds after a shower to wipe down all the walls and floor. We have much less mildew to remove than we did before starting this practice.


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

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

There are two issues here: not getting distracted at work and getting excited about software development. For the first one, only you can help yourself. If you are looking at the wrong sites, you need to get some URL blockers. But if you day-dream, there is not much that can be done except for some sort of tracked self-gamification of results. (Do X commits ...


4

Best case, quantifying this can only lead to some kind of approximate measurement. There are far too many inquantifiable soft nuances that need to be considered. That said, Matthew Cornell lists some metrics that could be used for measuring personal productivity and study trends over time: how much time do you spend on your email how much time do you spend ...


4

I want to improve my personal efficiency. Okay, here is my answer. Probably off topic and perhaps will be voted down!? There are quite similar questions here and I think I want to give an perspective to one of them. In my eyes, you should focus mainly on productivity. One past question was: how can I improve my programming productivity with a 10 ...


4

Here are some techniques to help: The first is the easiest. Keep a daily journal and write what you are grateful for every day. This starts to refocus your mind on the positive. If you feel able to do this, writing what you are grateful for in a public forum like Facebook or a blog is even better becasue you will get amazing feedback and inspire others to ...


3

I found that things "stick" in my brain and "pop up" at inconvenient times so that I don't forget. If you develop a system to get these tasks out of your head, and you use the system consistently and without fail, you might find that you will begin to trust your external system allowi your mind to become quiet. Has worked well for me. The system I use is ...



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