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Productivity

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Productivity deprocrastination.co

How to stop procrastinating by using the Fogg Behavior Model

According to FBM, there are three things we need to do something:

  • Motivation
  • Ability
  • Trigger

The key is that we need to have all three at the same time in order to act. Since our problem is procrastination, we’ll focus on how we fail at each one of these.

There’s more good discussion about overcoming the sources of procrastination on Brain Science’s episodes on navigating procrastination and being indistractible.

Brain Science Brain Science #25

The science behind caffeine

Today’s episode features our very first guest. We’re joined by Danielle Rath, a notable expert and product developer in the caffeine and energy drink industry. Danielle is the founder of GreenEyedGuide Research and Consulting where she shares science-based information about energy drinks and caffeine, and helps people and companies where fatigue and caffeine use are prevalent. In this lengthly episode, we talk through all aspects of the science behind caffeine — its chemical structure and half-life, where and how it’s being used, the good, bad, and the ugly, as well as practical advice for everyday consumption. If you consume caffeine of any sort, this is a must listen episode.

Productivity github.com

Super Productivity – To-do list & time tracker for programmers

Organize your daily tasks at one place while making time tracking a lot less annoying. Super Productivity is a ToDo List / Time Tracker / Personal Jira Task Manager for Linux, MacOS and Windows aimed at reducing the time you spend with repetitive tasks and to provide you with a place to collect all the information you need to do your job.

This is a bit too much engineering for me, but perhaps you’ll like it.

Super Productivity – To-do list & time tracker for programmers

Productivity cbc.ca

There's a reason we procrastinate (and it's not laziness)

On an upcoming episode of Brain Science we’ll be talking about Indistractable by Nir Eyal. One of the larger topics of being distracted is procrastination. In the book, Nir says procrastination “originates from a need to escape psychological discomfort,” and in this post they say…

Procrastination is driven by our desire to avoid difficult emotions…

Pretty close, right? Read this if you want a nice primer on the concept of procrastination, what’s inducing it, and how to overcome it. Else, for the non-tldr, just read Indistractable so you can follow along with us during that upcoming episode.

Harvard Business Review Icon Harvard Business Review

The two things killing your ability to focus

I’ll save you a click if you’re only curious what those two things are:

1️⃣ connected devices
2️⃣ meetings

You and your business will benefit greatly if you can address these issues. You and everyone on your team will enjoy yourselves more and accomplish more. The data echoes what our common sense tells us: We need to carve out more time for ourselves if we want to remain focused and effective at work. These five daily practices will help.

Jose Browne josebrowne.com

On coding, ego, and attention

How you think has everything to do with the quality of your thinking. Great writing Jose 👏

If being a good software engineer means being a good thinker, then becoming a better one should mean improving the way we think… right? Well, no little shame in saying that it’s taken me more than a decade of coding to get this. To finally focus my attention on improving the way I think instead of learning yet another library, framework or programming language.

At a certain point, the things that got in the way of my growth had nothing to do with problem solving and everything to do with what was actually happening in my mind when I was engaged should have been engaging with a problem.

Brain Science Brain Science #20

Navigating perfectionism

High expectations for performance in both life and work are common, but what do you do when you get stuck and you’re not able to achieve the results you desire? In this episode, Mireille and Adam talk through the different aspects of perfectionism and ways in which is can be adaptive and helpful and other ways in which it poses additional challenges. What happens when we avoid the possibility of failure as opposed to simply having high standards for our performance? How can we begin to focus on healthy striving as opposed to reaching for perfection?

Lazarus Lazaridis github.com

stup - A CLI to easily save, access, and organize daily notes

The name derives from the Standup meetings since its initial purpose was to cover my need for keeping my Standup notes in a convenient way.

Quickly enter notes with a flexible text interface. Note creation looks like:

stup add @|--at|-@ <when> -n|--note "<note text>" -c|--category "<category-name>"

Then you can pull them back out by date, date-range, and/or category with:

$ stup show @ <when> -c|--category "<category-name>"

Notes are all saved as plaintext (markdown) so throw the entire directory in your synced-cloud-folder solution of choice and you have instant notes sync across all your devices.

