You’re distracted more often than you think – A Life of Productivity:
The average person is distracted or interrupted every 40 seconds when working in front of a computer. This is remarkable. While it’s easy to recognize that we live in an age of distraction, to me, this number is astounding. It’s pretty hard to do good, deep work when you can’t even focus for a minute.
In the timeline of our work, our best thinking happens after this 40 second mark.
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Everything you need to know about how music affects your productivity – A Life of Productivity:
- Music (and background noise) consumes some of our attention. The less complicated the music, the better we’re able to focus.
- Sound is similar to distance, time, or money: it’s relative. There will be times when listening to music is the most productive thing you can do—like when you’re working in a distracting office environment, or when a couple is having a loud conversation when you’re reading at a coffee shop. Then there are times when music is less productive—like when the office is relatively quiet, or the sum of the coffee shop conversations happening around you fade into a collective hum. (This is why apps like Coffitivity can bolster our ability to focus.)
- No matter what, the music will occupy some of your limited attention
- Listening to music boosts your performance on habitual tasks.
- With habitual tasks, it is easy to get bored. Hence music provides some arousal
- Habitual tasks don’t consume our complete attention, hence we are still able to listen to music
- Music can lift our mood considerably.
- Music can make us very happy and boost our energy and performance
- The more familiar you are with a song, the less of your attention it consumes.
- We tend to prefer music we are familiar with (even complex ones) and we tend to be less distracted by it
- Extroverts seem to perform better while listening to music, though it still compromises their performance.
- Music tends to boost our energy and whilst sometimes we feel like we’ve gotten a lot done that day just listening to music; it isn’t always the case, and it’s easy to fall into this energy vs productivity trap
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Parkinson’s Law: A task will swell in importance the more time you allot to it.
Tip: Set tight deadlines and time limits for tasks. Finish it quickly instead of having the task looming over your head for weeks/months. Setting time limits lets you know how long you take to do things. You catch yourself when you get distracted and are not focused on your work
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Thank you for all the kind words you sent regarding the first part of the Plan and Play series! It turns out, I was very excited to launch it that I neglected to mention that the series will be composed of five parts and updated weekly.
Catch up: read the guide to planners and bullet journals (#PlanAndPlay Part 1)
For this part, we’ll go through a list of brands where you can purchase a planner or notebook for your bullet journal, what kind of pages you can add in your bujo, and how to layout your weekly spread. Are you ready?
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When I first joined the studyblr community, I was taken aback with the amount of studyblrs posting photos of their planner and their bullet journal spreads. I’ve only known and been in the fandom side of Tumblr for years, so I found it really cool that there are others who share the same appreciation for keeping things organized and staying productive.
I began to post my own planner spreads and since then, I would receive a lot of messages every day about planners/bullet journals and how to set them up. I decided to create this series to give you an overview of the art of using a planner or a bullet journal (right on time for the new year!) and address if not all, most, of your questions. Hopefully, as we progress through the series, you’ll find that keeping track of your tasks and staying organized isn’t as hard and tiring as it seems!
In this first part of the Plan and Play series, I’ll be covering the basics of planners, bullet journals, and planning in general. So let’s start: a planner and a bullet journal, what’s the difference?
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- Original article by James Clear
- Builds on the Tiny Habits method created by Dr BJ Fogg
- Make a list of your old habits and new
habits; then match them up
- Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself. For eg:
(new habit) after brushing my teeth (old habit)
- Doing 10 push ups (new habit) immediately after drinking water in the morning (old habit) – Slowly you can increase the number of push ups once you’ve gotten used to this routine.
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Where do you see yourself in 5 minutes?:Some excerpts:
- I’ve discovered when it comes to planning the future: the shorter the time span, the more important having a plan becomes.
- That’s why I go with one year. You should have some idea of where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing 12 months out. That’s what makes it a realistic amount of time to plan for. I find the Rule of 3, works remarkably well for this—forming three intentions for the year, quarter, month, week, and then yes, for today.
- The most important decision we can make in a day is to focus on the most productive task in any given moment.
- Some ways to train your mind to focus on what’s important in the moment. Here are a few of my favorite ways to do so:
- Eliminate distractions ahead of time. I can’t overstate this point enough: the single best way to focus better, deeper, and more clearly in the moment is to eliminate every distraction or interruption that will hijack your focus away from what’s important.
- Set an hourly awareness chime. Once you start working, set a timer on your phone for an hour. When it goes off, ask yourself: what am I focusing on? How important is the task I’m working on at this very moment? Does it feed into my long-term goals? What can I do to work more productively and meaningfully?
- Keep your daily intentions nearby. If you’ve adopted a daily intention-setting ritual, like the Rule of 3, keep your list of intentions nearby as you work so you can reflect on whether you’re staying on course. When a new, urgent task or project comes up, reflect on the importance of that new task relative to the intentions you set at the start of the day.
- Keep a distractions or temptations list. Maintain a list of distractions or temptations that come up as you work towards accomplishing your daily intentions. If you’re tempted to refresh Twitter, put that on the list, as well as a comment about what triggered that impulse. If you’re tempted to check your email instead of working on a report, add that to the list, too. Dealing with the distractions and temptations on this list later will help you get back on track in the moment.
- Invest in overcoming procrastination. Procrastination happens when we compromise our intentions. It’s worth investing in strategies to overcome it—like considering the cost of procrastination on your future self. Even though research shows that everyone procrastinates, there are several tactics that help us to combat it. Here’s an article I wrote a while back about 10 ways to do so!
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