Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Why Time Management Methods Work

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I strongly believe that energy levels, focus and productivity are related and come in closely related cycles. I’ve always had weeks I can get done great amounts of work, followed by weeks of procrastination and inactivity.

Now at some point in this cycle, energy levels start to rise, but you are still in the habbit of low output. This will make you you feel guilty of not outputing, while your mind does want to. You are starting to imagine all the work you want to get done and does not seem to come along at all.  This is where time management methods come in. The promise of beating procrastination and the overwhelmed feelings. So you try to follow them and it helps you get your thought in order and get more work done. Up till the point that everything is going well,  you’re on a roll. If you are like me, you have already abandoned the time management method, because it feels more like a chore and everything is moving along without it.

The Productivity Cycle

My feeling is that time management does not actually help you that much,  you just try it at the time that your productivity is already bound to rise up the cycle again.   The real problem comes when your energy levels are dropping again.  First you overcome it by moving to simpler tasks, but slowly procrastination creeps in.  The problem is, you don’t notice it, until it’s to late. At which point you don’t feel like doing much at all, most certainly not some complicated time management method.

I do believe that you can influence the whole cycle, but it’s way outside the scope of time management and has everything to do with your general well-being and the habits that influence it.

Idea #3: FocusMe

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Sometimes I have a problem focusing on the work I’m currently doing.  And right at that point it’s very easy to wander and go browse for some news, get your email, etc.      Now the quick solution is:  turn of everything and shut down your internet connection.

It really helps sometimes, but most of the time it doesn’t… Why?  I need internet to work:

  • synchronize code with the SVN repository
  • work on a website that’s on a remote server
  • search for documentation

So what I would really like to have is some  ‘work mode’ tray icon that would block everything except for a few things that I have allowed.   It would be even nicer if I could define different contexts that would allow different websites and connections.

Soon I will write a bit about the extended version of this idea that does a bit more than managing access to websites.

About this series: I believe execution is more important than the initial business idea.   At the same time  I have a lot of those ideas, that will never be executed by a shear lack of time.   That’s why I will start something new on this blog:  I will pitch my ideas here.    If you think it’s a good idea or know a service that already does such a thing, please leave a comment.