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55

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, ...


34

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 ...


14

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

One of the best advice I read about trying to change habits is this: Do not try to break old habits. Form new ones.


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 ...


7

Evernote (http://evernote.com) can do what you're looking for, and more. It's cloud based and platform independent. You can attach an unlimited number (as far as I know) of tags to an item. You can create a tag hierarchy if you want to, although hierarchical retrieval isn't Evernote's strength. It will hold all the data types you mention.


6

+1 for the Pomodoro technique suggestion. Also, try keeping a notepad handy. When you get distracted by something coming to mind, make a note on the pad and go back to what you were doing. Every 4 pomodoros, process the notes to wherever you keep your task lists.


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

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 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

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 ...


5

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 ...


5

Do you mean you want to get more done in a day or that you want to be able to solve programming problesm in less time than it takes right now? The other answers talk about the first, I will talk to the second. One way to get tasks done faster is to know how to do them without having to look up the answer. I see too many developers who throw away ...


5

Emacs org-mode is a very powerful solution which lets you (among other things) ... (see features overview on org-mode homepage) features and advantages for your application store text or code snippets work directly with source code do complex filtering and searching (regexp, etc.) in "agendas" assign multiple tags to each of the text snippets organize ...


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

I overcame this type of issue by changing my goal. Instead of insisting on learning everything about a topic, I decided that I would learn just how to do the task before me, and that would be that. Now I concentrate on my goals instead of my education.


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.



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