Posted on Sat 23 August 2014

Setting your day up for Productivity

I have this habit of saving interesting articles to read them later on, maybe when I'm commuting on the tube (using Pocket). Sometimes I keep them after reading, to peruse again at a later time, mull them over a little. Case in point, [cached]An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day And Finding Focus from Farnam Street.

After reading it for the third or fourth time, I realized that my days really need some structure. Or, more specifically, a game plan of the most important goals that I plan to achieve that day. Yes, I'm generally quite productive anyway - I've been called scarily productive before -, but a downside of just randomly working on what seems interesting at the moment is that at the end of the day it feels like you haven't actually accomplished all that much. Or at least it's hard to remember.

I plan to change this with a two pronged approach:

  • Using snippets to capture what I did every day, just a few keywords and short sentences. I already do this at work, but not privately. I also plan to extend it to weekly and monthly reviews, just to get a sense of my overall progress.
  • Setting up specific goals for the next day every evening. This can be anything from "collect my shirts from the tailor" to "study for 50 points on Duolingo" or "read one research paper in machine learning".

We'll see how well that works. I don't necessarily expect it to make myself more productive, just to give me a better sense of my productivity.

Tags: life, rationality

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