Sunday, 15 February 2009

10 practice how to improve your productivity

I keep myself as a workaholic guy. In the last few years I strove to be more and more productive. There are a couple of practices which save time for you a day. I want to share some of them with you. (DANGER! If you do exactly what is written, you can easily become to antisocial.:)

1 - do your household works rarely
When you washing dishes or clean your room there is a huge overhead to prepare for the process and after that it takes time to work again. If you buy 7 dinner sets or 40 pair of socks your costs are cleared in a few weeks. Do you know the activity scattering theory? If you have N jobs and the i. job takes Ti time than:
T1 + T2 + ... + TN = SUM(Ti)i=1..N * SQRT(N) * 1.2
So it takes more than the total time because you can't change tasks in a moment.
win ~ 3.5 hours a week

2 - walk fast
Be quick whatever you have to do if its not your work. Walk fast to your work and home. An average human walks with 3-5 km/h. When you fast you reach even 10-13 km/h. Anyway, you don't have do window shopping or sightseeing. Products are expensive and the city is boring.
win ~ 2 hours a week

3 - use a mindmap
Thinking on things you don't remember eats time. Nobody can hold everything in his or her head. With a mindmap you can maintain all the things you are going to do. There are bunch of free mindmap applications on the internet. Freemind, MindMeister, MindOMO... If you don't know the GTD methodology, I suggest you to read about it.
win ~ 2.5 hours a week

4 - create the best desktop environment
You can save a lot of time with a well configured desktop. There are some of the best practices:
  • fast dial icons everywhere (frequently visited bookmarks, most used program icons...)
  • scripts for frequent processes (remote connection, generate things, version tracking practices...)
  • use online tools: email, rss reader, mindmap, storage, server works (thus you can work everywhere)
  • make a unix setup script with your custom configuration files, commands and installation profiles (reduce os installation time)
  • use 2 monitors instead of 1 large
win ~ 3 hours a week

5 - listen power metal a lot
If you are listening dynamic music (power metal, speed metal) you feel yourself to be forced to work faster. And it gives you energy as well.
win ~ 1 hour a week

6 - you have to deal with tiredness
Mature human needs about 6 hours of sleeping a day. But even if you sleep 6 hours, you could be tired. I know coffee is popular, but fruits and vegetables are important as well. And also you can organize your works. For example if you are tired, let's do some boring administration stuff. And thus you can do the hard work when you can concentrate.
win ~ 2 hours a week

7 - buy books instead of reading PDFs (but keep those too)
Books are cheap if you think how they can help your job. And you can read faster real pages than the screen. You can add comments and highlight parts easily as well. But PDF documents are really useful when you want to search on a certain keywords.
win ~ 1.5 hours a week

8 - don't have lunch at home
Making your own food takes a lot of time. Buying ingredients. Preparing. Cooking. Eating. Cleaning. And in this case you have to find out what do you want to eat. And to get healthy ingredients cost a lot. Restaurants are cheaper and more efficient.
win ~ 3 hours a week

9 - buy more RAM and use faster internet connection
Everybody hates waiting for programs to start or give feedbacks. Even if it takes a few minutes it happens a hundred or thousand times a day during your work, so let's multiply it: few seconds x 1000 = few 1000 seconds ~ 1 hour . Don't forget a major rule! If you can get things faster, you get things faster, thus you do get more of them. More = better.
win ~ 1 hour a week

10 - never try to guess how many tips you've got before you write a 'TOP X' article
I wasted about an hour with thinking about the 10th practice. But I haven't got any other really efficient idea. Don't waste your own time with useless things.
win ~ 1 hour

Total - you win ~20.5 hours a week! Not bad. If you get 40$ for an hour it is 820$ a week. So a new MacBook is 1299$ and you can buy one in 12 days:) OMG that's beautiful:)

Be agile, be enthusiastic, be efficient. That's it. Thanks for reading it.

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