robertogreco + gtd   102

Productivity is dangerous | The Outline
"My personal rule is that if you aren’t quite certain that a certain action will be good for you and the world, you shouldn’t do it. Do nothing, which is likely to be pleasant and unlikely to hurt anyone. Few atrocities have been committed by people lying in bed, whereas the urge to Do Something has led to serious catastrophe. Productivity is extremely dangerous."



"Here’s a productivity idea: Just, fucking, don’t make shitty apps, or do advertising for Nestlé, or really for anything. I often see shit like, “Ten Habits I Have QUIT to Get More Done,” and I think, “Maybe quit writing posts like this.” If you’re waking up at 4 a.m. to write 1,000 words about how you write 1,000 words every day, what are you actually getting done? Just stay in bed. Whenever I am back in the Protestant centers of modern capitalism (New York or London, basically), it’s especially jarring to remember what it feels like to treat being busy as if it were a virtue."



"“As Calvin constantly reminded his followers, God watches his faithful every minute. Come Judgment Day, the faithful in turn will have to account for each minute,” reads this summary. And John Balserak put it this way: “European Calvinists — who dispensed with the liturgical calendar and still today do not celebrate Christmas and Easter as religious holidays...introduced during the 16th and 17th centuries a view of time that was linear and finite. With this came an appreciation of time as precious [emphasis mine]. People learned to be on time for appointments, which had previously not been a concern.”

So then, if we cannot blame Calvinists for the rise of capitalism specifically, we may attempt to blame them for a much larger malady: That religious philosophy is responsible for that feeling that we are constantly losing time, as we hurtle ever-closer to death.

I would be willing to guess that if you grew up in a rich Protestant country, you know this feeling. I do. It’s what’s behind the perverted impulse to self-flagellate and ask, “What did I accomplish this year?” and it’s why we get jealous every time we find out that some accomplished famous person is younger than us. In the U.S., for example, it doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or Jewish or Buddhist, we are all still basically Calvinists deep down. And to the extent that American-style capitalism has spread around the world, so has this basic outlook, to every corner of the globe. This has has got to be what's behind those fanatical posts on LinkedIn and Medium.

That’s right. Everyone is thinking it. LinkedIn is a death cult. Becoming a guy that posts on Linkedin is essentially like joining a religious extremist group, but for first-world people that went to Stanford. You’re lost, you don’t know what to do with yourself, so you latch onto the dominant ideology, and throw your life into its service. If you were somewhere in the world else it might be radical Islam, or militant Buddhism, but you work in digital sales, so it’s just lots and lots of posting about how to get a promotion.

I had always thought that Weber was writing about the “protestant spirit” from a critical perspective, that the secular sociologist thought there was something insane about working compulsively to prove that you were born already destined going to heaven. But in reality, Weber thought that his native Germany needed to be more like the post-Puritan United States if it was going to emerge on top of the world.

He believed that “the modern world was not about to witness an impending reign of reason or an abundance of Christian compassion. Instead, the future promised a ceaseless global struggle over material resources and alternative modes of life. Only the most industrially competitive, politically dynamic, and assiduously hardheaded nations had a chance of becoming — or remaining — great powers and great cultures,” write Peter Baehr and Gordon C. Wells, summarizing Weber’s views around the publication of the book, which came out before World War I and then again updated afterwards. His country had to take cues from the religious, action-minded Americans, he thought, or else “Germany was in danger of becoming a laughingstock.”

I think it would have been better if Germany had become a laughingstock. As for me, I’m going back to bed."
productivity  2017  vincentbevins  idleness  slow  slowness  gtd  laziness  calvinism  maxweber  johnbalserak  capitalism  labor  work 
december 2017 by robertogreco
FYS 2017: Living and Thinking in a Digital Age – Snakes and Ladders
"Instructor: Alan Jacobs

Office: Morrison 203.7

Email: alan [underscore] jacobs [at] baylor [dot] edu

This class is all about questions: How is the rise of digital technologies changing some of the fundamental practices of the intellectual life: reading, writing, and researching? How does writing on a computer differ from writing on a typewriter, or (still more) writing by hand? Has Google made information just too easy to find? Is the experience of reading on a Kindle or iPad significantly different from that of reading a paper codex? Moreover, how are these changes affecting the intellectual culture and communal practices of the Christian faith? We will explore these questions through a range of readings and conversational topics, and through trying out some interesting digital and analog tools.

But this is also a class in which we will reflect more generally on why you are here, in the Honors College of Baylor, and what you need to do (and be) to flourish. So we will also spend some time thinking about the character and purposes of liberal education, and I will explain to you why you need to buy earplugs and wash your hands regularly.

I have ordered two books for you to buy: Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape the Future and David Sax, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter. All other readings will be PDFs available in this Dropbox folder. [https://www.dropbox.com/sh/54uu45mhespvubo/AAAETUCU6U0YuyXgl6HbxVTva?dl=0 ]

Assignments

1. There will be frequent (pop!) quizzes on your readings; these will count a total of 25% of your grade.

2. You will choose a digital or analog tool with which to organize your academic life this semester, learn to use it well, and give an oral report on it to the class, along with a handout. 15%

3. You will write a 3500-word research essay on a topic of your choosing, subject to approval by me. I will work with you to choose a good topic and focus it properly, and will read and evaluate a draft of the essay before you hand in a final version. 40%

4. In lieu of a final exam, you will write a personal narrative identifying the most important things you leaned in this class; as part of that you’ll offer a final evaluation of your chosen organizational tool. 20%

5. Borderline grades will be decided by class participation.

Here’s a handy list of organizational tools you might try, starting with digital ones:

• emacs org-mode
• Evernote
• Google Keep
• OneNote
• Pinboard
• Trello
• Workflowy
• Zotero

And now analog (paper-based) ones:

• Bullet Journal
• Hipster PDA
• Noguchi filing system
• Personal Kanban
• Zettelkasten

Here’s a guide [https://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-getting-things-done-1551880955 ] to helping you think through the options — keyed to the Getting Things Done system, which is fine, though it’s not the only useful system out there. The key to this assignment is that you choose a tool and seriously commit to it, for this semester, anyway. You are of course welcome to ditch it as soon as the term is over. But what I am asking for is a semester-long experiment, so that you will have detailed information to share with the rest of us. N.B.: All the options I am suggesting here are free — if you want to pay for an app or service, you are certainly welcome to, but I wouldn’t ask that of you.

Policies

My policies on attendance, grading, and pretty much everything else may be found here [http://ayjay.org/FAQ.html ]. You’ll find a good deal of other useful information on that site also.

Schedule

This is a course on how the digital worlds we live in now — our technologies of knowledge and communication — will inevitably shape our experience as learners. So let’s begin by trying to get a grip on the digital tech that shapes our everyday lives:

8.22 Introduction to course (with handouts)
8.24 boyd, It’s Complicated, Introduction and Chapter 7
8.29 Wilmer, Sherman, and Chein, “Smartphones and Cognition”
8.31 Rosen, “My Little Sister Taught Me How to Snapchat”

But you’re not just smartphone users, you’re college students. So let’s try to get a better understanding of why we’re here — or why we might be:

9.5 Meilaender, “Who Needs a Liberal Education?“
9.7 Carr, “The Crisis in Higher Education”; Robbins, “Home College”

With some of the initial coordinates in place, let’s get some historical context:

9.12 Jacobs, “Christianity and the Book”
9.14 Blair, “Information Overload”

And now let’s take a deeper dive into the conditions of our moment, and of the near future:

9.19 Kelly, The Inevitable, Introduction and Chapters 1-4
9.21 Kelly, Chapters 5-8
9.26 Kelly, Chapters 9-12
9.28 Sax, The Revenge of Analog, Introduction and Part I
10.3 Sax, Part II
10.5 Concluding discussion of Kelly and Sax

We’ll spend a couple of days finding out how your experiments in organization have been going:

10.10 reports from half of you
10.12 reports from the rest of you

Now that we’re pretty well equipped to think more seriously about the technological and educational challenges facing us, we’ll spend the rest of the term learning some practical strategies for information management, and revisiting some of the key issues we’ve raised in light of our recently acquired knowledge. First, you’re going to get a break from reading:

10.17 Dr. J’s Handy Guide to Owning Your Online Turf, Part 1
10.19 Dr. J’s Handy Guide to Owning Your Online Turf, Part 2

So, back to reading:

10.24 Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, Parts I-III
10.26 Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, Parts IV-VI
10.31 further discussion of Web Literacy
11.2 Piper, “Out of Touch” and Clive Thompson, “Reading War and Peace on my Phone”
11.7 Mueller and Oppenheimer, “The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard”; Hensher, “Why Handwriting Matters”; Trubek, “Handwriting Just Doesn’t Matter”
11.9 Zomorodi, “Bored and Brilliant”; draft of research essay due

