The following is an excerpt from L.V. Anderson | April 27, 2016 | Slate.com |
I think of myself as a reasonably, but not extraordinarily, productive person. I produce articles for Slate at a fairly steady pace, meet most deadlines, and have never had a major bout of writer’s block. At the same time, I procrastinate daily, often fall behind on email exchanges, and almost never complete projects ahead of schedule. I usually feel more like I’m treading water than crushing it at work.
I’ve tried making daily to-do lists, keeping time logs, and using browser-blocking apps like StayFocusd to keep me from wasting time on the internet. Each has helped for a short period, then stopped helping when I got distracted or lost interest. The world is awash with productivity tips, tricks, and hacks intended to help people like me break our bad work habits. You can buy books, visit websites, and download apps devoted exclusively to the art of productivity. Personal productivity has become a large enough niche that the productivity site Lifehack can publish a list of “50+ Personal Productivity Blogs You’ve Never Heard of Before,” which is filled with shorthand like “GTD” (the method laid out in the 2001 productivity bible Getting Things Done) and “4-hour workweek” (the concept that helped self-help guru Tim Ferriss launch his empire). For people who find plain old to-do lists boring, apps like Habitica and Any.do promise to make task management more seamless and pleasurable. And to keep you motivated during your commute to and from work—a time traditionally immune to productivity—there are plenty of podcasts devoted to disseminating productivity advice.
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