I started tracking my productivity at the beginning of this month, writing a "master plan" in order to know at each moment exactly what I should do next (okay, not "exactly" exactly, but good enough for it to in theory fill more than one day).

I realized how bad it is. Which is excellent.

I'm not sure how much to include in the plan. At the moment it is so big that if I had ultimate self-restraint and would waste not one minute of the day, I would barely get it done. It seems like that's okay, since I have sorted the activities after their priority and I have been improving since I started.

But does anybody have experience in trying out strict/less overwhel plans and observing if (and if yes, how much and in which direction) they influence success?

Having at least a plan for when to work, and being strict about that, works for me. I set alarms on my phone to work in 1 hour focussed bursts, with 15 minute breaks in between, all morning and late afternoon - it seems most people do their best focussed work in the morning; there's also that famous violin/piano student research which indicates that the best students also practice late afternoon. I reserve early/mid afternoon for light work (admin etc.)

In addition, I suggest you have a general plan for which projects to work on during a week & month, and make a daily more specific (though not necessarily detailed) plan first thing in the morning, or (better) at the end of the work day for the next day.

Productivity: Instrumental Rationality

by frdk666 1 min read10th Nov 20187 comments


Meta: I apologise if this is not of interest to most people on LW. I am posting this here anyway since I estimated there was at least a 5% chance that I would find what I'm looking for here, with minimal investment of my time.

Is anyone here tracking productivity every day? Do you have a fixed schedule? Are you debugging the causes for deviations from schedule and fixing them? What is your goal and why do you think the path you've chosen is the best way to achieve that?

I started tracking productivity last week. My last week's average was 6.20 hours per day (including weekends). I've already improved from around 3 hours a day (I'm employed as a software developer, I write backend APIs in Go for a fairly large company).

The existential dread of writing one technically unchallenging API after the next has finally gotten to me, and I want to drastically change my situation as quickly as possible. I started a side project which is making slow progress -- I don't feel comfortable revealing the specifics online, but I'm looking for someone who has a fixed schedule and tracks productivity every day (it's nice to have social feedback). So far, I've been spamming one of my friends for social feedback -- but it's really not working since he's not as dedicated.

My goal productivity wise is to hit 12 hours / day consistently (or an 80 hour week). I expect to get here faster if someone else is also doing the same thing. To be more specific, the workflow I have in mind is send a message after every 2 hours of productive work, talk about how much progress you've made, and stress test the path you've chosen with constructive negative feedback.

I realise this is not exactly balanced etc., but I've already decided I want to do this -- so please assume that the productivity goal is a fixed axiom if you decide to comment on this. Thanks!