Hello! I’m back…
I can’t believe that I’ve been away from this site for so long.
After the conference I was at in Dublin, I prepared and gave two days of training for university librarians, I (finally!) finished my Chartership portfolio and officially became a chartered librarian in the UK, I went on a family holiday in Senegal, and came back to be bedridden for a week with a bad virus.
It’s been quite busy and eventful, and I’m still quite exhausted. But I’m back!
So, since I’m working on getting back in a normal schedule, I thought a little link round-up on productivity would be quite appropriate.
Let’s start with some of my favourite articles on the topic.
Bad news: once you’re done with grad school, it just gets busier.
Raul Pacheco-Vega lets us look over his shoulder and have a look at what his daily workflow looks like.
“I’ve decided for that one moment a day to be the opposite of efficient. […] We can’t be efficient all the time, or at least we shouldn’t. I’m looking forward for someone to write a book on the times when it’s okay to be human at the expense of efficiency. Why not?“
The monster to slay: Procrastination
How to break a high level procrastinating habit with tick boxes.
Procrastination doesn’t only have adverse effects… it can also be somewhat beneficial.
“Academic writing can feel like a chore, akin to a distant relative who comes and sits in the corner of your bedroom, consuming endless cups of coffee and giving nothing in return. But the trick, I have learnt, is to shake that relative by the hand and say, ‘Ah, let us dance.’”
“Be inspired from your time of procrastination and start working again not because you have to, but that you want to.”
On structured procrastination and why it probably won’t work for the author of this post.
How to conquer both boredom and procrastination without feeling overwhelmed by work.
“If I’m going to move forward in a truly meaningful way, I have to write. When I don’t, I fail myself. […] By not doing it, I build a wall of dread blocking me from enjoying myself.”
When perfection rhymes with procrastination: “I can get stuck for so long trying to make something ‘perfect’; the ultimate unachievable goal.”
Here are six suggestions to keep the momentum and build amazing habits.
The three components to successfully creating a new habit: understand why you want to start this habit; clearly define a realistic target for the new behavior that can be counted or measured; and track your actions.
Some apps suggestions to track your new habits.
Time Management and Deadlines
Strategies (and reasons) for being more productive with fewer hours.
How to organise your tasks to make sure that you act on what’s both urgent and important first.
“Why is the five minute timer different from any other time management technique? Because there’s a lot of merit in having short, intense bursts of work towards getting things done.”
On the difference between soft, self-imposed deadlines and hard deadlines.
When setting deadlines, try and overestimate the time required.
“When the pressure is on and you are doing things in a hurry, it’s all too easy to forget a small but important step in your procedure. This is where checklists come in useful.”
“To do lists often look more like wish lists by leaving the important stuff out, reducing hours or months of work into one line, without helping you to turn your list into reality…” So here are some strategies to create to-do lists that actually work.
Using Google Keep to create to-do lists.
Quick tip: don’t write your to-do lists in a notebook but on a piece of paper that you can keep visible on your desk or carry with you.
Indeed, “If you’ve found your digital solutions to daily organization becoming more work than help, it might be time to give paper another chance.”
“Obviously, there is nothing wrong with liking to be organized. […] But, lists don’t really work for me and never have; quite the contrary.”
A review of the book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.
How to use the app ‘RescueTime’ to help with your writing goals: “RescueTime also allows you to set your Writing Goals for the day. In my case, I try to write 2 hours per day. I can assure you that it is not easy to do (the counting starts when you start to type; when you stop typing, the system also stops counting).”
9 highly useful tools for academics.
A list of useful tools for an effective workflow.
How to apply the “Getting Things Done” methodology with Omnifocus2.
A quick guide to using email rules to organise your inbox.
Some helpful tips to handle your email and hit Inbox Zero.
How to avoid distraction in a busy office: use headphones.
A great list of things you can listen to while working to increase your efficiency.
Working from home
Working at a home office vs working at a campus office.
The difficulty of dissertating or working from home.
Working from home might not be for everyone: on not working from home.
And you? How do you stay productive? Have you read any interesting article on the topic recently? Share them in the comments!