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Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Nov 15, 2019 at 23:30.

Use Friday to Plan the Following Week

Use Friday to Plan the Following Week

Many of us have little rituals to help us transition out of the work week and make the weekend as relaxing as possible. Maybe you go to happy hour; maybe you order takeout; if you’re me, maybe you tidy up your apartment and light a scented candle.

Productivity expert Laura Vanderkam suggests adding one more item to your Friday to-do list: planning the next week.

Long-time blog readers know that...

Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Nov 14, 2019 at 02:00.

Keep Yourself on Task by Checking In With Maesure

Keep Yourself on Task by Checking In With Maesure

Maesure is a free, tiny web-based time tracker. Every ten minutes, Maesure asks what you’ve been doing, and you tell it. It’s a no-frills alternative to sophisticated time trackers like RescueTime. But I like it as a way to stay focused in the moment.

Unlike more full-featured time trackers, Maesure isn’t actively watching what apps and sites you have open. The only power it has is to pop up a...

David Murphy David Murphy Nov 13, 2019 at 22:00.

Automatically Organize Your Downloads With This Chrome Extension

Automatically Organize Your Downloads With This Chrome Extension

Chrome: I download a lot of things. We all do. In my case, my Windows Downloads folder is basically my catch-all for everything I’m working on, as well as the primary archive for files and folders I need to save somewhere else (but haven’t yet). This means said Downloads folder can get unruly, and I have found a new Chrome extension to fix that.

You can probably guess what the extension does...

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Nov 12, 2019 at 00:30.

How Your Strict Budget Can Become a Time Suck

How Your Strict Budget Can Become a Time Suck

If you want to achieve your financial goals, you’re going to need to have some cash set aside for unexpected expenses.

If you want to achieve your time-based goals, whether that’s “completing my work by 5 p.m.” or “writing a 50,000-word novel in November,” you’ll need to set aside time for both your work and the unexpected stuff that gets in the way of your work.

How to Nail NaNoWriMo This...
Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Nov 09, 2019 at 01:30. 3 comments

Ask Yourself 'What Would This Task Look Like If It Were Fun?'

Ask Yourself 'What Would This Task Look Like If It Were Fun?'

If you follow productivity guru Tim Ferriss, you might be familiar with his mindset-changing question “What would this look like if it were easy?”

As he explains in his book Tribe of Mentors:

What would this look like if it were easy? is such a lovely and deceptively leveraged question. It’s easy to convince yourself that things need to be hard, that if you’re not redlining, you’re not trying...

3 Comments

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Nov 05, 2019. 9 comments

Find Extra Hours in Your Day With These 'Time Multipliers'

Find Extra Hours in Your Day With These 'Time Multipliers'

Not every day can come with an extra hour attached—so for the rest of the year, we’ll have to figure out how to create our own.

I use RescueTime to keep track of how I’m spending my day, and the RescueTime blog recently shared a post about using “time multipliers” to reduce the amount of time it takes to get things done:

A time multiplier is a strategy or tool that creates more free time for...

9 Comments

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Oct 28, 2019. 19 comments

How to Make It Look Like You're at Your Desk

How to Make It Look Like You're at Your Desk
Evil WeekEvil WeekWelcome to Evil Week, our annual chance to delve into all the slightly sketchy hacks we'd usually refrain from recommending. Want to weasel your way into free drinks, play elaborate mind games, or, er, launder some money? We've got all the info you need to successfully be unsavory.Prev Next View All

You don’t need to be in the office to get work done—but sometimes it’s a...

19 Comments

Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Oct 25, 2019. 11 comments

Never Start With a Blank Page

Never Start With a Blank Page

Creative block is over, if you want it. If you’re stuck without ideas in a brainstorm or a project, you just need to use this simple system: consume things, take notes, and bring those notes with you. Here’s how to do that effectively.

Writer, performer, and Christmas elf David Sedaris says his work is more learned skill than special talent: “Everybody’s got an eye for something. The only...

11 Comments

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Oct 24, 2019. 1 comments

Schedule Every To-Do Item on Your List—or Trash It

Schedule Every To-Do Item on Your List—or Trash It

If you’ve got a to-do list filled with items you need to get done “someday,” it’s time to put those items on the calendar—or take them off the list.

I practice David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, which suggests developing a “someday/maybe” list of action items that you hope to do someday. (Maybe.)

This system also suggests that you review all of your outstanding to-do lists every week,...

1 Comments

David Murphy David Murphy Oct 01, 2019. 18 comments

How to Use Excel's Xlookup, the Newer and More Powerful Vlookup

How to Use Excel's Xlookup, the Newer and More Powerful Vlookup

I still remember the first day I figured out how to run a vlookup command in Excel; I was sitting at my coffee table wondering what the point of this silly little command was. Once I realized its power, I never went back. As a business analyst at Stanford University, I turned to vlookup constantly to get through my day’s work.

What’s a vlookup, you ask? For the uninformed, this fun little...