And finally, we’ll put what we’ve learned to use in thinking about what kind of education we’re pursuing here in the Honors College at Baylor:

11.14 Jacobs, “Renewing the University”
11.16 writing day; research essay due 11.17
11.21 “Engaging the Future of Higher Education”
11.23 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
11.28 continued discussion of “Engaging the Future”
11.30 Wrapping up
12.5 Personal narrative due"
alanjacobs  syllabus  online  internet  tools  onlinetoolkit  reading  education  highered  highereducation  classideas  gtd  productivity  kevinkelly  davidsax  readinglists  technology  cognition  socialmedia  christianity  humanities  infooverload  webliteracy  wen  handwriting  notetaking  thewhy  digital  analog  digitalage  syllabi 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Why time management is ruining our lives | Oliver Burkeman | Technology | The Guardian
"All of our efforts to be more productive backfire – and only make us feel even busier and more stressed"



"At the very bottom of our anxious urge to manage time better – the urge driving Frederick Winslow Taylor, Merlin Mann, me and perhaps you – it’s not hard to discern a familiar motive: the fear of death. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel has put it, on any meaningful timescale other than human life itself – that of the planet, say, or the cosmos – “we will all be dead any minute”. No wonder we are so drawn to the problem of how to make better use of our days: if we could solve it, we could avoid the feeling, in Seneca’s words, of finding life at an end just when we were getting ready to live. To die with the sense of nothing left undone: it’s nothing less than the promise of immortality by other means.

But the modern zeal for personal productivity, rooted in Taylor’s philosophy of efficiency, takes things several significant steps further. If only we could find the right techniques and apply enough self-discipline, it suggests, we could know that we were fitting everything important in, and could feel happy at last. It is up to us – indeed, it is our obligation – to maximise our productivity. This is a convenient ideology from the point of view of those who stand to profit from our working harder, and our increased capacity for consumer spending. But it also functions as a form of psychological avoidance. The more you can convince yourself that you need never make difficult choices – because there will be enough time for everything – the less you will feel obliged to ask yourself whether the life you are choosing is the right one.

Personal productivity presents itself as an antidote to busyness when it might better be understood as yet another form of busyness. And as such, it serves the same psychological role that busyness has always served: to keep us sufficiently distracted that we don’t have to ask ourselves potentially terrifying questions about how we are spending our days. “How we labour at our daily work more ardently and thoughtlessly than is necessary to sustain our life because it is even more necessary not to have leisure to stop and think,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche, in what reads like a foreshadowing of our present circumstances. “Haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself.”

You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas. Which paths will you pursue, and which will you abandon? Which relationships will you prioritise, during your shockingly limited lifespan, and who will you resign yourself to disappointing? What matters?

For Merlin Mann, consciously confronting these questions was a matter of realising that people would always be making more claims on his time – worthy claims, too, for the most part – than it would be possible for him to meet. And that even the best, most efficient system for managing the emails they sent him was never going to provide a solution to that. “Eventually, I realised something,” he told me. “Email is not a technical problem. It’s a people problem. And you can’t fix people.”"
time  timemanagement  productivity  psychology  gtd  2016  oliverburkeman  stress  busyness  frederickwinslowtaylor  taylorism  merlinmann  technology  thomasnagel  humans  seneca  efficiency 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Laurie Penny | Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless
"Late capitalism is like your love life: it looks a lot less bleak through an Instagram filter. The slow collapse of the social contract is the backdrop for a modern mania for clean eating, healthy living, personal productivity, and “radical self-love”—the insistence that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we can achieve a meaningful existence by maintaining a positive outlook, following our bliss, and doing a few hamstring stretches as the planet burns. The more frightening the economic outlook and the more floodwaters rise, the more the public conversation is turning toward individual fulfillment as if in a desperate attempt to make us feel like we still have some control over our lives."



"The wellbeing ideology is a symptom of a broader political disease. The rigors of both work and worklessness, the colonization of every public space by private money, the precarity of daily living, and the growing impossibility of building any sort of community maroon each of us in our lonely struggle to survive. We are supposed to believe that we can only work to improve our lives on that same individual level. Chris Maisano concludes that while “the appeal of individualistic and therapeutic approaches to the problems of our time is not difficult to apprehend . . . it is only through the creation of solidarities that rebuild confidence in our collective capacity to change the world that their grip can be broken.”

The isolating ideology of wellness works against this sort of social change in two important ways. First, it persuades all us that if we are sick, sad, and exhausted, the problem isn’t one of economics. There is no structural imbalance, according to this view—there is only individual maladaption, requiring an individual response. The lexis of abuse and gas-lighting is appropriate here: if you are miserable or angry because your life is a constant struggle against privation or prejudice, the problem is always and only with you. Society is not mad, or messed up: you are.

Secondly, it prevents us from even considering a broader, more collective reaction to the crises of work, poverty, and injustice. "



"When modernity teaches us to loathe ourselves and then sells us quick fixes for despair, we can be forgiven for balking at the cash register. Anxious millennials now seem to have a choice between desperate narcissism and crushing misery. Which is better? The question is not rhetorical. On the one hand, Instagram happiness gurus make me want to drown myself in a kale smoothie. On the other, I’m sick and tired of seeing the most brilliant people I know, the fighters and artists and mad radical thinkers whose lives’ work might actually improve the world, treat themselves and each other in ludicrously awful ways with the excuse, implicit or explicit, that any other approach to life is counterrevolutionary."



"The problem with self-love as we currently understand it is in our view of love itself, defined, too simply and too often, as an extraordinary feeling that we respond to with hearts and flowers and fantasy, ritual consumption and affectless passion. Modernity would have us mooning after ourselves like heartsick, slightly creepy teenagers, taking selfies and telling ourselves how special and perfect we are. This is not real self-love, no more than a catcaller loves the woman whose backside he’s loudly admiring in the street.

The harder, duller work of self-care is about the everyday, impossible effort of getting up and getting through your life in a world that would prefer you cowed and compliant. A world whose abusive logic wants you to see no structural problems, but only problems with yourself, or with those more marginalized and vulnerable than you are. Real love, the kind that soothes and lasts, is not a feeling, but a verb, an action. It’s about what you do for another person over the course of days and weeks and years, the work put in to care and cathexis. That’s the kind of love we’re terribly bad at giving ourselves, especially on the left.

The broader left could learn a great deal from the queer community, which has long taken the attitude that caring for oneself and one’s friends in a world of prejudice is not an optional part of the struggle—in many ways, it is the struggle. Writer and trans icon Kate Bornstein’s rule number one is “Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Just don’t be mean.” It’s more than likely that one of the reasons that the trans and queer communities continue to make such gains in culture, despite a violent backlash, is the broad recognition that self-care, mutual aid, and gentle support can be tools of resistance, too. After the Orlando massacre, LGBTQ people across the world started posting selfies under the hashtag #queerselflove. In the midst of the horror, the public mourning, and the fear, queer people of all ages and backgrounds across the world engaged in some light-hearted celebration of ourselves, of one another.

The ideology of wellbeing may be exploitative, and the tendency of the left to fetishize despair is understandable, but it is not acceptable—and if we waste energy hating ourselves, nothing’s ever going to change. If hope is too hard to manage, the least we can do is take basic care of ourselves. On my greyest days, I remind myself of the words of the poet and activist Audre Lorde, who knew a thing or two about survival in an inhuman world, and wrote that self care “is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”"
lauriepenny  2016  feminism  happiness  culture  capitalism  neoliberalism  self-care  katebornstein  audrelorde  chloeking  chrismaisano  well-being  latecapitalism  work  emotionallabor  poverty  injustice  labor  privation  justice  socialjustice  society  democracy  gtd  hopelessness  despair 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Deciphering Glyph :: Email Isn’t The Thing You’re Bad At
"We’re In This Together, Me Especially

A lot of guidance about what to do with your email addresses email overload as a personal problem. Over the years of developing my tips and tricks for dealing with it, I certainly saw it that way. But lately, I’m starting to see that it has pernicious social effects.

If you have 24,000 messages in your Inbox, that means you aren’t keeping track or setting priorities on which tasks you want to complete. But just because you’re not setting those priorities, that doesn’t mean nobody is. It means you are letting availability heuristic - whatever is “latest and loudest” - govern access to your attention, and therefore your time. By doing this, you are rewarding people (or #brands) who contact you repeatedly, over inappropriate channels, and generally try to flood your attention with their priorities instead of your own. This, in turn, creates a culture where it is considered reasonable and appropriate to assume that you need to do that in order to get someone’s attention.

