Thoughts on productivity

Before you do something, ask yourself “is this the best use of my time right now”?

When you are not sure what to do, sit down and make a list. This works for groceries, moving your house, or planning a night of hobby work.

Get enough sleep, drink enough water.

Try to react like this: – stimulus – consideration – action

Most people just act on stimulus. Learn to get ahead of this.

Leave any task you can in a resumable state. If this is programming, leave a little note. If this studying, make a little note on a sticky where you left off in your text book. If this is woodworking, clean your bench but leave the piece ready to work on again with the tools you need laid out.

If you are procrastinating, try to do something useful.

If you are in university: at the beginning of the term use your syllabus to make a chart of what each assignment is worth and what your score was on it. This tells you how close you are to passing. As time goes on you might need to half-ass an assignment or even abandon one. This chart tells you which you can do that with safely. It also can help you decide how much time to devote to one mid-term over another. Walking into a final exam knowing you’ll get a B+ even if you fail it is a nice feeling.

Also, related to University but also Work – if you get long term assignments (projects, homework, whatever) try to do some work on it right away. As soon as you can. This establishes how much work it will actually be. Use this estimate to guide how you fit this in with your other responsibilities.

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