It’s the story of our lives. So much to do, so little time. What options do we have to keep up with an increasing number of people and “things” demanding our attention?
Peter Bregman offers some good suggestions in this well articulated piece, posted back in May. How about saying no to activities that you don’t consider critically important? Or keeping an “ignore list”?
Here’s one of the key quotes from the article:
“… our success actually hinges on the opposite: on our willingness to risk missing some information. Because trying to focus on it all is a risk in itself. We’ll exhaust ourselves. We’ll get confused, nervous, and irritable.”
If you’d like to read the whole story, you can find it here.
Every once in a while we like to post a link or two that is related to productivity. Today I came across an interesting perspective on the topic of time management – How do super-achievers manage their time? Do they carry a to-do list? Do they subscribe to the GTD system?
This short post claims that they don’t, and explains why. It does make sense, but as usual, it’s one of those cases of easier said than done.
Perhaps what I like the most about the philosophy of the “zero to-do list” is the opportunistic nature of the lifestyle. Focus on what’s important.
And we are back from our quick break, more energized than ever. It’s surprising how just a few days off can make such a big difference.
In the wake of our return, we see that the Wall Street Journal has published a story titled “Tools to Manage Online Time Wisely“. It profiles Slife and similar tools such as RescueTime. Andrea Coombes wrote the article – we had a very nice conversation with her a week ago and knew the story was coming, but didn’t know exactly when.
Ok, now it’s time to get back to work. We have lots of items on the to-do list. By the end of the week we hope to be able to announce more details about our open source plans and availability of Slife v2.0. We know there’s a lot of people interested and we can’t wait to unleash it to the world.
On August 12th, Basex and the Information Overload Research Group organized the “Information Overload Awareness Day“. It was a day of “high-level interaction, knowledge sharing, and learning about the problem of Information Overload – all without leaving your office”.
The New York Times has an outstanding graphics team. They’ve recently put together a visualization that allows anyone to explore how different groups in the U.S. spend their day. The data comes from The American Time Use Survey.
After a happy summer weekend, most people wouldn’t be too excited about going back to work on Monday morning. But today is a really special day for us at Slife Labs. We are finally releasing the new “Productivity Plus” product we’ve referred to in the past. It’s called Slife Rewards and we think it represents a whole new approach to productivity software.
We’ve been studying the problem of time management, information overload and productivity in general for quite some time. The conclusion we’ve drawn after many years developing products and talking to customers is that it really comes down to motivation. It’s cool and interesting to visualize activities and useful to keep track of time automatically, but if you are trying to change your behavior in order to focus on your work and say, not spend a large part of your day browsing from one Internet distraction to another, an extra motivational push is really helpful.
Enter Slife Rewards. As a feature inside Slife Web (you will need a Slife Web account to use it), it allows you to associate activity goals with rewards. If you reach your daily productivity goals for an entire month, such as “spend no more than 20 minutes on email every day”, you get a reward.
Initially there are two types of rewards you can choose from. You can either choose to receive an item from your Amazon wish list when you meet your goals or you can choose to make a donation to a cause you care about. There are several causes that we are supporting initially, from the American Red Cross to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We plan to add more causes and reward types in the future. The possibilities are endless.
Now, what’s important to understand about this new service is that you are actually the one who’s financing your own rewards. Within Slife Web, you make deposits to your Slife Rewards fund and we use your funds to buy and send you a gift or make a donation on your behalf. Our role is in providing the incentive platform to help you reach your productivity objectives, but the reward is on you. There’s no catch here. Also, because of the overhead associated with reward processing, we will charge you a small fee ($2) every month you reach your goals and process your reward.
For additional details and a video, please check the Slife Rewards site. We would love to get your feedback about this new tool. Because of this new service we are also adding a new section to our Terms of Service.
With Slife, we help you find out where your time goes. But where does time come from? Clay Shirky has a theory. And it has to do with sitcoms.
This video isn’t new, but it’s worth watching, especially if you are interested in the answer to the question.
There is a ton of advice online about productivity and how to get things done. Problem is, productivity is all about being effective, and I find a good percentage of the tips on the web to be hard to put in practice.
The other day, however, I ran across a list of tips called “How to Get Organized and Concentrate on Your Work”. It’s pretty short, with just 8 tips and then a few bullet items for each one of them.
As an example, Tip #3 is “Divide tasks throughout the week or month”. How do you do that? “Get plenty of sleep to think more clearly and creatively” or “Leave time to do work that is not a priority”. Sounds good to me. Would it work? Not sure, but it makes sense.
Check it out, I think you might like it. And if you have pointers to other time management or productivity tips you live by, leave a comment here. But it has to be short and sweet!
These days, when we talk about time management and productivity, the concept of information overload often comes up. It’s a problem (and opportunity) that many researchers, established businesses and startups have been exploring more aggressively in the last 3 years or so.
Here are two short videos about information overload that we’ve come across recently. The first one is from Xerox, a corporate member of the Information Overload Research Group, and a company that has been trying to bring more awareness to information overload in general:
The Xerox video has some good moments, but I find the characterization of the problem as a syndrome a bit clichéd.
The second video is from Basex, one of the research firms that has been studying the problem of information overload within organizations and analyzing data and testimonials.
The basic idea is to pick a task, dedicate 25 minutes to it and then take a break. The 25-minute work time block is called a “Pomodoro”. I like it.
(via Way Out)