Since we live in the era of subtext and implication, I should explicitly say that I’m not describing any specific work environment or community. I used to have an email startup, and so I thought about this stuff very heavily for almost a decade. I have seen email habits at dozens of companies, and I help people in the open source community with their email on a regular basis. So I’m not throwing shade: almost everybody is terrible at this.

And that is the one way that email, in the sense of the tools and programs we use to process it, is at fault: technology has made it easier and easier to ask people to do more and more things, without giving us better tools or training to deal with the increasingly huge array of demands on our time. It’s easier than ever to say “hey could you do this for me” and harder than ever to just say “no, too busy”.

Mostly, though, I want you to know that this isn’t just about you any more. It’s about someone much more important than you: me. I’m tired of sending reply after reply to people asking to “just circle back” or asking if I’ve seen their email. Yes, I’ve seen your email. I have a long backlog of tasks, and, like anyone, I have trouble managing them and getting them all done4, and I frequently have to decide that certain things are just not important enough to do. Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to get to a message. Sometimes I never do. But, it’s impossible to be mad at somebody for “just checking in” for the fourth time when this is probably the only possible way they ever manage to get anyone else to do anything.

I don’t want to end on a downer here, though. And I don’t have a book to sell you which will solve all your productivity problems. I know that if I lay out some incredibly elaborate system all at once, it’ll seem overwhelming. I know that if I point you at some amazing gadget that helps you keep track of what you want to do, you’ll either balk at the price or get lost fiddling with all its knobs and buttons and not getting a lot of benefit out of it. So if I’m describing a problem that you have here, here’s what I want you to do.

Step zero is setting aside some time. This will probably take you a few hours, but trust me; they will be well-spent."
email  2016  productivity  gtd  advice 
june 2016 by robertogreco
"I'm Doing Work" on Vimeo
[More from this series: https://vimeo.com/sluggish

"Sluggish is a video web series that brings together different stories around a single idea. Sometimes the stories are about art and sometimes they’re about science or history or sports but they are always about everyday things that are weird and esoteric and they are always fun.

It’s a bit like a visualized podcast.

The series is a completely independent project produced in Berlin and shot around the world. It is an ongoing experiment for me and there are many things I plan to try out here so I hope you stick around to see how it evolves. Season two is already in the works.
SEASON ONE

What are the upsides of doing nothing? The first season takes on the current universal obsession with the concept of productivity while trying to explore the benefits of wasting your time.

It’s pretty much your best chance to feel good about wasting your time watching online videos."

"The Art of Not Working"
https://vimeo.com/143685855

"To Dive or Not to Dive"
https://vimeo.com/143687704

"Fighting Blue Sky Thinking"
https://vimeo.com/143687714 ]
work  productivity  stevenpoole  leisure  effort  priorities  gtd  labor  idleness  michaelbar-eli  gavinpretor-pinney  doingnothing  football  soccer  economics  bias  actionbias  emotionallabor  care  caring  decisionmaking  timewasting  2015  ignaciouriarte  art  futbol  sports 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Bullet Journal: An analog note-taking system for the digital age
"For the list-makers, the note-takers, the Post-It note pilots, the track-keepers, and the dabbling doodlers. Bullet journal is for those who feel there are few platforms as powerful as the blank paper page. It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past, and plan for the future."
calendars  productivity  jornals  via:lukeneff  lists  gtd 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Tickler File Forever (Ftrain.com)
"When I see people older than myself in difficult circumstances—losing a job, faltering in a career, writing terrible prose, finding themselves dependent on younger people who don't respect them—I do not pretend that such embarrassments won't come to me, but I do try to take precautions by adding notes into my online calendar.

Some of these notes are typically annoying things that a person in his 30s might say to a person in his 70s: “Make sure you've been taking care of your health,” is there for 2025, but it should of course have been there for 1985, too. And “Don't stay too long in one place,” is down for December, 2032. “Machines probably doing everything, accept it,” for April 2060.

“Remember that transitions are painful,” is there for August, 2020. I can't remember what inspired that one, but it must have been something extra-awful.

“Younger people are taking over now, which is probably fine,” is something I have for myself in 2024, when I'm 50. And for 2075, when I'll be 101: “It's totally okay and likely better for everyone if you're dead,” In the “Description” field for that event is simply: “Start smoking.”

One day my wife came into my office and said, surprisingly: “You should have thought seriously about having children by now.” Then she shook her head and squinted at me.

I did not disagree, but I was confused.

“That popped up as a text message,” she said. “I was in a meeting. I thought it was from you, that you'd just sent it to me.”

She showed me the message on her phone. She shares my schedule. I'd added that calendar item three or four years before.

“I turned off alarms,” I told her. “I totally would have missed that if you hadn't caught it.”"
paulford  writing  calendars  notification  aging  gtd  future 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Productivity is Taking Over Our Lives | New Republic
"The paradox of the autodidactic productivity industry of GTD, Lifehacker and the endless reviews of obscure mind-mapping or task-management apps is that it is all too easy to spend one’s time researching how to acquire the perfect set of productivity tools and strategies without ever actually settling down to do something. In this way, the obsessive dream of productivity becomes a perfectly effective defense against its own realization. 

As Samuel Johnson once wrote: “Some are always in a state of preparation, occupied in previous measures, forming plans, accumulating materials and providing for the main affair. These are certainly under the secret power of idleness. Nothing is to be expected from the workman whose tools are for ever to be sought.”

Nor is there any downward cut-off point for “our current obsession with busyness”, as one researcher, Andrew Smart, describes it in his intriguing book Autopilot: the Art and Science of Doing Nothing. Smart observes, appalled, a genre of literary aids for inculcating the discipline of “time management” in children. (Time is not amenable to management: it just keeps passing, whatever you do.) Not allowing children to zone out and do nothing, Smart argues, is probably harming their development. But buckling children into the straitjacket of time management from an early age might seem a sensible way to ensure an agreeably docile new generation of workers."



"This ordinary usage encodes an ordinary wisdom: that mere quantity of activity—as implied by the get-more-done mania of the productivity cult—has nothing to do with its value. Economics does not know how to value Rainer Maria Rilke over a prolific poetaster in receipt of an official laureateship. (One can be confident that, while mooching around European castles and writing nothing for years on end, Rilke would never have worn a T-shirt that announced: “I’m doing work”.) And his life sounds like more fun than one recent Lifehacker article, which eagerly explained how to organise your baseball cap collection by hanging the headwear on shower-curtain hooks arrayed along a rail."
gtd  gttingthingsdone  productivity  control  leisure  artleisure  leisurearts  idleness  stevenpoole  2013  time  management  efficiency  davidgraeber  andrewsmart  rainermariarilke 
october 2014 by robertogreco
The Pitfalls of Productivity - NYTimes.com
"There’s also the question of who really benefits when workers get more done. Mr. Poole writes critically of companies’ productivity initiatives:

“The latest wheeze is the Big Data field of ‘workforce science,’ in which everything – patterns of emails, the length of telephone calls — may be measured and consigned to a comparative database to create a perfect management panopticon. It is tempting to suspect that the ambition thus to increase ‘worker productivity’ is aimed at getting more work out of each employee for the same (or less) money.”

And while workers who get more productive may initially see raises or promotions, the labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein told Op-Talk, companies will soon come to expect that higher level of productivity from everybody: “over time, and not very much time, the corporation will say ‘this is the new work norm.’” This has already happened, he added, with the expectation that workers be reachable around the clock. A better approach, he said, would be to improve job protections and stability, since workers are actually more productive when their employment is more secure.

For Mr. Bailey, though, productivity doesn’t necessarily mean working more at your job: “I think everybody has a different reason for wanting to become more productive, and I think you should figure that out before you invest in your productivity,” he said. “I think of productivity as way to accomplish more meaningful things in a short amount of time, so you can make more time for the things that are actually important to you.”

And Dr. Gregg suggested that the systems we use to organize our work could be used to bring us together rather than to drive us apart. “I would like to encourage a kind of mindfulness that is less individual and more collective,” she said. Her hope for productivity apps and other technologies is that “they’ll allow us to have a better conversation about collective work practices, and what are the conditions that individuals feel that they need to get done what’s being asked of them in the workplace.”

“Mindfulness can also mean being mindful of others,” she said, “and that’s really the collective labor tradition that I would like to see continue.”"
gtd  gettingthingsdone  productivity  busyness  2014  annanorth  chrisbailey  stevenpoole  frederickwinslowtaylor  efficiency  melissagregg  slow  taylorism  jessicalamb-shapiro  bigdata  nelsonlichtenstein  mindfulness  labor  work  capitalism  industrialization 
october 2014 by robertogreco
launch and iterate - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"I enjoyed this brief interview [http://www.full-stop.net/2014/02/04/features/the-editors/tldr-rob-horning/ ] with Rob Horning of The New Inquiry, and was particularly taken with this passage:
What do you think is good about the way we interact with information today? How has your internet consumption changed your brain, and writing, for the better?

