Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Productivity tips (former title: Removing distractions)

Removing distractions especially at work can boost your productivity, so they say. I gathered some tips from other blogs and added some more to improve your distraction-freeness productivity.

Close all applications and tabs you don't need. I cannot work when I see 30 windows and always have to think where to click. I have an average number of 2 windows in the taskbar and I am a programmer. I find myself periodically killing windows/tabs, when their numbers exceed 5.

Have a zero mailbox. I have it empty for 10 years now and I still live happily. Move your e-mail from your inbox when you're done with it. Try to read each of your e-mails just once. Take the wanted action (reply, fix something, etc.) and try to immediately decide if you will delete it or archive it.

Have a quite workplace. If you must listen to music, many people find it better to listen to instrumental music only (no vocals).

Clear your desk. I'm a minimalist, so I like my desk clean. I think this could also affect my productivity, but I don't really know.

Turn off on your IM. Or at least turn off the notification of the new messages. Or at least go invisible. I was wrong with turning off this one. Having worked in teams with other people, after some years of experience, I prefer to improve overall team productivity instead of my individual one. That means replying to all questions as soon as possible.

Turn off auto-check on e-mail. You should check for your e-mail once or twice a day. If you have to look on it more, decrease the frequency of auto-checker checks. Auto-checks of e-mail give false sense of urgency. Same as above.

Filter through your Don't use subscriptions. All the kinds. Clean RSS feeds, e-mail subscriptions, etc. After some years, I reconsidered, and I don't subscribe to anything anymore. Life is too short. If I want to learn something, I prefer to actively look for it myself.

Clean your computer desktop. There should be no icon, that you don't want to click multiple times per workday. Now I am on three.

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