One of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to focus. Anything you can do to improve your focus is going to make you more successful. Any non-trivial task requires focus and attention if you want to reach any level of productivity. When you aren't focused, tasks take significantly longer, are prone to mistakes and in some cases progress is impossible. Multi-tasking Myth The multi-tasking myth has done more to destroy our ability to focus than just about anything. People consider multi-tasking to be something they are proud of. After all, computers multi-task right? It turns out that humans are amazingly horrible at multi-tasking. Many people feel like they are … [Read more...] about Improve Your Focus
Personal productivity is something that is fairly difficult to quantify. Most people tend to just assume if they are doing better than the average person, then they are doing well. For people who really want to achieve their full potential, simply comparing themselves with others isn't particularly rewarding because it doesn't say anything about their true capabilities. If most of your work is repetitive or easily quantifiable, it is easy to measure your productivity against yourself. You just consider how many of units of work you accomplished in a given amount of time. Unfortunately, most work doesn't lend itself to this type of measurement. If we could measure both our … [Read more...] about Skill & Focus
The internet is a valuable tool that can let us do things faster than anything we imagined 20 years ago. But at the same time it can be a very big time waster. The internet is kind of like a dictionary with beautiful illustrated pictures. It is wonderful to look at, but it can take 10 times longer to actually do anything up because of all the amazing (and distracting) pictures: Lets see how do you spell "artichoke"....neat here is a nice little drawing of an airplane...wait what was I...oh yeah "artichoke" ok that will be a little further...what is that a picture of?....oh an anteater. I didn't realize their noses were so long. Ok now focus...."artichoke". Hm. How do they know what … [Read more...] about Internet–Friend or Foe for Productivity?
Have you ever wished you could tune out background noise--maybe to drown out an annoying co-worker or just to stay focused? I know a lot of people use music for this, but personally I find music divides my concentration (a possible side effect of my training in music theory and composition). To help concentrate I need something that will stay in the background. Trying a bunch of sounds, I've found that water seems to be the most effective. Someday I'll probably get a fountain for my office, but until then I've created an MP3 file to help me concentrate. I'm making the file available as a special bonus to RSS and Email subscribers. If you'd like to download it, just subscribe to the … [Read more...] about Ambient Sound Download – The Brook