Sunday, September 19, 2010

Productivity roundup

You know how the conventional wisdom is to break up your exercise routine so that you don't get too bored with it and so that your muscles will get stretched in different ways? Maybe productivity is like that, too, so here are some new links, mostly from business. A lot of it is stuff we know, but hearing it in a different form somehow gets me revved up to get back to work.
  • Presentation Zen has a 10-minute video of John Cleese talking about creativity. Among his points: (1) Create an oasis or "tortoise enclosure" for yourself by limiting the time and space in which you work and (2) If you sleep on a problem, often the answer will come to you. The same video is at Ewan McIntosh's site, along with a list of Cleese's points.
  • Sebastian Marshall's post on "What gets measured, gets managed" suggests a level of record-keeping for productivity (and life!) that's well beyond what I could ever manage but that does work.
  • Ryan Waggoner suggests the "pomodoro technique" using a timer (25 minutes of work/5 minute break), which is basically the "sprints" method that a lot of us use. It's a variation on a technique called "timeboxing," which is what Cleese is recommending.
  • The ever-trusty Lifehacker has a post recommending that the timer you use should be an external timer, not one that sits on your computer desktop; the post includes links to good (free) timing applications, though.
  • Don't forget all the productivity posts at ProfHacker, too.
For a little eye-candy for all you library-lovers, check out the middle picture in this sequence. It's from an article about a couple who bought the house next to theirs and remodeled it into a library. (As seen at Nicole and Maggie's)


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Ooh, thanks! These look good.

I'm having a very productive weekend. This term's schedule isn't working well for me during the week, but I'm beginning to hope that if I take my "weekend" sometime in the M-F stretch, and work weekends, it will all get sorted out. Rotating shifts . . . non-standard work weeks . . . what profession am I in, again?

Anonymous said...

I want that so badly!

Of course, I think what we're going to do when one of us (Nicole et al. or Maggie et al.) gets 10 million dollars (you know, from space aliens) is we're going to buy a 3 floor flat in SF proper and the bottom flat will just be our combined books. Ideally the middle flat would be the library, but books are pretty heavy, so we ought to be realistic.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Space aliens! Do they give out money? Is there a website to tell you what they want in the grant proposal? Or do you have to wait to be kidnapped? Do the chances rise if you move to Roswell? Are there conditions, like you can only get the fellowship if you live in Roswell?

Oh, dear, I'm hijacking Undine's comments.

Sorry. Too much grading this weekend has turned my brain.

Nicole said...

Unfortunately I think the strings attached are that you have to participate in a reality show.

undine said...

New on TLC: academics vie for a beautiful home library. Hosted by aliens!

Maggie said...

I would totally watch that show.