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36

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 ...


19

THIS well written and well referenced look at procrastination, should contain a wealth of information to get you started. Summarizing, the basic issue of procrastination is viewed in the article as a formula: Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay) Thus, one has four methods of attack for procrastination (increase the two in the ...


17

Don't do that my friend! What we can do for preventing your games & movie times in the weekend? It's 100% up to you. It doesn't matter if you are a programmer or not. Let me say, do you have a to do list? Or is your to do list like this? Of course you should play games & watching movies if you like. Do it sometimes, not every weekend. But these ...


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

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


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 ...


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

One of the biggest keys to productivity that I've found in my life is setting realistic goals. On Thursday afternoon, when I think of something really cool and beneficial that I'd like to do, it's very easy to say, "Oh yeah, I'll do that on Saturday, I'll dive right in and work away on that for hours, and it's gonna be great!" On Saturday morning, I often ...


12

First of all, you have to realize that stackexchange reputation, reddit karma or any other form of internet fame is overrated. People usually know this as well as they know what amount of time they can afford to spend aimlessly browsing the web. It all comes back to the basics of procrastination: You know what you should do, but usually right in the moment ...


12

How to be productive in the buffer or grace periods of the project or work? Here are a few things which might keep you busy and motivated: work on your technical debt (there is always something) improve your skills (do several research spikes around technologies you might have to use in the future) build a prototype of the next project (even if ...


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

In my opinion, the reason that breaking down tasks works is because it makes your vision for what you want done more concrete. Breaking down tasks more achieves this better, but it also takes up more of your time before you actually get started working. Probably the best thing to do is to break down your tasks a fair amount at first. (There's a limit to ...


11

You need to find what works best for you but here goes what's been working for me. Make a list Open a document and describe in short sentences everything you have to do today. Take notes on what you're currently working on, at what time you started and finished. By the end of the day you're gonna have a good overview of how much of your time you're ...


11

You need to confront the reasons you are over-committing. Are you afraid of rejection? You need to be honest with yourself as well as the stakeholders of the project (if any) about realistic deadlines. You are doing yourself a favor as well as the stakeholders. This is because it's better to be accurate with your deadline (with minimal delays) than to ...


11

Well, get rid of your mind set. It's the mind set that is the problem, so ditch it. Set your mind to "I do things when I have to do things", and your problem will go away. :-) Think about the aims. The bigger picture. Am I in a mood to have a clean house? Am I in a mood to graduate in few years? Am I in a mood to get paid for my work? You lack motivation. ...


11

I wouldn't worry much about it. In fact, walking around may be good for your concentration. Research has shown that walking can help increase your focus during the day. Also, moving around is generally good for your health; sitting for long periods of time should be avoided.


11

I had this challenge before and I have made lots of progress. Key measures I took and were very powerful: Control the internet access time and content, through a parental control program. Yes, a parental control program can be also be used to start new web habits and increase focus. I've been using the free and not easily cracked K9 Web Protection. I set ...


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

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 ...


10

I try to use the Pomodoro technique whenever I notice that I am slacking off. Basically, I work in 25 minute chunks. Within those 25 minutes, I make sure that all I'm doing is productive work. After the 25 minutes, I have 5 minutes to do whatever I want. More information about Pomodoro technique here: http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/


10

As you can't simply pull the LAN cable and go offline, you could try to increase the subjective penalty for using the internet. Create artificial lag. If loading a web site takes two seconds more than usual, you will think twice before google-ing cute kittens. This is a parameter you can adjust until you have found a perfect penalty vs. productivity ...


10

Whoa ... slow down. :) Let's look at what you have. You have a great degree and a full-time job. Your basic needs and many of your wants are met. You've talked a lot about your weaknesses. What are your strengths? List those. (You don't have to tell us if you don't want to. This is for your benefit.) You have passions, right? Something that really ...


10

Have you watched "No arms, no legs, no worries"? Nick is one of my heroes. You sound like you are disappointed with yourself. Don't be. That kind of thinking is not productive. You have a long list of improvements that you want to do. That's good. Started with an easiest one. Rewrite that list sorted from easiest to hardest. Stick it on your door so that ...


10

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 ...


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

Going on a media diet helps. I came across that tip in Tim Ferriss's book 4-hour week. I tried that tip and it has been almost 2 years since I have gone back to reading news, mindlessly. Here is my blog post "Productivity Tip #12: Following news is a waste"


9

If I'm working at home, I'm setting the job to ring an audible bell (I like working in screen, so when I'm waiting for something to complete, I just switch windows and screen will notify me of any new output in the background window), or display a widely visible notification when done. I then can go around and do some household chores, each of them dreaded ...


9

I think you are suffering from a common fallacy which is that you need to be motivated to do something. Motivation is currently way over-rated. What produces success after succes is persistence. Do it anyway even when you don't feel motivated. Do it anyway even when it is boring (lots of stuff you will need to do as an adult is boring, you still need to do ...


8

When I'm not spending time with others, I have the most productive weekends when I get an idea in my mind around Wednesday of something I want to focus on for Saturday. For example, if I have a few days ahead of time thinking that "Saturday I will reorganize my file cabinet" or "Saturday I will go to the library and study macroeconomics", then when Saturday ...


8

Honestly I find the following works for me. More energy = more productivity (work and home) I got more energy by learning about my body and understanding that it's a machine like the ones I program. I learned about exercise and nutrition and frankly I have more time for every thing and more importantly, everyone now. Having a healthier mind also improved ...



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