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Page history last edited by Tantek 12 years, 6 months ago

Productivity Improvement


A place where I'm capturing tips for productivity improvement.



I'm currently iteratively implementing David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system, noting problems, altering, iterating, and tuning it in ways that seem to work better for me. Many of the alterations are different enough to be considered a system of their own and perhaps some day I'll get around to documenting them. For now, here are a few.





Given compounding effects of increasing your productivity, what is more important to work on than improving your productivity, when and why? (2008-11-10).



My 2009 themeword is "focus". I'm using it as a general guideline and reminder each and every day. I have far too much of a distraction tendency. I will also use it to come up with structured consistent ways of saying "no" in order to keep, maintain, and enhance focus.


It seems that the ability to focus itself is very much tied to WillpowerImprovement.


Using a Double-Sided Inbox may help enhance focus.

  • collect your own thoughts at the *top* of the inbox
  • collect any tasks/input/links/thoughts from others at the *bottom*
  • process inbox top to bottom

Remaining inbox processing challenges:

  • among external sources of inbox items, how do you effectively sort and prioritize:
    1. loved ones and good friends - those that care about you and you care for
    2. friends, income, work, and help with other projects you care about
    3. potential for growing type 2 items
    4. politely filtering/declining other input to minimize neg wake 




separate browsers for inbox vs next actions

Use separate browsers for:

  • processing inbox items (URLs, blog posts, etc.)
    • I use the latest Webkit download for processing (and thus it is the "default" browser on my system so link I come across in IM, twitter, email etc. open in it)
      • (because it loads pages quickly)
  • next-actions and projects
    • I use Camino 1.5 for next-actions/projects
      • (because it is more stable, and reopens tabs nicely after crashing as of 1.5)



Multitasking is neither easy nor obvious. Learn EffectiveMultitasking.


secondary laptop

Pick up a HouseMacBook (or other laptop that satisfies the LaptopCriteria) to use as a secondary laptop (while your primary laptop is wedged in some unnecessary spinning rainbow cursor task). It's also nice to have around for visitors to check their email, or perhaps you can split up a task amongst yourselves, each of you on a laptop.


multiple large monitors

  • New York Times 2009-01-14: Boss, I Need a Bigger Screen. For Work Efficiency, of Course.

    researchers at the University of Utah recently asked office workers to perform several common tasks using various monitor configurations. They found that people who used two 20-inch monitors were 44 percent more productive at certain text-editing operations than people using a single 18-inch monitor.


others related productivity practices pages


  • Tara Brown's tweet summary: "Notes on my iPhone for quick on-the-go errands, "My Personal Shit" PBWiki for Life goals, Internal Wiki for work todo's"




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