I grew up in a bizarre, cult-like family that screwed up my development as a person. So in a lot of ways I'm way behind other people in basic life skills. After four years of hard, painful work I've finally been able to untwist the knots that were tied up in my brain. How do I get the mess I have here under control? [more inside]
I have a gmail account, which I love, but on my iPhone it's seriously misbehaving. read emails are getting marked as unread again, unrelated emails are grouped... hjalp? [more inside]
My workday is made up of many kinds of tasks—studying, writing, coding, problem-solving, Photoshop, and drudge work. I notice that I can write effectively for only about three hours a day. Same with studying. But if I mix up the tasks, I can work longer. Do you know of any studies that have been done to find the optimal mix for maximum productivity?
For a number of reasons, my partner and I have decided to live separately for the first time in our relationship. I've lived with a partner for the majority of my adult life, and I have no idea how to make living alone not suck OR how to do a grown-up relationship without living together. Snowflakes galore inside. [more inside]
These days all the literature on creativity/productivity emphasizes routines and unromantic workmanlike discipline. Forget inspiration and "just do it!" But more often than not, when I put my butt in the chair to get down to business… Nothing. Happens. [more inside]
Over time I've migrated from one GTD system to another, finally landing on Evernote as my GTD framework with help from 'The Secret Weapon' and Priacta. It's occurred to me recently that I don't really have a way to track repeating, cyclic tasks. I've tried spreadsheets, Google task, calendar entries but none have stuck around. What are some good ways to manage to-do's that repeat on a schedule? [more inside]
So once you've slayed (or at least knocked out) the procrastination beast, how do you keep your balance and not burn yourself out? [more inside]
I cannot seem to find a good app that will let me: 1) have recurring tasks 2) allow me to check them off as done (like disappear or strike or some other indicator) 3) presented in calendar form (not a "reminders" list). I don't ask for much. I have checked out many many free apps, none of which accomplish what I want. I'm sure this gem is a paid app and I will gladly fork over based on a suggestion, knowing my criteria. I have yet to find one that has all three of these requirements spelled out. Thanks!
At work, no one has ever monitored my time or even told me what hours I should be working, so I'm not sure what is appropriate. I'm a good performer, but am still on edge and worried I could be seen as inappropriate. I understand no one can give 100% all the time, but lately I spend more time browsing or chatting with coworkers. I don't want to get a surprise reprimand or be viewed as a slacker. Please help me determine what is and isn't acceptable in the workplace. [more inside]
Help me get organized in 2015. I’d like to mount an iPad 2 tablet on a kitchen cabinet, just above the main counter that I use for cooking. The tablet will be used to access recipes and to stream music into the kitchen. [more inside]
I seem to get all my best work done between 8 pm and 2 am. Does anyone else have this problem? Have you ever successfully shifted your productive period to more convenient hours? How did you do it? [more inside]
I'm in a new position at work where I'm now managing multiple projects and people, and need to overhaul my system for organizing tasks to avoid drowning. What solutions are there for my situation? [more inside]
I have a lot of trouble writing stuff. I feel it's getting worse, to a point where it's problematic in my worklife. I don't understand why it is so, but I'd love to change this. Pointers, methods, experiences are all welcome, as I can't help but feel more than a bit weird about this. [more inside]
What are the best ways to keep working for more time? [more inside]
I think I'm dealing with some motivational paralysis, but it's a little complicated. Any ideas MeFi? [more inside]
I've hit a slump. I am in a very high performing profession in an executive role, but my productivity has plummeted. I'm looking to find a phone coaching resource to keep me on my game. [more inside]
Looking for a cross-platform to-do list/outliner with the option to work offline/save locally on desktop (Mac) and Android, and to export to Google Calendar and Excel (or Word) for Mac 2011. I hate Evernote. More within! [more inside]
I’ve been told that my productivity at work needs to improve, and that I should think up three ways in which my manager can measure my productivity and its improvement. Difficulty level: software engineer. Wall of snowflakes inside (longer than expected, sorry folks!) [more inside]
How do you handle and keep track of articles to read later? [more inside]
I've noticed this routine in so many acts of life, whether it be a new job, relationship, exercise routine, etc. At first there is excitement, new ideas, strong motivation. Then normality sets in and everything just seems to plateau out. Less excitement, boredom, loss of motivation. You keep going through the motions, doing the minimum, or perhaps you just quit. What can/do you do in this situation? How can you get your motivation and enthusiasm back for those less-than-new parts of your life?
If I'm obsessing about a small problem in my life, odds are, it's actually a displacement activity for something else in my life that I'm a) not thinking about and b) is actually the main source of stress. [more inside]
I'm looking for an essay that I once read which talks about how business owners tend to let employees go or reduce their hours (and pay) as productivity increases, pocketing the difference for themselves as profit rather than sharing (any of) it with their employees. I believe it takes the stance that it would be better for everyone, in the long-run, if the owners shared at least some of the gains they realize from increased productivity with their workers. [more inside]
I am not making much progress on a few difficult writing projects that require concentration and "deep work". I tell myself that I'll wait until I have a substantial block of uninterrupted time (say, four hours or more) when I can get some serious work done. Unfortunately, such blocks of time are few and far between. [more inside]
Is there a way to ignore how you feel and just get things done regardless of whether you feel like doing it or not? I don't understand why I am having such a hard time doing the things that I used to do? I used to be able to get a lot of things done, and now I find myself resisting almost all the time. Is there a way to just stop paying attention to the fact that you don't feel good or that you are scared or a number of other emotions?