I can only speak for myself, but I find that the Internet has made me far more productive than I was before as a reader and a writer. It seems to offer an alternative to academic protocols for making “knowledge.” But I was never very systematic before about my “research” and am even less so now; only now this doesn’t seem like such a draw back. Working in fragments and unfolding ideas over time in fragments seems a more viable way of proceeding. I’ve grown incapable of researching as preparation for some writing project — I post everything, write immediately as a way to digest what I am reading, make spontaneous arguments and connections from what is at hand. Then if I feel encouraged, I go back and try to synthesize some of this material later. That seems a very Internet-inspired approach.

Let me pause to note that I am fundamentally against productivity and then move on to the more important point, which is that online life has changed my ways of working along the lines that Horning describes — and I like it.

There’s a mantra among some software developers, most notably at Google: Launch and iterate. Get your app out there even with bugs, let your customers report and complain about those bugs, apologize profusely, fix, release a new version. Then do it again, and again. (Some developers hate this model, but never mind.) Over the past few years I’ve been doing something like this with my major projects: throw an idea out there in incomplete or even inchoate form and see what responses it gets; learn from your respondents’ skepticism or criticism; follow the links people give you; go back to the idea and, armed with this feedback, make it better.

Of course, writers have always done something like this: for example, going to the local pub and making people listen to you pontificate on some crack-brained intellectual scheme and then tell you that you’re full of it. And I’ve used that method too, which has certain advantages ... but: it’s easy to forget what people say, you have a narrow range of responses, and it can’t happen very often or according to immediate need. The best venue I’ve found to support the launch-and-iterate model of the intellectual life: Twitter."
productivity  research  cv  howwework  criticalmess  criticalmesses  internet  web  online  haphazardness  circling  unfolding  writing  robhorning  2014  via:ablerism  thinking  gtd  iteration  skepticism  criticism  feedback  twitter  process  alanjacobs  howwewrite  messiness 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Why the cult of hard work is counter-productive
"In the vanguard of “productivity” literature and apps was David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) system, according to which you can become “a wizard of productivity” by organising your life into folders and to-do lists. The GTD movement quickly spread outside the confines of formal work and became a way to navigate the whole of existence: hence the popularity of websites such as Lifehacker that offer nerdy tips on rendering the messy business of everyday life more amenable to algorithmic improvement. If you can discover how best to organise the cables of your electronic equipment or “clean stubborn stains off your hands with shaving cream”, that, too, adds to your “productivity”...

The paradox of the autodidactic productivity industry of GTD, Lifehacker and the endless reviews of obscure mind-mapping or task-management apps is that it is all too easy to spend one’s time researching how to acquire the perfect set of productivity tools and strategies without ever actually settling down to do something. In this way, the obsessive dream of productivity becomes a perfectly effective defence against its own realisation.

As Samuel Johnson once wrote: “Some are always in a state of preparation, occupied in previous measures, forming plans, accumulating materials and providing for the main affair. These are certainly under the secret power of idleness. Nothing is to be expected from the workman whose tools are for ever to be sought.”

...

"It took a long time before the adjective “productive” – which once simply meant “generative”, as applied to land or ideas – acquired its specific economic sense, in the late 18th century, of relating to the production of goods or commodities. (The noun form is first recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary in an essay by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which he writes of the “produc­tivity” of a growing plant.) To call a person “productive” only in relation to a measured quantity of physical outputs is another way that business rhetoric has long sought to dehumanise workers.

One way to counter this has been to attempt to recuperate the supposed vice of idleness – to hymn napping, daydreaming and sheer zoning out. Samuel Johnson is sometimes counted among the champions of faffing, perhaps simply because of the name of his essay series The Idler"



"David Graeber, the anthropologist and author of Debt: the First 5,000 Years, would also probably approve of it as a characterisation of what he calls “bullshit jobs”. In a recent essay for Strike! magazine, Graeber remarks on “the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations”, all of which he describes as “bullshit” and “pointless”. Their activity is to be contrasted with that of what Graeber calls “real, productive workers”. 

It is telling that even in such a bracingly critical analysis, the signal virtue of “productivity” is left standing, though it is not completely clear what it means for the people in the “real” jobs that Graeber admires. It is true that service industries are not “productive” in the sense that their labour results in no great amount of physical objects, but then what exactly is it for the “Tube workers” Graeber rightly defends to be “productive”, unless that is shorthand for saying, weirdly, that they “produce” physical displacements of people? And to use “productive” as a positive epithet for another class of workers he admires, teachers, risks acquiescing rhetorically in the commercialisation of learning. Teaching as production is, etymologically and otherwise, the opposite of teaching as education. 

Idleness in the sense of just not working at all, rather than working at a bullshit activity, was championed by the dissident Marxist Paul Lafargue, writer of the 1883 manifesto The Right to Be Lazy. This amusing denunciation of what Lafargue calls “the furious passion for work” in capitalist civilisation, which is “the cause of all intellectual degeneracy”, rages against its own era of “overproduction” and consequent recurring “industrial crises”. The proletariat, Lafargue cries, “must proclaim the Rights of Laziness, a thousand times more noble and more sacred than the anaemic Rights of Man concocted by the metaphysical lawyers of the bourgeois revolution. It must accustom itself to working but three hours a day, reserving the rest of the day and night for leisure and feasting.”"
productivity  brain  labor  idleness  bullshitjobs  2013  time  gtd  davidallen  via:shannon_mattern  lifehacker  samueljohnson  laziness  puritans  work  workethic  gettingthingsdone 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Better - Merlin Mann
"What makes you feel less bored soon makes you into an addict. What makes you feel less vulnerable can easily turn you into a dick. & the things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks - empty, programmatic encouragements to groom & refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen."

"To be honest, I don’t have a specific agenda for what I want to do all that differently, apart from what I’m already trying to do every day:

* identify & destroy small-return bullshit;
* shut off anything that’s noisier than it is useful;
* make brutally fast decisions about what I don’t need to be doing;
* avoid anything that feels like fake sincerity (esp. where it may touch money);
* demand personal focus on making good things;
* put a handful of real people near the center of everything.

[Previously referenced here: http://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:2d41ea9e1e4d pointing to http://kottke.org/08/09/some-recent-merlin-mann-goodness ]
writing  media  culture  2008  sincerity  emptiness  addiction  boredom  noise  relationships  small  slow  meaningmaking  meaning  signaltonoise  attention  productivity  via:lukeneff  purpose  merlinmann  gtd  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
sprezzatura - Google Search
sprez·za·tu·ra
noun /ˌspretsəˈt(y)o͝orə/

Studied carelessness, esp. as a characteristic quality or style of art or literature

Web definitions

Sprezzatura is an Italian word originating from Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by the author as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprezzatura

The art of performing a difficult task so gracefully, that it looks effortless
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sprezzatura

The ability to appear that there is seemingly little effort used to attain success. The art of being able to show that one is able to deceive. Baldessare Castiglione.
www.translationdirectory.com/glossaries/glossary083.htm

The technique of appearing nonchalant about one's poetic ability to the end of making all a poem's artfulness appear easily realized. Sonnet 74 from Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil & Stella spends its opening octet in sprezzatura.
britrenpoetry.wikidot.com/literary-terms
words  art  gtd  via:lukeneff 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Taming the Wandering Mind | The Moral Sciences Club | Big Think
"Reconciling oneself to the fact that projects "take the time they take" can be a necessary step in finishing projects at all. My mind is not simply prone to distraction, it is prone to rebellion. The wrong kind of pressure makes it resist its own commands, sends it spinning out of its own control. Bearing down, reining in, whipping harder doesn't get "me" back on track so much as set me against myself in a showdown I always lose winning. Better to just glide on the thermal of whim until the destination once again comes into sight and a smooth approach becomes finally possible.

Not to say that one can drift one's way to success. Aims must be fixed and kept in mind, even if one knows it's worse than useless to charge right at them. One must develop a sense of one's attention as one develops a sense of a powerful but skittish horse, calmly riding wide of known dangers…

We need to reconcile ourselves to our own temperaments, stop trying to fight or drug ourselves into submission…"
medicine  drugs  howwework  howwewrite  allsorts  productivity  focus  willpower  self-mastery  self-improvement  self-accommodation  gtd  effort  adhd  2012  hanifkureishi  attention  distraction  willwilkinson  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Good and Bad Procrastination
"If you want to work on big things, you seem to have to trick yourself into doing it. You have to work on small things that could grow into big things, or work on successively larger things, or split the moral load with collaborators. It's not a sign of weakness to depend on such tricks. The very best work has been done this way.

