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Mindful Productivity – Nerdful Mind #127

June 19, 2022 by Simon Mannes

This week I have a simple productivity tip for you.

At work, there are certain times (often related to the time of day) when the work just flows, while other tasks seem to drag on forever.

An extremely valuable skill is to be able to identify in each moment what type of work you are most productive at.

For me, I have identified three distinct areas of productivity:

1. small and tedious tasks (e.g. chores, answering email, research)

2. creative work (e.g. programming, designing, brainstorming)

3. planning (e.g. task list for tomorrow, refining project milestones)

I need time in my day (and week) for all three kinds of work because I have things to do in all categories.

Listening to my mind and body in the moment to choose the type of work that is most productive really helps me get things done. This way I can spend more time doing other things that I (also) love.

A basic rule of thumb to recognize what work I'll do best in the moment is:

  1. tedious tasks when I'm tired
  2. creative work when my head's in the present
  3. planning when my head's in the future
“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” – Francine Jay

Reading Recommendations

From productivity porn to mindful productivity

“Not all productivity strategies are made equal. While some are backed by science, others are cobbled together by self-experimenting entrepreneurs who are selling readers the dream of a magically more productive, effortless life.”

Can Minimalism Really Make You Happier?

“To better understand the connection between minimalism and happiness, Hook and his team scoured the research literature for all studies published on the topic. They found 23 such studies. Next, they tested to see how many of these studies supported the hypothesis that minimalism/voluntary simplicity is associated with enhanced psychological well-being.”

What every computer science major should know

“Given the expansive growth in the field, it's become challenging to discern what belongs in a modern computer science degree. […] My thoughts below factor into both general principles and specific recommendations relevant to the modern computing landscape. Computer science majors: feel free to use this as a self-study guide.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Take a small, natural object with texture, e.g., a pebble or a flower.

Sit down and put it in front of you where you can see it.

Look at the object as if you were seeing it for the first time. Notice its texture, shadows, and colors.

Keep your focus on the object for a few minutes. When your focus wanders, gently bring it back.

End Note

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Have a great week


PS: What's your experience with this? Please hit reply and let me know.