Keeping Track Of The World

Research Methods for Regular People

Archive for the tag “Organization”

Improving your Internal Clock

If you do not have a good sense of how long it takes to accomplish your work you will soon be frustrated by either not having enough time to get things done or having more time than you need without the resources to move on to other tasks.

For this reason in is important to develop one’s sense of time. I accomplish this in a number of different ways:

  • I Track the time I spend working. This gives me a general sense of how much time I spend on my regular tasks. Using a time tracker I discovered how little of my day was actually on task and what I spend my time on.
  • I set a specific time period to work on one task. The evidence is that we don’t multitask very well. Focusing on one task at a time concentrates our energy and often leads to greater productivity. One system that aims to help you with this is the Pomodoro Technique.
  • I turn off my email. As soon as a message flashes across my screen my first urge is to answer it. Even if I choose not to, my focus has been broken and I need to spend time returning my attention to what I was working on. There are times when you need to be instantly accessible but most of the time an email can wait an hour or two before you answer it. It is hard to estimate how long a task takes if you are constantly being interrupted.

This ideas are only scratching the surface. For much more information I recommended taking a look at How to Hone the Accuracy of Your Internal Clock and Better Understand Your Time on Lifehacker.


Keeping Focus

I follow a number of blogs whose objective is to help people become more productive in their work. Despite its strange name and rather unattractive website I have found that Dumb Little Man: Tips for Life consistently has useful articles that provide quick tips for becoming more effective in work and in life.

Most recently a post on 5 Steps to Laser-Sharp Focus caught my attention because I have been struggling with distraction lately. Check it out and let me know in the comments any suggestions you have for improving focus.

Getting Things Done

There are many different ways of organizing one’s life so you actually accomplish something. The method that has worked best for me is David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. It is only one of many options but if you don’t have a current system it is worth a look.

On his website Allen sells all manner  of paraphernalia to help people learn and implement his system but if you can discipline yourself to read a short book I recommend you just read his first book: Getting Things Done.

Allen also produces a blog that provides helpful tips on how to work his system. Here is the latest edition: Productive Living.

Do you have another system that works for you or experiences with Getting Things Done? Let me know in the comments.

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