When I talk to people who've managed to make themselves work on big things, I find that all blow off errands, and all feel guilty about it. I don't think they should feel guilty. There's more to do than anyone could. So someone doing the best work they can is inevitably going to leave a lot of errands undone. It seems a mistake to feel bad about that."
procrastination  gtd  paulgraham  productivity  2005  distraction  attention  interruptions  focus  creativity  innovation  work  cv  efficiency  errands  priorities  lifehacks  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Getting Creative Things Done: How To Fit Hard Thinking Into a Busy Schedule :: Tips :: The 99 Percent
"At first glance, the GCTD system seems obvious. “Block out time on my calendar for big projects,” you might think. “I've tried that.”

Creative work, however, is a subtle affair. If your mind is not in the exact right state, it’s difficult to produce high-quality results. Because of this, details matter. This is what’s important about GCTD, not the general idea of blocking out time, but the carefully-calibrated details that accompany it: the blocks are treated like real appointments and are dedicated to only one (or, at most, two) projects in a week; absolutely zero interruptions are allowed during the blocks; and the focus is on process, not goals.

These little things add up to a system that consistently produces the types of ambitious results that, as Graham puts it, are “at the limits of your capacity.” The type of results that can make you a star."
creativity  time  scheduling  gtd  gctd  arts  business  advice  work  focus  goals  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Bunchberry & Fern: The Future of Workplace Learning (and this blog)
"My advice for people interested in Getting Things Done is to set aside all that productivity mumbo-jumbo until you're ready to optimise. If you're not doing what you want to do, it's not because you need a new calendar app, but because you have no real clear idea of what you want to do."
gtd  productivity  productivityasdistraction  distraction  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
What we can learn from procrastination : The New Yorker
"Ainslie is probably right that procrastination is a basic human impulse, but anxiety about it as a serious problem seems to have emerged in the early modern era. The term itself (derived from a Latin word meaning “to put off for tomorrow”) entered the English language in the sixteenth century, and, by the eighteenth, Samuel Johnson was describing it as “one of the general weaknesses” that “prevail to a greater or less degree in every mind,” and lamenting the tendency in himself: “I could not forbear to reproach myself for having so long neglected what was unavoidably to be done, and of which every moment’s idleness increased the difficulty.” And the problem seems to be getting worse all the time. According to Piers Steel, a business professor at the University of Calgary, the percentage of people who admitted to difficulties with procrastination quadrupled between 1978 and 2002. In that light, it’s possible to see procrastination as the quintessential modern problem."
procrastination  philosophy  productivity  selfimprovement  economics  psychology  education  research  time  cv  ignorance  immobility  jamessurowieckygtd  freedom  effort  rewards  timemanagement  time-wasting  jamessurowiecky  gtd  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Mule Design Studio’s Blog: The Chokehold of Calendars
"Meetings may be toxic, but calendars are the superfund sites that allow that toxicity to thrive. All calendars suck. And they all suck in the same way. Calendars are a record of interruptions. And quite often they’re a battlefield over who owns whose time.

In my experience, most people don’t schedule their work. They schedule the interruptions that prevent their work from happening. In the case of a business like ours, what clients pay us to make and do happens in the cracks between meetings, or worse, after business hours.

I’ve yet to see a résumé—and I hope I never do— that lists “attends meetings well” as a skill. Yet attending meetings ends up being a key component of many jobs. And it’s stupid.

The problem here is two-fold. Part of it is software. Part of it is human behavior. You can’t fix the software without adjusting the human behavior. And there is no point to addressing the human behavior if the software won’t support it."
via:robinsloan  meetings  productivity  time  work  cv  gtd  management  calendars  administration  tcsnmy  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
An interview with Keita Takahashi : The Setup
"MacBook Pro…w/…anti-glare display…

My music player is an iPod. It is an old model w/ blue-white LED backlit display. The capacity is only 20GB, but I love the design so I keep using it…

This year, I bought a digital camera after waiting 7 years…DSC-HX5V. It has a stereo microphone & GPS, & can take so-so movies & photos. I am moderately satisfied…

My vacuum cleaner is a Numatic Henry (Green). It is the vacuum cleaner I always yearned for. I was dreaming of it when I graduated from university, & bought it with my first salary…

My refrigerator is a SHARP SJ-XW44S. The door can be opened from either the right or left. Cool…

Basically, I don't use especially impressive software…

Until several years ago, my main web browser was OmniWeb. So, I bought OmniFocus to try it. I learned I was not well suited for such kinds of GTD software…

What would be your dream setup?

A big house with a vast garden. A miraculous notebook that enhances my ideas. That's perfect."
keitatakahashi  software  media  design  games  gaming  hardware  interview  computing  simplicity  mattescreens  vaccuum  ipod  refrigerators  gtd  omnifocus  thesetup  2010  usesthis  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
EPICWIN
"Our lives are full of quests. Remember that birthday card, send that email, or drag ourselves to the gym on a regular basis.

Trouble is, sometimes we’re having too much fun doing other virtual stuff like hunting down rare items in WoW or leveling-up in Facebook games, to remember the stuff we’re supposed to be doing.

EpicWin is an iPhone app that puts the adventure back into your life. It’s a streamlined to-do list, to note down all your everday tasks, but with a role-playing spin.

Rather than just mentally ticking off your chores, completing each one improves & develops your character in an onging quest to level-up, gain riches, & develop skills.

By getting points for your chores it's easier to actually get things done. We all have good intentions but we need a bit of encouragement here and there. Doing the laundry is an epic feat of stamina so why not get stamina points for it?!

Watch as your avatars stats develop in ways to represent your own life."
iphone  application  motivation  gtd  rpg  productivity  gamedesign  games  gaming  chores  epicwin  rewards  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Syphir
"Rules beta » turbo-charged filters for your Gmail
* Powerful. Filter emails by arrival time, age, importance, and more.
* Effective. Save time, stay organized, and defeat email overload.
SmartPush » intelligent email alerts on your iPhone
* Focused. SmartPush knows which emails need your attention.
* Flexible. Receive alerts for all your emails, or only the important ones."
syphir  applications  iphone  email  filtering  filters  gmail  gtd  productivity  ios 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Why You Can’t Work at Work | Jason Fried | Big Think
"With its constant commotion, unnecessary meetings, and infuriating wastes of time, the modern workplace makes us all work longer, less focused hours. Jason Fried explains how we can change all of this."
jasonfried  37signals  bigthink  interruptions  meetings  communication  business  distraction  gtd  office  management  design  leadership  productivity  process  workplace  work  tcsnmy  creativity 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Make Your Own Moleskine-Like-Notebook
"Your very own Moleskine-like-notebook/journal/sketchbook. The one we'll be making is 3.5 x 5.5 x .5 inches. I use this size because it fits nicely into my back or front pants pocket. Strangely enough it is also the same size as the Moleskine notebook. For the pages we'll be using 20# bond paper (the same paper you use in your copier and inkjet printer). As you might have noticed in the dimensions, the notebook is a half-inch thick. This gives you 192 single pages of writing/sketching/painting fun. For the cover we'll use vinyl Naugahyde (that's what I use but feel free to use whatever you have on hand). After we're through I'll offer a list of enhancements and alternative ways to make your notebook/journal/sketchbook to meet your individual needs.

Don't be put off by the many steps involved. This really is a simple project using common materials and tools. Almost anyone can do it."
via:migurski  art  book  bookbinding  moleskine  notebooks  howto  gtd  lifehacks  tutorial  tutorials  make  books  crafts  design  diy  papercraft  papernet  paper  projects  srg  glvo  tcsnmy 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The Rule of High School
"As in high school, the winners are the ones who don't take it too seriously and understand what they're trying to accomplish. Get stuck in the never ending drama (worrying about what irrelevant people think) and you'll never get anything done. The only thing worse than coming in second place in the race for student council president is... winning."
education  sethgodin  humor  highschool  psychology  relationships  gtd  work  life  advice  distraction 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Faking It as a Productivity Tip - ProfHacker.com
"Faking it is a crucial way to get anything accomplished. Many abstracts for conferences or proposals for books or sabbaticals or anything else are written before the project described therein is finished, or sometimes even started. You build a constituency for a new course in part by positing its existence, and then trusting that a successful iteration of it will lead to even more interested students. Al Filreis gave an excellent example of this on Twitter the other day: “In the late 90s univ’s had big plans for ‘distance learning’ but it all fell through (not enough $). Now it simply happens.” It happens through getting out there and doing the work–even if, or perhaps especially when, you’re not 100% sure of what you’re doing."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/3698 ]

