Hot answers tagged

149

After reading this article by Steve Pavlina (his early stuff is really good) and experimenting a bit, I consistently wake up at 5 AM by programming only one task into my head: Get up from the bed and GO. I forbid myself from having any other thoughts when I wake up, because I know I'll convince myself -with very strong, logical and solid arguments- to go ...


53

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 ...


42

I find that in these situations I'm usually fine once I actually get up and moving. So, here's what works for me: I make sure to get enough, high-quality sleep. I eat protein before bed. (Waking up with low blood sugar is not a good experience.) I schedule something I really look forward to first thing in the morning so I feel deep down that there's a ...


33

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 ...


30

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 ...


29

I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I usually felt very tired in the morning and when I didn't have anything urgent to do I saw myself sleeping for too long. 3 weeks method It's said if you want to estabilish a routine for yourself, 3 weeks is the minimum time you have to repeat a given habit in order to make it feel natural. My sleeping problem was ...


29

I like collecting things like this, so far throughout my life this has been a pervasive problem for me causing me years of depression and suicidal thoughts when I start to feel like I just can't get anything done. It's my hope that at least some of this can be useful to others. I don't expect anyone to read all of this, because I certainly wouldn't (I'd ...


26

My mother-in-law has said: "If you have a plate of frogs in front of you, eat the ugliest one first." Features of this quote: The frogs are your unpleasant tasks. They're not butterflies. One of those tasks is going to be the most unpleasant. Given that you have to do all of them, get the most unpleasant one out of the way first. Then, it gets easier. ...


21

Simple trick that works for me - put the alarm clock on the other side of the room, preferably in a high place. This forces me to get out of the warmth of the bed to turn the thing off. Getting up out of the bed also usually causes me to need to use the washroom. Once that starts going my brain kicks on somewhat. Having the snooze button RIGHT THERE is a ...


20

If you don't mind the strange looks, do some pushups. Exercise gives you more energy and it is easy to get less exercise than you need when you work at a computer


20

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]


20

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 ...


20

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 ...


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 ...


18

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

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

You have a habit you want to get rid of. Yes, this is kind of obvious, but it suggests reading through our questions in this tag. The following two ones should be very helpful indeed: How do I make myself stop doing addictive activity? How to control or change habits? (Full disclosure: one of the answers here is from me.) In your specific case, it might ...


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 ...


15

I think there are three reasons for procrastination on any given task. The task fulfills none of your higher purposes that you are aware of. Can you get excited about a reason to do what you do? Not every task can be immensely fun but if you are motivated by some higher purpose you will find the will to do it. If you lack the will, ask yourself... "Why am ...


14

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 ...


13

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 / ...


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 ...


12

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 ...


12

You have listed a lot of typical symptoms of depression. Try to get medical opinion on this. Check out what assistance your health insurance gives you, or as SteveV says, check out the option of paying for treatment. Explain your feelings to friends and family. Ask them for help and advice. Make social interaction a priority, even when you don't feel in the ...


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

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

Have you tried accountability? Find a partner who wants to wake up at the same time, and agree to try and call each other as close to the hour as possible. (6:00am or 6:01am). You may want to continue these calls every 15 minutes until you are both committed to being up and running.



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