Balthazar Rouberol blog.balthazar-rouberol.com

Shell productivity tips and tricks

This post is part of a sample chapter from Essential Tools and Practices for the Aspiring Software Developer — a self-published in-progress book by Balthazar Rouberol and Etienne Brodu.

I estimate that I spend around 50% of my day working in my text editor and my terminal. Any way I can get more productive in these environments has a direct and measurable impact on my daily productivity as a whole.

If you spend a good chunk of your day repeatedly hitting the left and right arrow keys to navigate in long commands or correct typos, or hitting the up or down arrow keys to navigate your command history, this chapter should help you get more done quicker. We will cover some shell features you can leverage to make your shell do more of the work for you.

On a personal level, I probably use some of these up to 30 times a day, sometimes even without thinking about it, and it gives me a real sense of ownership of my tool.

Productivity github.com

Declaratively configure your Gmail filters

If you use (and abuse) Gmail’s filters in order to wrangle your inbox, this tool might help you keep your sanity as you maintain them over time.

This utility helps you generate and maintain Gmail filters in a declarative way. It has a Jsonnet configuration file that aims to be simpler to write and maintain than using the Gmail web interface, to categorize, label, archive and manage your inbox automatically.

Productivity letterstoanewdeveloper.com

Cultivate the skill of undivided attention, or “deep work”

Dear New Developer,

You know that there’s a chasm between your skill level and that of the mythical “senior software developer”.

If you build a list of topics you encounter on your job that, if learned to a deep enough level, would put you on the same level as a senior developer, you’ll end up even more demoralized than before compiling that list.

No need to assemble this list yourself! I’ve done it for you.

I’ve heard many people recommend Deep Work over the years. Add this one to the list.

(I like this style of writing where you imagine a hypothetical new developer –knowing full well they real thing is out there– and tell them things you wish you’d known when starting your career as a dev.)

Go Time Go Time #123

WFH

Working from home can be challenging, especially amid school closings and everything else caused by COVID-19. In this episode panelists Jon, Mat, Carmen, and Mark share advice and experiences they have accumulated over many years of working from home. They cover separating your work space from your personal space, signaling to your family that you are busy, ways to keep track of the time, and suggestions for getting some exercise in when you can.

Darya Zabelina news.uark.edu

Caffeine boosts problem-solving ability but not creativity

I’m literally drinking my coffee as I write this. ☕️ 🤓

Like many of our readers, I love coffee. It’s a crucial part of my boot-up process, and it would be very difficult to start my day without at least one cup. Also, like many of our readers, I play a role here at Changelog that not only requires me to have great problem-solving abilities, but also to be creative. Thankfully, according to this study from Darya Zabelina (Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas), I can “keep drinking my coffee.”

For the study, 80 volunteers were randomly given either a 200mg caffeine pill, equivalent to one strong cup of coffee, or a placebo. They were then tested on standard measures of convergent and divergent thinking, working memory and mood. In addition to the results on creativity, caffeine did not significantly affect working memory, but test subjects who took it did report feeling less sad.

“The 200mg enhanced problem solving significantly, but had no effect on creative thinking,” said Zabelina. “It also didn’t make it worse, so keep drinking your coffee; it won’t interfere with these abilities.”

On convergent vs divergent thinking…

In the paper, Zabelina differentiates “convergent” from “divergent” thinking. The former is defined as seeking a specific solution to a problem, for example, the “correct” answer. The latter is characterized by idea generation where a large set of apt, novel or interesting responses would be suitable.

Productivity superorganizers.substack.com

How to make yourself into a learning machine

Simon Eskildsen (Director of Product Engineering at Shopify) shares his elaborate system to read, retain, and apply the lessons in hundreds of books.

Along the way he discovered that reading broadly was the best way to get to the bottom of things, and therefore the best way to get better at his job.

We explore his elaborate system for remembering what he reads using Readwise and Anki, how he built his own custom Zettelkasten in Markdown, his process for automating his language learning, and his project to cook a dish from every country in the world.

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