Productivity crisis

I am journaling since primary school, running OmniFocus for 12 years, tracking every event in my life since the university, I am having dedicated time for email, I am using the most advance knowledge management apps and even working on my own, I bought Due and yet… Sometimes I don’t look into OmniFocus for weeks, and skip daily journaling and weekly review for months, I miss events and meetings, I keep forgetting, I am missing most important life-changing emails, I loose information and spend time looking for it, I am slacking on my chores.

Just when starting working on this blog post I caught myself.

  • Thinking about changing my wallpaper
  • Checking random Telegram channel
  • Fiddling with the Music app
  • Playing with CSS

I feel like for all the advantages tech gave us in the creative work field, there’s something it took, and we have zero gains, instead of a revolution similar to what other industries experienced – industrial revolution, advances in chemistry… We as knowledge workers continue to work with the same output our ancestors did, and even worse, Telegraph recently wrote an article about idleness at work became an epidemic that is wrecking Britain.

How can we fix this

I don’t want to sound pessimistic, because I think eventually there will be a revolution and progress, and we will triumph, we will lead by example, the rest of us will follow, and we will lead the way. I see people care about productivity, especially since I learned a lot from the the Focussed podcast. Here are some quick takes for you, something I found useful and something I would like you to share.

  • Say no a lot, focus on fewer projects/tasks
  • When you start working, do the hardest tasks first
  • Do not send Slack messages or emails if the issue can’t be resolved with a single reply, that’s what meetings are for
  • Every meeting needs agenda
  • Default meeting duration should be 30 minutes, not 1 hour
  • Dedicate separate time for messaging and social media
  • Learn about gratitude journaling and meditation, whatever works

Adwise for developers

And here are some advice for programmers, I don’t know how it is useful for you, but here is something I need to do myself

  • Reading code is hard, but it pays off, read every line and do not skim
  • Trust no one
  • Especially do not trust code, yours or someone elses
  • Only trust your intuition, if peace of code makes you feel tingly, do not ignore it
  • Make sure that solution you are building will make your team happy, communicate often and share your plans and work process early

I find the last point especially difficult, because different members of a team have different things which they prioritise, and it’s impossible to make everyone happy. But it’s possible to find communication gaps and bring the differences in opinions during meetings. Healthy teams work towards the same goals.