Posts tagged 'Productivity'


After my recent post about moving beyond personal productivity, I picked up Scrum by Dr Jeff Sutherland. Scrum is a way of team working that is very different from waterfall, the way most companies traditionally work.

In a waterfall company, plans are made by the higher paid helpers. Before any …

Inbox Zero

For the first time in a long time, I have managed to achieve Inbox Zero. Both my work and personal email accounts have empty inboxes.

To be clear: Inbox Zero is not simply archiving or deleting every email from your inbox. It would be easy to move all emails into …

Synchronising Wants and Commitments

There are times when I want to do all sorts of extra activities, write about this, program something to do that or fix some other thing. Sometimes these activities are based on the computer others are physical tasks around the house or garden.

Unfortunately of late, I have found that …

Just get on with it!

I have just caught myself trying to come up with excuses for not doing a job, looking for alternative "better" tasks to do instead. The thing is that the task wasn't that hard or unpleasant. I spent longer looking for a alternative than if I had just done the task …

Not so SMART Goals

Smart goals are defined as:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

Smart goals are often described as the "correct" way to set goals and if you don't set yourself smart goals, you won't achieve good results.

I don't particularly like smart goals.

My first issue is with the acronym. Specific and …

Smartphones = Cigarettes

When I was listening to a random old podcast interview with Cal Newport, he mentioned that a knowledge worker using a smartphone is similar to an endurance athlete smoking a cigarette.

Smartphones and the apps on them are designed to catch your attention. They end up distracting you from getting …

Jobs Not Done

I was discussing Todo lists with my wife and we both have the same problem that we often put off a couple of tasks and have to copy them over onto the next list quite frequently. When looking at the type of tasks, we noticed a difference.

  • My wife has …

ADHD and Triage

My wife has ADHD1 and was discussing the symptoms to a friend. She explained how she struggles to prioritize any list of tasks and the only way to cope is to just work on the first task that comes to mind. This is often inefficient and leads to low …

Algorithms to Live By: Scheduling and Thrashing

As I said yesterday, I am currently reading Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions Book by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths and in particular the section on scheduling.

The thing is am finding really interesting about this section is that it helps explain why I find …

Algorithms to Live By: No Yaks

I am currently reading

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions Book by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths and in particular the section on scheduling.

There is more I want to say on the subject but I want to wait until I have finished the book and …

Thoughts on Good and Bad Procrastination

I have just come across an article written in 2005 about Good and Bad Procrastination. Essentially procrastinating by ignoring errands to get on with the big questions or tasks like an absent-minded professor shouldn't always be considered a bad thing.

Getting on with errands can feel good and productive but …

Shoot for 80%

I have been trying to reconcile two competing ideas around how to approach projects.

One idea is expressed here by Tom Scott:

Don't shoot for the moon and miss.

Do not try and produce something if you can't actually make it properly.

The next idea is expressed by Hank Green …

Learning From Remote Workers

I have just finished reading an article about the challenges and opportunities of remote working, and I noticed that many of the bits of advice that the article provides to remote workers could equally be applied to those of us that work on the same site1.

In-person time is …


My Avatar

A year ago today, I started to use Habitica, an online role playing game aimed at improving productivity.

What is Habitica?

Similar to lots of other online games, you have a character and work to collect experience (which allows you to level up), coins (which allow you to purchase items …

Times When Tracks Does Not Work

I previously wrote about how Getting Things Done (GTD) and Tracks have been useful in keeping organised at work. When GTD is working, things generally feel good. Even when there is a high workload, there is also a sense of control.

There are a couple of areas when I tend …

Keeping a Personal Log with Rednotebook

One of the most important aspects of 'being organised' in the workplace is to keep some form of logbook. This is somewhere that you can record what you are doing on a day to day basis so you can reference it in future to remember exactly what happened (because our …

Cheating at Work

Generally it seems that many people at work are always struggling with workload. When you ask them if they have completed a task, they respond that they haven't had a chance to look at it. It is almost seems like a badge of honor. I used to worry that perhaps …