Productive Flow.

Science of productivity

Here is a thing something everyone wishes they could do more of and better: enter flow.

The zone, the right headspace, focus.

Maria Popova is great on this topic

What makes people more productive? And what do you need around you?

How can you get stuff done? This video overviews some obvious but good approaches.

1. If it’s boring and easy, let there be music or noise.

2. If it requires deep thought, you need quiet.

Here’s the cognitive scientist Ronald Kellogg:

The lack of interruption in trains of thought may be the critical ingredient in an environment that enables creative flow.

3. Do sprints — exercise and writing and other work — spend a few hours then rest

4. Start start start start —> starting gets you going. Otherwise your desire to be productive will set you off on a chain of useless stuff. (“Structured procrastination”)

5. Be visible about your commitments. Make a list of what you want to do and put it in front of you. Put them in order. Write checks/lines when you finish stuff. Tell other people. Examples of ideas for this are here at Sparring Mind.

6. Avoid interruptions. Go away from email, people, meetings, calls. You can do this by switching the time of day or location of your work. Set out a schedule when you do this.

The famous writer George Plimpton via Popova:

When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible.

The legendary management thinker Peter Drucker says the same. “Know thy time.” Here and here. And McKinsey talking about how whole companies suffer from bad habits of time management inside.

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