18 Comments

Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Sep 18, 2019. 1 comments

Before You Start an Email, Set a Timer

Before You Start an Email, Set a Timer

If you have trouble writing and replying to emails, here’s a simple trick: Set a timer for three minutes. Now write that whole email before the time runs out.

You’re not allowed to keep writing past three minutes. In fact, if you want to write any more, you have to wait until tomorrow and do another three-minute chunk. How about you wrap up before your three minutes are over? That seems...

1 Comments

Lisa Rowan Lisa Rowan Sep 13, 2019. 2 comments

Use Old School Index Cards for Capturing New Ideas

Use Old School Index Cards for Capturing New Ideas

I’ve tried Evernote and Scrivener, paper planners and Moleskines, and seemingly every app under the sun to capture my ideas. But I keep coming back to one simple, underrated tool to catch those half-baked ideas and thoughts that don’t seem to fit in anywhere else. The perfect place is the humble index card.

Sure, index cards have come and gone from our personal organization systems. Fewer of...

2 Comments

Emily Price Emily Price Sep 01, 2019. 5 comments

Increase Your Productivity By Listening to White Noise While You Work

Increase Your Productivity By Listening to White Noise While You Work

Working in an office can often be a distracting experience, so distracting that the mindless chatter around you ends up making your productivity take a hit.

One of the easiest ways to eliminate those distractions, at least a few of them, is to throw on a pair of headphones. However, if you’re like me, listening to music can often be just as distracting as listening to my coworker talk about...

5 Comments

Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Aug 26, 2019. 11 comments

The Ultimate List of Work and Study Music

The Ultimate List of Work and Study Music

I can’t work in silence. And if I’m working with words—which is most of the time—I can’t work while playing typical pop, rock, or hip-hop. So I collect instrumental and foreign-language music on a scale better measured by weeks than by hours. Here are some of my greatest sources of background music for work, studying, and creativity.

Recommendation ListsFlow State: This is my very favorite way...

11 Comments

Brendan Hesse Brendan Hesse Aug 24, 2019. 11 comments

What Are Your Favorite Apps for Taking Notes?

What Are Your Favorite Apps for Taking Notes?

The internet and subsequent rise of smartphones and cloud storage have revolutionized the act of taking notes. It’s easier than ever to save your thoughts (since we almost always have a connected device within arm’s reach), access them from a variety of other devices, and share them with people who need to know what you’re planning. Instead of losing grocery lists or sudden sparks of creative...

11 Comments

Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Aug 23, 2019.

David Allen's Favorite Productivity Books for Fans of 'Getting Things Done'

David Allen's Favorite Productivity Books for Fans of 'Getting Things Done'

David Allen, author of the productivity bible Getting Things Done , shares his five favorite books on productivity in a new interview on the site Five Books. GTD fans will recognize titles like Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto and Daniel J Levitin’s The Organized Mind . He names what makes each book so important, and discusses the influence of his own. Some highlights:

On self-selecting GTD...

Nick Douglas Nick Douglas Aug 21, 2019. 5 comments

How to Make the Pomodoro Technique Even More Effective

How to Make the Pomodoro Technique Even More Effective

Every few months, I try some version of the Pomodoro Technique , the famous productivity system where you take a 5-minute break every half hour, and a half-hour break every two and a half hours. I follow it closely, then I follow it loosely, then I give up. If this has happened to you, you might need to follow this simpler version.

Productivity 101: An Introduction to The Pomodoro Technique...

5 Comments

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Aug 14, 2019. 10 comments

What's on Your Desk Right Now, and Why Is It There?

What's on Your Desk Right Now, and Why Is It There?

Here’s what’s on my desk right now, from left to right: one laptop, one mug of tea (on a trivet), one notebook and pen, one smartphone (on silent, turned face-down), two bike lights that need charging, and one pothos plant.

Turns out that having my smartphone face down and on silent is a good start, but it might be even better if I put the phone in a drawer instead of directly on my desktop....

10 Comments

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Jul 23, 2019.

Use a Reverse To-Do List to Record Everything You've Done

Use a Reverse To-Do List to Record Everything You've Done

If you keep a to-do list, how do you track the stuff you get done that isn’t on the list?

I suspect nearly all of us have done the thing where you add a recently completed task to your to-do list just so you can have the pleasure of crossing it off, right?

With the reverse to-do list method, you add every completed task to your list—whether it was originally part of your to-do list or not.

Using...

Nicole Dieker Nicole Dieker Jul 18, 2019. 5 comments

Turn Your Procrastination Time Into Productive Time

Turn Your Procrastination Time Into Productive Time

Everybody procrastinates, whether or not we’re willing to admit it. The trick is to procrastinate by getting something else done.

This is a skill I picked up when I started practicing David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity system—which I first discovered on Lifehacker, 10 years ago.

Getting Things Done, Ten Years In

You don’t hear a lot of people talk about the Getting Things Done...

5 Comments

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