Posts tagged “productivity”
Today, learn about how to game your Zettelkasten like a roguelike RPG – in a guest post by Allen Wilson (University profile; Twitter) aka @pseudoevagrius on the forum. The metaphor alone is cool, but the 3800+ words strong post doesn’t end there and goes on to give practical advice on how to work under self-imposed constraints to make use of “short runs”.
The user @wanderley opened a thread in the forum. He basically wrote that whenever he creates a Zettel, he goes into a research frenzy to make the Zettel “worthy” of his Zettelkasten. In his example, he transformed a report based on experience into a claim supported by quite some evidence.
Christian told you how a morning routine can improve your productivity already. Now, it is my turn to show you my morning routine. I begin with its development but will end with the connection to productivity and the Zettelkasten Method. So, hang on! First, my morning routine expanded over weeks and then collapsed markedly to a pretty short compilation of actions I identified as having the most bang for the buck.
I forgot to share my repeating maintenance tasks with you! Yesterday, I wrote about my morning routine. It helps me clear my mind and to surface my anxieties. I feel a lot better afterwards – less clouded, less sub-consciously driven. Part of that routine is a daily review. It’s a daily recurring project:
I have picked up a habit which improves my well-being and helps me focus on the important parts in my life. It’s a daily review habit. I have tried to install this habit a few years ago already but failed miserably. A huge factor for my success in sticking to this habit is that I have a working morning ritual installed already. With the existing routine as a foundation, I simply had to attach this small habit and things were good.
Last week, I found out how large my backlog of unassimilated information really is. (Spoiler: it is huge.) Sascha and I share a small apartment and recently re-arranged some furniture. Both of us had to empty our bookshelves so we could move the furniture around. Only a week later did I finish actually reordering the books and using my bookshelf again.
Time is the most important asset we have. That is one of the core principles of my approach to productivity. At the same time I am a bad investors when it comes to time. One of my main culprits are my channels of information inflow. If I would deal with them in a rational manner, I wouldn’t waste so much time. But I dive into my inbox and somehow lose my discipline to really empty it.
Since I recently released the Word Counter for Mac, I have given more thought to the process of writing itself, especially since your comments on writing vs editing started to pour in. I count my words to increase my productivity as a writer. “But!”, people exclaimed, “How do you account for rewrites, deletions, and correcting grammar?” By dividing composing from revising.
Brian Crain talked about increasing productivity by tracking progress. To have a continuous metric is both motivating and informative. I, too, buy into the saying that you can only improve what you measure. The corollary is: when you care about something, when you really commit to it, you have to do your best to track it and improve. Writing is one such skill. You become a writer by writing more, and you can shift your identity consciously to make this change stick.
There’s an interesting 8min talk by Brian Crain on optimizing productivity. Brian found tracking his progress useful: I learned that having a continuous metric is enormously motivating since it allows you to continually improve yourself. These small, continuous changes make a huge difference over time.
So you are a knowledge worker? This means 90% of your work is about dealing with words. Blogger, writer, journalists – the biggest chunk of work is writing. “Writing” is just a short term for producing words. Let’s be clear: productivity equals your output, counted in words. It is writing itself that equals the 20% which get you 80% of the results. If you want to improve as a writer, writing more is your best lever. And more writing leads to a myriad of other benefits:
Who is this for? : People who want to improve their writing and coherent thinking, who are invested in so-called knowledge work and who connect ideas. This suits academics, authors and writers, journalists, but also programmers who organize their knowledge. Assuming you’re a writer or a thinker, why should you care about the way you take notes? If you want to think creatively and write original articles and books, you need to form associations in your mind effectively. Notes can help you with that if you adhere to a few basic principles.