Productivity

Interesting suggestions about productivity:

I’ve learned that I can’t be very productive working on things I don’t care about or don’t like. So I just try not to put myself in a position where I have to do them (by delegating, avoiding, or something else). Stuff that you don’t like is a painful drag on morale and momentum.

This is very true. We are always extremely productive on things we enjoy doing. In academia, this is particularly pertinent advice. People often choose the research topics they think they should be working on instead of the stuff they really care about and end up dragging their feet on publishing anything.

And more:

I sometimes go through periods of a week or two where I just have no motivation to do anything (I suspect it may have something to do with nutrition). This sucks and always seems to happen at inconvenient times. I have not figured out what to do about it besides wait for the fog to lift, and to trust that eventually it always does.

I know exactly what he’s talking about. To me it’s not about nutrition but, rather, an indication that I need a break. A break means reading a lot of junk books and watching tons of junk TV.

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5 thoughts on “Productivity”

  1. My experience has been the same. I still haven’t figured out what causes the loss of productivity. Consuming junk information doesn’t help in my case. Maybe I should look at what I’m eating.

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  2. It’s a great post you linked to. It doesn’t seem like its author has kids, which does mess with the ability to sleep etc., but other than that he’s right on the money.

    If I’m feeling saturated, I have to take a break, and the fog eventually lifts. Netflix is there for the intervening days.

    Being in academia, I have tremendous freedom over when I work on what. Once I embraced the fact that I should work on what I really want to work on first until I’m sated, the productivity shot up through the roof. This includes working on my fiction as well as academic writing. It’s interesting that this past academic year, since I’ve spent a ton of time writing fiction, yet I’ve had the highest hit rate in years in terms of getting grants funded! Perhaps coincidental, but perhaps not.

    I usually take a full day to check off a lot of stupid brainless shit; that’s usually on the days I have meetings I couldn’t get out of, so those days are ruined anyway.

    Sleep is important, food is important. Sugar really does a number on me so I really have to avoid it (even though I love it so). Green leafy veggies are really important. Sure, as my kid would say, it’s all basically grass, but apparently grass is important.

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