Because “life hacks” and “productivity tips” are next to “viagra” and listicles when it comes to “stuff I reflexively avoid”. Anyway, “schemes” evokes the snake-oil sheen that productivity tricks have, whether you are selling them to others or to yourself. This is a feature rather than a bug.
See also privacy.
- avoid email and other such social time-suck
- corollary: avoid social networks EVEN MORE, since they are designed to leverage your psychology to waste your time
- Slack is a comunication alternative designed around psychology of productivity that replaces email. Does what the short-lived Google Wave was supposed to do.
Possible exception to the social media rule: Social networks for mutual social productivity inspection, “Mutual shame, mutually agreed upon”, or the crowdsourced-opt-in-panopticon. Examples
The Pomodoro technique.
being aware of your time discounting. (Choose the version of yourself with the most propitious perspective to make decisions on behalf of the slacker early-morning version)
Tim Harford on hyperbolic discounting:
…what to do about the hyperbolic discounting problem? I have two suggestions. The first helps bring a long-term perspective to the daily to-do list. Don’t draw up your list of tasks first thing in the morning – do it the previous evening, when you will have a slightly more distant perspective. When you do so, think about the two or three tasks you would feel most satisfied to have ticked off. Put those at the top of the list and make them your priority.
The second suggestion flips the telescope around and brings today’s perspective to tomorrow’s commitments. When being invited to do things months in advance, the diary usually looks pretty clear and it’s tempting to say “yes”. But whenever a new invitation arrives, ask yourself not, “should I accept the invitation in March?” but, “would I accept the invitation if it was for this week?”
Aside: I should look up why they always call this “hyperbolic discounting”.
Sure, it’s not exponential discounting, but has anyone empirically fit a good hyperbolic curve in particular to typical discounting behaviour, or do we use this term solely because it’s the most clever-sounding thing that’s got fewer syllables than “non-exponential”?
And when we say hyperbolic discounting, are we emphasising the far future tail, or the immediate inflation?