[now at: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/faking-it-as-a-productivity-tip/22762 ]
productivity  cv  doing  do  sabbaticals  diggingin  tcsnmy  iteration  making  thinking  process  academia  learning  learningbydoing  gtd  autodidacts  unschooling  faking  fakingit  michaelchabon  kiostark  brepettis  nobodyknowswhatthey'redoing 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off | Video on TED.com
"Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali."
stefansagmeister  sabbaticals  yearoff  sevenyears  cv  timeoff  lifehacks  gtd  creativity  work  projects  process  design  art  writing  innovation  productivity  life  ideas  bali  glvo  furniture  ted  time  management  google  3m  happiness  planning  tcsnmy  administration 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Caterina.net: Working hard is overrated
"a lot of what we then considered "working hard" was actually "freaking out"...panicking, working on things just to be working on something, not knowing what we were doing, fearing failure, worrying about things we needn't have worried about, thinking about fund raising rather than product building, building too many features, getting distracted by competitors...& other time-consuming activities. This time around we have eliminated a lot of freaking out time. We seem to be working less hard this time...Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on. Paying attention to what is going on in the world. Seeing patterns. Seeing things as they are rather than how you want them to be. Being able to read what people want. Putting yourself in the right place where information is flowing freely and interesting new juxtapositions can be seen. But you can save yourself a lot of time by working on the right thing."
caterinafake  working  careers  life  work  tcsnmy  cv  wisdom  business  entrepreneurship  startups  productivity  gtd  lifehacks  focus  philosophy  time  balance  flickr  advice  ideas  culture  patterns  management  leadership  administration  confidence  freakingout 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Try Coding Dear Boy - Laughing Meme
"Laziness Impatience Hubris: This is the dark side of the geek virtue of laziness.

The belief that if one just thinks hard enough, or cleverly enough, that problems will have an “elegant solution”. And by “elegant” we mean a solution that doesn’t involve much code. (elegant, such a tricky word, it can also mean writing tons of code for problems that will likely never manifest) And by “think hard and clever”, a good short cut is probably just be to ask someone. So I’ve come up with a response that looks something like: We generally try do the dumbest thing that will work first. And that’s usually as far as we get. Almost everything we do is pretty straightforward, and as such is well documented around the Web, sometimes by us, generally by others. And when we do get fiendishly clever, as we do now and again, it’s usually a highly tuned (read idiosyncratic) solution for the problems we’re trying to solve.”
humor  programming  flickr  code  laziness  problemsolving  doing  iteration  gtd  practical  practice  howwework  howwelearn  via:migurski  asksomeone 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Take Back Your Time
"Take Back Your Time is a U.S./Canadian campaign that challenges time poverty: the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine. The campaign promotes the idea mandatory vacations and of rewarding gains in productivity with time instead of stuff. In our view, such a strategy would leave Americans healthier, happier, and more connected to each other, their communities and the environment."

[via: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/010270.html]
work  culture  us  society  politics  business  vacation  environment  simplicity  slow  organization  gtd  happiness  sustainability  well-being  government  health  time  lifestyle  community  activism  life  productivity 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start | 43 Folders
"*Fear of Apathy. “I can’t start this until I’m positive the work will never become dull or difficult.” *Fear of Ambiguity. “I can’t start this until I know exactly how it will turn out (as well as the precise method by which I’ll do it).” *Fear of Disconnection. “I can’t start this until I’m totally up-to-date and current on everything.” *Fear of Imperfection. “I can’t start this until I know the end product will be flawless.” *Fear of Incompletion. “I can’t start this until I’m already done with it.” *Fear of Isolation. “I can’t start this until I know making it will never be lonely.” *Fear of Sucking. “I can’t start this until I’m already awesome at it (and know that even horrible people whom I dislike will hail me as a genius).” *Fear of Fear itself. “I can’t start this until I’m guaranteed that making it will never be scary.”"
art  creativity  procrastination  fear  productivity  merlinmann  inspiration  motivation  excusemaking  excuses  process  work  writing  humor  gtd  making  doing  glvo  barriers  failure  starting  learning  tcsnmy  diggingin  cv  iteration 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Concentrate | Mac App | Eliminate Distractions
"Concentrate helps you work and study more productively by eliminating distractions.

To start, create an activity (design, study, write, etc) and choose actions (shown below) to run every time you concentrate. When ready, just click “concentrate." All your distractions will disappear and a timer will appear to help you stay focused."
gtd  via:hrheingold  software  mac  macosx  osx  timemanagement  concentration  distraction  productivity  attention 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Meeting Ticker
"Be sure to include overhead costs like facilities and benefits. If this works in Internet Explorer, it is purely by accident."
humor  meetings  money  productivity  management  administration  gtd  calculator  projectmanagement 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Shut up! Announcing your plans makes you less motivated to accomplish them. | Derek Sivers
"Tests done since 1933 show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen.

Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed."
psychology  goals  success  productivity  life  health  behavior  brain  planning  creativity  projects  gtd  lifehacks  motivation 
july 2009 by robertogreco
One Lesson from the Crisis: It’s Time to Create Your Own Economy | Fast Company
"Much of the Web's value is experienced at the personal level and does not show up in productivity numbers…Each day more enjoyment, more social connection, &, indeed, more contemplation are produced on the Web than had been imagined even 10 years ago. But how do we measure those things? That question -- and I don't yet have a full answer -- reflects the state of flux we're in today.…I call it the "human capital dividend." The reallocation of consumer time into the "free sector" on the Web will liberate the efforts of many producers and intermediaries…A second part of the human capital dividend comes from our productivity as Web consumers. Billions of people are rapidly becoming more knowledgeable and better connected to one another. Self-education has never been more fun, and that is because we are in control of that process like never before…it may sound counterintuitive, but the more time you spend staring at your screen, the bigger that human capital dividend will be."
tylercowen  economics  blogging  productivity  twitter  crisis  gtd  collaboration  participatory  socialmedia  self-directedlearning  self-education  autodidacts 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Gmail: Tips
"Become a Gmail Ninja

Learn tips and tricks to save time, increase your productivity, and manage your email efficiently. Start with the tips that are right for you, based on how much email you get each day."
gmail  tips  howto  gtd  tutorial  productivity  tutorials  tricks  support  email  shortcuts 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Defeating Delmore
"Astronomers know to look slightly away from the point at which they expect to locate a star. Analogously, when a person aims to most clearly articulate her own guiding goals, she would be more successful by calling to mind the values which are peripherally related and supportive of her complete self.

Instead of directly confronting the value of greatest import, a person can become more articulate about their central life goals by taking a slightly less direct approach."
procrastination  goals  selforganization  lifehacks  gtd  productivity  careers  psychology  learning  incentives  research  gamechanging 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Why setting goals can backfire - The Boston Globe
"a few management scholars are now looking deeper into the effects of goals, and finding that goals have a dangerous side. Individuals, governments, and companies like GM show ample ability to hurt themselves by setting and blindly following goals, even those that seem to make sense at the time...Goals, they feared, might actually be taking the place of independent thinking and personal initiative...Although simple numerical goals can lead to bursts of intense effort in the short term, they can also subvert the longer-term interests of a person or a company...goals need to be flexible when circumstances change...the best goal you can have is to reevaluate your goals, semi-annually or annually, to make sure they remain rational." "Rather than reflexively relying on goals, argues Max Bazerman, a Harvard Business School professor and the fourth coauthor of "Goals Gone Wild," we might also be better off creating workplaces and schools that foster our own inherent interest in the work."

[via:http://www.kottke.org/09/04/setting-goals-can-backfire ]
goals  gtd  incentives  business  psychology  attention  decisionmaking  management  self-improvement  motivation  policy  administration  tcsnmy  productivity  entrepreneurship  failure  work 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Bre Pettis | I Make Things - Bre Pettis Blog - The Cult of Done Manifesto
"1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more."
brepettis  procrastination  make  do  manifestos  gtd  writing  tinkering  tcsnmy  philosophy  motivation  inspiration  design  development  research  work  howto  productivity  efficiency  life  cultofdone 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Getting Real: The alone time zone - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)
"Guess which part of day we get the most work done? The alone part. This is why many people prefer to work either in the early morning or the late nights — they’re not being bothered. And when you have a long stretch when you aren’t being bothered you can get in the zone. The zone is when you are most productive. It’s when you don’t have to mindshift between various tasks. It’s when you aren’t interrupted to answer a question or look up something or send an email or answer an IM. The alone zone is where real progress is made."

[See also: http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/1590-left-to-my-own-devices-with-no-family-i ]
cv  work  productivity  creativity  programming  gtd  time  nightowls  sleep  37signals  process  howwework 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Caterina.net: Singletasking
"Sent to me by my friend David Kidder, and guiding my workdays, as much as possible. I'm not sure where it's from."