Fellow teacher types, what have you started doing lately that's making your work time more effective? I teach discussion-based and somewhat writing-intensive college courses (think freshman-level Sociology, not English Comp.) and have spent way too much time grading, and especially procrastinating on grading. I want this semester to be different! [more inside]
I am right now a work-from-home parent to 7.5 month old twins. I have a PhD I am trying to finish, a start-up I'm trying to run, and domestic chores that need to get done. I'm finding it really difficult to get everything done during the day and most productivity hacks seem to rely on you having uninterrupted time. Any tips for constantly interrupted parents? [more inside]
Hello AskMe! What is your most effective hack (ugh, I know!) for productivity working at home/on the road/otherwise outside a day job? [more inside]
Here's what I'm looking for: a dead simple goals/tasks tracking app that allows me to set and log hours spent on activities per week, after the fact. Can do web-based, Android, or iPad. [more inside]
I am in love with the concept behind the web app Taskk.it, a to-do list/time management tool that schedules your tasks and creates a daily/weekly agenda for you. But it seems to be an abandoned project and is too buggy to use. Please help me find another solution! [more inside]
I've been trying to Google this but coming up short - what's the best to-do list for iOS with offline access? [more inside]
I need a professional in the greater Boston area to help me set up a project management system for myself AND stick to it. I can't do this on my own. (Is this a life coach? A personal organizer? An executive coach? What job title I should be searching for? I already have a therapist. I want some kind of organization specialist.) [more inside]
Okay, so you feel like absolute crapola for some reason. You have a deadline and need to work. What are your personal best practices? [more inside]
When I want to do work that involves writing, I find that I am most productive during the hours of around 11 PM to 6 AM, because it takes me all evening to wind down from the day and get into a mindset where I can focus on creative/writing work. My circadian rhythm will then be messed up for the next three days or so. This is incompatible with my class and work schedule as a medical student. [more inside]
I'm a full-time public librarian, and I'm always in public - no off-desk time. I really like the customer service aspects of the job, but find it hard to complete other tasks in a timely manner. What productivity tools or other strategies can I use, given that the interruptions are inevitable (and even desirable in some cases)? [more inside]
I want to take control of my time, writing output, attention and procrastination, bedtime, exercise, and diet. What tools should I use to track what I eat, how I spend my time, what I spend money on, when I exercise, when I go to sleep and wake up, and how many words I write per day. [more inside]
I regularly flake on email responses-- both personal and professional. (I have all the comorbidities you'd expect: ADHD, perfectionism, perpetual writer's block, mild social anxiety, introversion, disorganization, procrastination/avoidant tendencies.) I'm starting a new job and need this particular behavior to stop forthwith. Short of completely overhauling my whole effed-up executive function, is there an ironclad system I can implement to ensure that every single one of those emails gets answered punctually? [more inside]
Help me implement GTD in a manageable fashion. I get lost in details, and need help keeping track of the pieces. I have access to web apps and a shiny new ipad air. Snowflakes inside. Tell me what has worked for you, and please offer practical advice. [more inside]
What software are you happy using, so much so that you are willing to part with your hard earned money? [more inside]
[A fairly mundane issue, so apologies if something similar has been answered, but I didn't see anything.] I function normally at work, and get things done just fine, but on my down time I fail completely to meet even marginally acceptable levels of time management. [more inside]
So a book I wrote is about to be published, and for my own sanity I think I need to stop looking at the ranking/reviews on my Amazon page. Until I grow some more self-control, I need help. Is there a plugin (or other method) I can use to block all Amazon pages relating to my book? [more inside]
Help me find a blog/article on using Outlook as the email organization/productivity system! My google searches are failing. [more inside]
What checklists and frameworks do you use in your professional life? [more inside]
At the beginning of Cirillo's paper on using and implementing the Pomdoro technique, there is a metaphysical justification about how we perceive time that is optimal. It seems opposed to the Pomodoro technique. Has anyone justified it? [more inside]
After struggling with Evernote, I finally found my notetaking, task-tracking, save-everything soulmate in Springpad. But now it's going out of business! Please help me find a feature-rich alternative? [more inside]
I'd like an iOS or mac (OSX) app that will pop up on my phone or computer screen between certain hours of the day, at defined intervals to ask me what I've been doing since it last asked. I'd like the list of options to be totally flexible and I'd like it to not go away until I tell it what I've been doing.
Discipline seems to be a fundamental trait: if you have it, you can have the self-control (and delayed gratification) to improve your health, work, and other parts of your life that seem to rely on having discipline. So how does one go about developing and improving discipline?
Can any caregivers here offer tips on managing bandwidth (time and emotions)? Looking specifically for practical tricks/hacks to quickly switch mood states when time allocated to productive work is interrupted by big and small worries. [more inside]
How did you kick procrastination and become productive? What was your process? I've been in denial of my low productivity for years and I want to fix it. [more inside]
Personal progress: What personal development changes have you made that have had a big impact on your life? [more inside]
I am working for myself on a software project based on an idea of mine. I have no clear estimates of how long things would take, because most steps are new concepts, and I don't know how to do them off the bat. I have been trying out Scrum, but it seems the same item gets recycled week after week because it is not done yet. I have the problem of getting easily distracted, so this apparent lack of progress based on these metrics is making me lose confidence and procrastinate. I need a better way to organize myself and maintain productivity. I use Trello for managing the project and it's great, but it does not help with productivity, time estimates, WHEN to do things and how long to allocate.