Everything I know
I define a set of
for myself to follow. They all act as a framework for how I lead my life and
keep my focus
Focusing on what's important
as my personal task manager. I
in my calendar and plan the day/week in context of my tasks & priorities.
I work on
I find valuable to me most & make things.
I focus on
& limit distractions (only essential notifications setup).
I support my
by working on projects that I care about and looking after my
I have 2Do setup to schedule a weekly Sunday review & plan task.
I love listening to
playlists when working.
If you are a fan of
from it always gets me going.
You can't manage projects. You can only manage actions related to projects.
Brains aren’t for holding info, they’re for thinking. So if you can empty your brain out by writing stuff onto a todo list, onto your calendar, etc, your brain will have more space for the high level stuff that’s a bit harder to get on paper. And if you wrote down “do thing” on the todo-list… well you just have to do the thing afterwards. There’s nothing to think about or redigest if you write out the things in more detail
If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.
Every high performer is fundamentally relaxed, and practices minimal use of effort to get a given result. Don't try harder: eliminate tensions.
Simply doodling on a Synth and enjoying the sounds, playing an instrument without trying to make a song, can be very relaxing and satisfying. Especially when you are a beginner at it. Otherwise you might be trying too hard to create something meaningful, destroying the pleasure in the process. So my advice would be not to attempt to create, but to simply indulge in the act and enjoy the flow.
When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being ‘good enough’ or b) confusion about what the first steps of the task are. Not laziness.
Working on anything nontrivial requires you to kind of take a deep breath and dive into the space for awhile.
Moving/batching all meetings to one day can be helpful. Or no meetings/calls on Thu/Fri as example.
Have a different room for work that’s separate from bedroom and living area. Take walks to break up the day. Take time off in evenings as reward.
Manage priorities rather than time.
Every evening, write down a daily schedule for the next day and try to stick to it as best as possible.
The sunk cost of perfectionism: Spending time making things you don't know anyone wants.
Not being busy is a competitive advantage. Most people are so strapped for time they can't take advantage of lucky opportunities or quickly resolve unexpected problems. The ideal combination is proactive and flexible. Protect your free time, but maintain a bias toward action.
Noise is a remarkably insidious form of pollution: a 10db noise increase (from dishwasher to vacuum) drops productivity by 5%.
The sweet spot seems to be 2 hours of leisure time per day. Over 5 hours of leisure time will actually make you feel worse.
Every time I feel like I lack time, I actually lack focus.
Action changes attitude faster than attitude changes action.
Never work on more than three to four initiatives.
One thing that’s really helped me is removing the words like “lazy” or “procrastinating” from my vocabulary. I am never “lazy.” I need rest, I get tired, I may not enjoy what I’m doing, I am a human with complex needs and if I don’t want to do something, I can genuinely ask why.
Do things with proper and specific intention. By setting the intention it’ll prime your automatic processes to be more selective to observe data related/in support of that intention.
Humans have a few emotional needs in order to reach deep focus: 1. We need to not be distracted and we need to feel certainty that we will not be distracted. Before we are comfortable untaking the work to architect a giant mental castle, we need to feel confident that someone won't come around to kick it down. 2. At a more primitive, simian level, we need to feel that we're in a safe environment. It's hard to focus on code if you're worried that a tree is going to fall on you or a lion will drag you off into the jungle.
- Amazing post by Sam Altman. (
Shipping vs. Fiddling
- Sometimes it's best to focus on getting things done and not fighting the tools/software.
It or Nothing (2019)
Be Too Busy to “Do Coffee”
Ask HN: What tools/methods do you use to focus your time well? (2019)
Ask HN: How do you stay disciplined in the long run? (2019)
How to Focus on What’s Important, Not Just What’s Urgent
Lobsters: What is procrastination, exactly? (2019)
The Power of Shower Thoughts: Trusting Your Mind to Work in the Background (2019)
Ask HN: How do I overcome mental laziness? (2020)
HN: Kick the Shit Out of Procrastination (2020)
Noise, Cognitive Function, and Worker Productivity (2020)
GTD in 15 minutes
- Pragmatic Guide to Getting Things Done.
Your Theme (2020)
Warren Buffett's "2 List" Strategy: How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities
Procrastination is driven by our desire to avoid difficult emotions (2020)
My weekly review habit
How to finish your side project
Deep Work and the 30-Hour Method for Learning a New Skill (2018)
How to stop procrastinating by using the Fogg Behavior Model (2020)
Thoughts on deep work (2020)
How to Be Indistractable
Attention is your scarcest resource (2020)
Why Is It So Hard to Do Something That Should Be Easy?
'Ugh fields', or why you can’t even bear to think about that task (2020)
Work on What Matters
Ask HN: What is your trick to do deep work or study? (2020)
What some of your goals are? Where you think you want to go, where you think things should be going. (2020)
Jonathan Blow on Deep Work: The Shape of a Problem Doesn't Start Anywhere (2018)
The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done (2020)
How do you document and track your personal goals? (2021)
9 tips on how to spend time effectively & efficiently (2021)
Me and ADHD (2020)
How to be more productive without forcing yourself
Phones and apps reduce your ability to focus even when they don’t distract you (2021)
Why I'm unreachable and maybe you should be too
Ask HN: Solo developer, what's your recipe to start working? (2021)
Efficiency Is the Enemy (2021)
Multitasking hurts performance and may even damage the brain (2018)
In praise of structured time
Programmers, teach non-geeks the true cost of interruptions (2014)
You are Not Lazy or Undisciplined. You Have Internal Resistance (2021)
TODO apps are meant for robots
Dopamine, Smartphones and You: A battle for your time (2018)
Laziness Does Not Exist (2018)
Every productivity thought I've ever had, as concisely as possible (2018)
Oliver Burkeman's Advice for Time Management (2021)
Have a distraction log (2021)
- Somewhere to write down all distractive thoughts as they arise to log them but keep working.
Ask HN: Tips for more energy during day? (2021)
Scattered thoughts on why I waste my own time (2021)
The 5 Whys: get to the root of your productivity problems
Ask HN: How do you force yourself to do boring tasks? (2021)
Ask HN: How do you cope with being interrupted? (2022)
Focusing on what's important