[Linkrot, so try Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20120119210114/http://caterina.net/archive/001158.html ]
via:preoccupations  multitasking  singletasking  discipline  attention  management  gtd  flow  productivity  work  email  life  distraction  continuouspartialattention  monotasking 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Digital Overload Is Frying Our Brains | Wired Science from Wired.com
"Paying attention isn't a simple act of self-discipline, but a cognitive ability with deep neurobiological roots — and this complex faculty, says Maggie Jackson, is being woefully undermined by how we're living.

In Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, Jackson explores the effects of "our high-speed, overloaded, split-focus and even cybercentric society" on attention. It's not a pretty picture: a never-ending stream of phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, text messages and tweets is part of an institutionalized culture of interruption, and makes it hard to concentrate and think creatively. Of course, every modern age is troubled by its new technologies. "The telegraph might have done just as much to the psyche [of] Victorians as the Blackberry does to us," said Jackson. "But at the same time, that doesn't mean that nothing has changed. The question is, how do we confront our own challenges?" Wired.com talked to Jackson about attention and its loss."
education  technology  attention  multitasking  singletasking  continuouspartialattention  overload  infooverload  brain  twitter  gtd  computers  productivity  creativity  psychology  memory  distraction  culture  society  neuroscience  stress  maggiejackson  monotasking 
february 2009 by robertogreco
100 Powerful Web Tools to Organize Your Thoughts and Ideas | Online College Blog and School Reviews
"Whether you are a busy executive, a single parent, a freelancer working from home, a student, or a combination of these, you have probably found yourself needing help when it comes to organizing all your thoughts and ideas that occur throughout your busy day. Now you can turn to these tools found on the Internet that will help you with tasks such as note-taking, bookmarking websites, highlighting important text during online research, creating mind maps, tracking time, keeping up with appointments, collaborating with others, managing projects, and much more."
onlinetoolkit  online  organization  gtd  bookmarking  bookmarks  annotation  research  internet  learning  education  productivity  software  mindmapping  notetaking  wikis  todolists  collaboration  calendars  timetrackers 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Wiki:this very short warning | Social Media CoLab
"This is definitely related to the mindfulness-about-laptops-in-class issue. The technology has leaped ahead of social norms -- the ways we integrate social processes like college courses with media like Wi-Fi. So I'm interested -- as you should be -- in finding what the advantages and dangers of unfettered use of laptops during class meetings are, then exploring ways to leverage the advantages and avoid the dangers. My hypothesis, formulated inductively by experimenting with four previous classes, is that it's a mixture of attention-training (just as note-taking is a form of attention-training) and social norms (if most people put their laptop away most of the time, when they aren't using it to look up something class-related, then most people will be able to Facebook, email, or Twitter part of the time). So there is a collective action social dilemma involved, akin to the tragedy of the commons. Individual self-interest, if aggregated enough, can act counter to the interests of all."
learning  laptops  society  etiquette  teaching  information  multitasking  attention  pedagogy  overload  filtering  via:preoccupations  newmedia  flow  time  rss  gtd  socialmedia 
january 2009 by robertogreco
To Do: Check Out Remember The Milk Gmail Gadget - ReadWriteWeb
"What RTM offers - in gadget form - is the to-do list that Gmail users have been asking Google to build, and RTM does an admirable job of satisfying those requests.

Using the new gadget, Remember The Milk users get task and to-do functionality in the Gmail sidebar, allowing them to review, add, edit, and manage tasks, without ever leaving the comfort of the Gmail interface."
google  productivity  rememberthemilk  todo  gmail  gtd  readwriteweb 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Change Agent - Issue 31
"next time you review résumés, try ignoring all of "perfectly qualified" applicants...disqualify everyone who is clearly competent to do the job at hand...Don't hire people w/ experience at another airline unless you're sure that they can unlearn what they've learned at that other airline. "Competence" is too often another word for "bad attitude." Instead, find serial incompetents - folks who are quick enough to master a task & restless enough to try something new. The zoomers...Competent people resist change. Why? Because change threatens to make them less competent. And competent people like being competent. That's who they are, and sometimes that's all they've got. No wonder they're not in a hurry to rock the boat...In the face of change, the competent are helpless. It doesn't take a lot of time to change...to reinvent…or to redesign. No, it doesn't take time; it takes will. The will to change. The will to take a risk. The will to become incompetent – at least for a while."
sethgodin  innovation  change  productivity  gamechanging  learning  creativity  work  management  administration  leadership  business  philosophy  fastcompany  process  sociology  gtd  hiring  1999  reform  cv  unschooling  deschooling  unlearning 
october 2008 by robertogreco
russell davies: slow strategy
"whenever you hear mention of speed, it's worth remembering the eternal Project Triangle...if you're going to be quick then you're also going to either bad or expensive...going fast will tend to reduce the amount of collaboration you do...Fast strategy might yield a big idea, but a slow strategy, a socialised strategy is maybe more likely to yield a rich one....I guess the real answer, as always, is the shoddy compromise; make sure that you can think and do both quickly and slowly. And then work out which suits you and your circumstances more. Because doing strategy happily is probably more important than doing it quickly or slowly."
projectmanagement  slow  russelldavies  strategy  gtd  quality  thinking  planning  speed 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Some recent Merlin Mann goodness
"Merlin Mann has been on a tear lately. He's been rethinking what he wants to do with 43 Folders -- a site he started four years ago to think in public about Getting Things Done (and other stuff) -- which rethinking has resulted in a bunch of good writing on weblogs, creative work, and online media. Some links and excerpts follow."

From Merlin Mann:

"What makes you feel less bored soon makes you into an addict. What makes you feel less vulnerable can easily turn you into a dick. And the things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks - empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen.

Don't get me wrong. Gumming the edges of popular culture and occasionally rolling the results into a wicked spitball has a noble tradition that includes the best work of of Voltaire, Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and a handful of people I count as good friends and brilliant editors. There's nothing wrong with fucking shit up every single day. But you have to bring some art to it. Not just typing.

What worries me are the consequences of a diet comprised mostly of fake-connectedness, makebelieve insight, and unedited first drafts of everything. I think it's making us small. I know that whenever I become aware of it, I realize how small it can make me. So, I've come to despise it."
kottke  merlinmann  gtd  change  writing  blogs  creativity  organization  time  attention  passion  meaning  boredome  purpose 
september 2008 by robertogreco
ideas are just a multiplier of execution - O'Reilly ONLamp Blog
"To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions."
business  entrepreneurship  ideas  gtd  innovation  creativity  process  execution  startup  design 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Overcoming Bias: Planning Fallacy
"planning fallacy is that people think they can plan...fairly reliable way to fix planning fallacy...Just ask how long similar projects have taken in the past, without considering any of the special properties of this project...ask an experienced outsider how long similar projects have taken.You'll get back an answer that sounds hideously long, and clearly reflects no understanding of the special reasons why this particular task will take less time. This answer is true. Deal with it."
estimation  time  planning  scheduling  projectmanagement  management  psychology  learning  gtd  fallacy  estimates  via:preoccupations 
august 2008 by robertogreco
tiny gigantic » Blog Archive » Smart-people traps
"1. Professions...tempted by rewards...pressured by family, culture...cannot leave security of pre-defined track...unwilling to explore themselves enough to see individual course...for many there is no passion or purpose, no vision or meaning, no intuitive individual truth...soul-sucking 2. Smart people are good at school...tempted to stay...whole lives...get into spiral of irrelevance & isolation from rest of world 3. Politics...trap...in order to change world through politics, you must gain power...4. Critical thinking...spend all formative years getting rewarded for finding problems...focusing on negative...leave school thinking way to be useful & show smarts is to point out why things won’t work, rather than using smarts to find a way forward"
society  careers  culture  intelligence  education  criticalthinking  cv  work  vocation  gtd  behavior  thinking  life  yearoff  gamechanging  making  learning  deschooling  unschooling  problemsolving  creativity  professionals  professions  change  freedom  value  lcproject  usefulness  academia  intellectualism  cynicism  entrepreneurship  activism  politics  rewards  fulfillment  via:preoccupations 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Tasktop Technologies
"Tasktop Technologies is striving to reduce the information overload faced daily by computer users through the introduction of task-focused tools and interfaces. With a task-focused approach, less really does become more."
productivity  software  gtd  management  projectmanagement  organization  lifehacks 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Macworld | Review: Basic to-do apps for iPhone and iPod touch
"I decided to focus on the first group—basic list managers—as I suspect that most iPhone owners will be more than satisfied by a simple app for tracking lists of to-dos. (We’ll be covering the other types of apps in future reviews.)"
iphone  applications  todolists  productivity  gtd  ios 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Things for iPhone and iPod touch
"Other task managers either oversimplify or are too difficult to use. Either way you are not getting stuff done. Things instead has the right balance between ease of use and powerful features. With Things' elegance and beautiful design, procrastinating ne
via:preoccupations  applications  iphone  gtd  lists  ios 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Interview with Garr Reynolds
"Work is not always about “getting things done” or always having something to show for it at that moment. Creative thinking, for example, requires alone time, solitude, and even thinking about a problem by not forcing it — that is, by not thinking a
work  time  life  slow  creativity  gtd  productivity  procrastination 
june 2008 by robertogreco
"Zerstreutheit" and the Attention Management Cure | 43 Folders
"Every one knows what attention is...taking possession by the mind, in clear & vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others"
attention  continuouspartialattention  time  organization  focus  gtd  lifehacks  words  german  via:russelldavies 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Linda Stone: Is it Time to Retire the Never-Ending List? - Living on The Huffington Post
"In the cases where people reported managing their time, they more often reported experiencing burn-out, they didn't know how much longer they could go on at their particular job or lifestyle. There was often a sense of helplessness and overwhelm."

