Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Posts Tagged ‘productivity

More productivity blogs

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Dustin Wax compiled a long list of productivity blogs (see this post). Then his readers suggested 15 more that he hadn’t mentioned. At that link you can also read his comments on why such a long list.

Written by Leisureguy

21 July 2008 at 9:24 am

Posted in Daily life

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Clearing the old To-Do list

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Some good tips from Lifehack.org. I demur only in the hint to put hard tasks first. While it’s a good idea to front-load the list with the harder tasks, I find it easier to get going if the first task or two is very easy: I quickly complete it/them, check off the box(es), and have gained momentum for the first challenge. YMMV, of course.

  • Clear your schedule. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you give yourself a large chunk of time. A to-do ending day can’t be filled with all the regular errands of your life. The entire day needs to be focused on killing that list, so pick a day where you can have complete control over your time.
  • Wake up early. Building momentum is critical. Even if waking up at 5 am isn’t a usual event for you, it can be helpful here. Which do you think will give you the right start: dragging yourself out of bed at ten o’clock, or forcing yourself to start moving at six?
  • Collect your to-do list. If you have tasks and projects scattered over different parts of your life, you need to collect them into one list. One list detailing everything you want to have accomplished, on one piece of paper you can hold in front of you.
  • Know the end. What does being finished look like? Every task should have a clear goal and purpose beyond just getting done. You can spend an entire day attacking your to-do list and accomplishing nothing if you aren’t clear on the final picture.
  • Put hard tasks first. Pick your biggest and most difficult tasks and start on them first. Putting off the hard work is a sure sign it won’t get done. By putting the difficult tasks first, you also build a momentum that allows you to focus easily.

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Written by Leisureguy

13 November 2007 at 11:47 am

Posted in Daily life

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Interesting chart with implications

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French productivity

The chart above graphs French Gross Domestic Product per hour worked as a percentage of US Gross Domestic Product per hour worked since 1960. As you see, the French started out with a productivity only about 60% of US productivity, but improving. By around 1986 French productivity was on a part with US productivity, and then it got better than US productivity, though it’s tending back to match. The chart’s from a post by Paul Krugman (and a comment on that post points out a possible problem with the data), who links to this article by John Schmitt and Dean Baker:

All the bad news about the bursting of the US housing bubble and the related meltdown in US share markets has deflected the world’s attention from what is arguably an even more fundamental problem facing the US economy: the sharp deceleration in productivity growth since the middle of 2004.

For Americans, the long-run implications of this little-discussed slowdown, if sustained, are actually more important to future living standards than any of the other events currently worrying world markets. For Europeans, long-encouraged to see the United States as the flexible economic ideal, the productivity slowdown sounds another note of caution about the US model. Europeans already know that the US economy generates substantial inequality. The last three years of slow productivity growth now suggest that all that inequality apparently doesn’t even guarantee faster growth.

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Written by Leisureguy

16 October 2007 at 10:53 am

Posted in Business, Daily life

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