Productivity Icon

Productivity

Getting stuff done. Better. Faster. Stronger.
12 Stories
All Topics

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.

Brain Science Brain Science #11

Competing for attention

Mireille and Adam discuss the mechanism of attention as an allocation of one’s resources. If we can think of attention as that of a lens, we can practice choosing what we give our attention to recognizing that multiple things, both externally and internally, routinely compete for our attention. Distraction can also be useful when we utilize it intentionally to manage the focus of our attention.

Productivity thecut.com

7 reasons why you’re always tired

This is not my normal beat, but I thought it might help those of us (most of us, right?) fighting fatigue. Knowing why, after all, is half the battle.

To understand more about the different types of fatigue, I spoke to Dr. Jaclyn Tolentino, a primary care physician at Parsley Health, as well as Dr. Richard Firshein, a general practitioner and insomnia specialist who runs the Firshein Center in Manhattan. Here are the most common culprits of exhaustion, and how to treat them.

I would imagine many of us fall victim to more than one of these, but the ones we likely share are #3 (stress tired) and #5 (bad sleep hygiene). Maybe a Brain Science episode on this subject is in order?

Productivity github.com

Add full-text search to your browsing history & bookmarks

A fully private memory-boosting extension to eliminate time spent bookmarking, retracing steps to recall an old webpage, or copy-pasting notes into scattered documents. Its name and functionalities are heavily inspired by Vannevar Bush’s vision of a Memex.

“Memex” is thought by some to be a portmanteau of “memory” and “index”. Makes sense to me.

Add full-text search to your browsing history & bookmarks
0:00 / 0:00