[also posted at: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2008/06/is-it-time-to-retire-the-never.html ]
lindastone  productivity  gtd  management  time  lifehacks  burnout  overload  efficiency  clutter  attention  organization  lists  howto  focus  work  simplicity  life  gamechanging  psychology  continuouspartialattention 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Chore Wars :: Earning Experience Points for Housework
"Finally, you can claim experience points for housework. Recruit a party of adventurers from your household or office, and whenever one of you completes a chore, you can log it and claim XP."
games  housework  chores  arg  rpg  gamedesign  roleplaying  mmorpg  janemcgonigal  collaboration  gaming  productivity  parenting  seriousgames  gtd  classideas 
june 2008 by robertogreco
8 Useful Tips To Manage And Avoid RSS Overload
"Make a ' Primary ' or ' Everyday ' Folder, Make a ' News ' Folder, Use Keyboard Shortcuts, Track your time, Create an ' Unread ' Folder, Mark all as read when required, Search, Analyze once in a while"
feeds  howto  gtd  rss  overload  management  tips 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Online Web Notes - UberNote
" UberNote is an all purpose notes and personal information manager accessible through your Internet web browser. Do you use yahoo mail, gmail, or hotmail? Just like those systems allow you to access your email, UberNote is used to access your personal no
notes  productivity  tools  onlinetoolkit  webapp  notetaking  reminders  gtd  applications 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Cornell Notetaking Method Custom PDF Generator
"create custom notetaking sheets for any or all of your classes. The custom sheets can be blank (Cornell Style), ruled, or graph style. They are output with your name, the name of your class, and the date - that is, if you provide that information."
onlinetoolkit  pdf  generator  notetaking  productivity  notes  tools  gtd  studentsupplylist  classideas 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Isolator
"small menu bar application that helps you concentrate. When you're working on a document, and don't want to be distracted, turn on Isolator. It will cover up your desktop and all the icons on it, as well as the windows of all your other applications, so
mac  osx  software  productivity  tools  utilities  gtd  screen  freeware  via:migurski 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Living the Prolific Life: A How-to Guide | Zen Habits
"Prolific people often purposefully take on mindless jobs because it allows them to devote their thoughts entirely to art...People who engage in cognitively taxing jobs are often too mentally exhausted at the end of the day to be creative."
creativity  productivity  lifehacks  work  howto  simplicity  habits  glvo  gtd  efficiency  philosophy 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Disconnecting Distraction
"Eventually, though, it became clear that the Internet had become so much more distracting that I had to start treating it differently. Basically, I had to add a new application to my list of known time sinks: Firefox."
gtd  paulgraham  addiction  productivity  procrastination  tips  advice  learning  lifehacks  discipline  technology  television  tv  multitasking  psychology  attention  management  work  distraction  add  adhd  internet  concentration  information 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Tips For Dealing With Information Overload
"I sent a couple of people the following question: “What are your top tips for dealing with information overflow?” Here are some of their answers"
information  productivity  overload  attention  informationmanagement  hacks  multitasking  infooverload  GTD  lifehacks 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Time Management. Polychronic time.
"polychronic person will use plans but is quite happy to be flexible in approach to achieve desired goal...may flit from project to project as mood takes them gaining inspiration from one project to utilise on other. Flexibility is a useful trait of the polychronic person."
cv  time  gtd  generalists  flexibility 
may 2008 by robertogreco
10 Things I Learned from Mental Detox Week | iain tait | crackunit.com
"phones are good; email can wait; ipods breed ipods; pens vs pixels; screens & sleep (funny side-effect); fractalization of stuff; computers create width not focus; felt cut off from stuff not people; w/out computers felt less creative; computers are easy
via:cityofsound  computers  detox  technology  ipod  gtd  television  tv  internet  wen  analog  concentration  process  attention  productivity  creativity  focus  learning  digital 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Cory Doctorow: How to stop your inbox exploding | Technology | guardian.co.uk
"1. Sort your inbox by subject 2. Colour-code messages from known senders 3. Kill people who make you crazy 4. Half-resign from mailing lists 5. Keep a pending list"
lifehacks  productivity  internet  tips  organization  gtd  overload  howto  corydoctorow  email 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Get Smarter: 12 Hacks That Will Amp Up Your Brainpower
"1. Distract Yourself 2. Caffeinate With Care 3. Choose Impressive Information 4. Think Positive 5. Do the Right Drugs 6. Juice Your IQ Score 7. Know Your Brain 8. Don't Panic 9. Embrace Chaos 10. Get Visual 11. Exercise Wisely 12. Slow Down"
brain  productivity  memory  neuroscience  comprehension  memorization  education  efficiency  learning  lifehacks  knowledge  mind  tips  gtd  science  psychology  sleep  drugs  health  medicine  howto 
april 2008 by robertogreco
10 Ways History’s Finest Kept Their Focus at Work | LifeDev
"1. Don’t work long hours 2. Take breaks 3. Take even longer breaks 4. Stop work and sit down for meals 5. Don’t work in the afternoons 6. Mix it up 7. Aim low 8. Take time to relax 9. Get up early(?) 10. Exercise!"
productivity  lifehacks  howwework  work  life  leadership  happiness  advice  health  balance  gtd  habits  management  time  workflow  efficiency 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Remember everything. | Evernote Corporation
"Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from anywhere."
software  productivity  evernote  memory  web  online  internet  search  bookmarks  bookmarking  aggregator  semanticweb  webapps  notetaking  mindmapping  gtd  memex  database  onlinetoolkit  iphone  notebooks  notes 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Whining, Blue Smoke & the Mechanics of Getting Unstuck | 43 Folders
"whining should be telling you something...{it's] the blue smoke in your tailpipe that lets you know you’re burning mental oil...you’re unconsciously devoting cycles to something that you can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t be spending time thinking abou
productivity  lifehacks  writing  creativity  gtd  advice  procrastination  motivation  whining  learning  work  boredom 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Infomania: Why we can’t afford to ignore it any longer
"combination of e–mail overload & interruptions is widely recognized as major disrupter of knowledge worker productivity & quality of life, yet few organizations take serious action against it....action should be a high priority, by analyzing the severe
email  distraction  attention  productivity  work  technology  sms  concentration  continuouspartialattention  burnout  gtd  interruptions  psychology  stress 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Getting Real: Alone Time (by 37signals)
"Many people prefer to work either early in the morning or late at night — times when they're not being bothered. When you have a long stretch when you aren't bothered, you can get in the zone. The zone is when you are most productive."
productivity  gtd  attention  cv  work  flow  37signals  interruptions  time  offices  officedesign  psychology 
march 2008 by robertogreco
RescueTime: Web-based Time Management Software
"web-based time-management tool that allows you to easily understand how you spend your time. One of the coolest things about RescueTime is that there is NO DATA ENTRY. You install a doohicky on your computer and we magically track all of your time usage.
attention  projectmanagement  productivity  habits  gtd  procrastination  management  time  software  web2.0  lifehacks  statistics  applications  mac  osx  windows  webapps  monitoring  tracking 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Internet Evolution - Cory Doctorow - The Pleasures of Uninterrupted Communication
"You'd think that I ran some kind of IM in the background, and picked up the phone a dozen times a day to chat...You'd be wrong. But once you add an interruptive medium like IM, unscheduled calls, or pop-up notifiers of mail, flow turns into chop."
attention  communication  email  internet  overload  productivity  emailapnea  continuouspartialattention  alwayson  flow  technology  GTD  corydoctorow  online  writing  multitasking  im  addiction  culture  information  mobile  work  web 
march 2008 by robertogreco
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