Tag Archives: productivity

The Hard Way #10: Know Your Own Style

A bunch of my Facebook friends over the last couple of days have reposted an article by Gregory Semenza, on the value of writing for ten minutes each day. I think that’s great advice for some people, but I also think that one’s maximum productivity is about knowing one’s strengths – and one’s limitations. While I’ve never thought of myself as particularly productive (or particularly unproductive), enough people have suggested that I am particularly productive that I thought that maybe I should weigh in on how that came to be – especially since the ‘writing for ten minutes each day’ thing – especially at the start of a project, where I really need some time to be able to think about what it is going to look like.

I do think that its universal that being goal-oriented is important to productivity, but I think it is important to listen to yourself and your strengths and weaknesses to figure out how to best do that. For me, people often suggest that I ‘don’t sleep’ to get the sort of productivity that I have. Actually, I sleep eight hours most nights, and find myself grumpy and unhappy when I don’t get the opportunity. In fact, I find desiring to sleep one of my most effective work-incentivization tools.

So if I don’t write ten minutes every day, what do I do to keep up with work? Here’s some stuff that works for me, though it may not work for you:

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The Six Productivity Habits of Unproductive Hack Gurus

I guess most would admit I am productive.  I would not claim I am very successful, but at least the output part of my work world is covered.  What really amuses me is the huge self help industry that seems to have little grasp on what helps people succeed or be productive.  To me, the simplest advice for being productive is setting out a few goals in the morning and working till you make some sort of progress, no matter how small, towards those goals.

This article in the Business Insider, posted to the Glasgow graduate student network, amused me to no end.  Of their six points, I absolutely reject every one of them and do the opposite.  The points remind me of the various gurus who run around telling everyone productive people get up at 4am and that is good for you.  For some reason this is a “productivity hack“, I will leave them the dawn while I wake up like a normal person when my internal clock tells me to.

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