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Thanks, that hadn't occurred to me. It says "No email address for that user". I can't set an email address either.

I can't seem to change my password. It's 41 characters long (I don't know why I thought that was a good idea), which might have something to do with it. I've tried multiple times, and every time it says "Incorrect password" next to the "Current password" field. Any tips?

Beeminder: +4 I’ve used it for several months, and it helps. Part of that is that in order to use Beeminder, you need to be able to measure what you do. In the beginning, I had too many goals which led to emergencies almost every evening, which was annoying. I don’t know if it’s a bad thing that Beeminder provides external pressure – it might make previously pleasant tasks unpleasant in the long run, because they start to feel like something you have to do instead of something you want to do. However, so far, I haven’t gotten the impression that this is much of a problem in practice.

Self-conditioning: 0 I tried eating chocolate and doing happy gestures when I started and ended a pomodoro for about three weeks and didn’t notice a strong effect in my willingness to do pomodori. It’s possible that I didn’t do it right.

Avoiding ego depletion with food: -3 Last semester, I allowed myself to eat more snacks and drink more juice while studying. Again, I didn’t notice a strong effect, and it might well have an overall negative effect due to consuming too much sugar and viewing yourself as not in control of your motivation, which is of course self-fulfilling. Since then, I’ve read arguments against the ego depletion theory ( and found that successfully resisting a temptation actually gives me a motivation boost.

Remember The Milk (GTD): +6 I capture everything in the Inbox and then either assign locations, which correspond to GTD contexts, to non-urgent tasks or due dates to tasks with a deadline. A recurring task to review the system (e.g. do I have any contexts that I don’t use?) has proven helpful.

Leechblock: +3 A 10-second delay seems to have helped me with quitting reddit. Only allowing myself some fixed amount of time per day on some site before blocking it was counterproductive, because I would always try to utilize all the time I had.

LW Study Hall without video: +1 I have disabled video because of my bad connection, and despite that, I think it helped a bit. In my opinion, it would be more helpful if there were a fixed rhythm and more explicit norms for reporting what you did.

Better working conditions: +5 Turning my computer off when I can or at least disconnecting from the Internet helps a lot. Having a clean desk doesn’t hurt either, and taking regular breaks is a good idea. This is conventional advice that I’ve often heard before, but I had to discover them myself before I started using them. I’ve avoided listening to music before studying and during breaks lately. For most tasks, listening to music while I’m working decreases my concentration. Moreover, music seems to put me in some kind of gratification-seeking state with decreased attention span, which lasts for some time (more than half an hour, I think) after I’ve stopped listening to music. What I’m wearing and whether I’ve showered also influences my focus. More formal clothing, such as a button-down shirt, feeling refreshed and all seem to contribute, even when I’m just sitting at my desk.

At the moment, my main problem is to get going in the morning. I’m planning to use social commitment for this one.

I won’t be there this time, unfortunately.

I’d like to try talking about productivity.

I have seen some convincing arguments that this sort of deliberate bonding is dangerous.

I’d be interested in hearing them.

I admit I’m a bit confused by the date format – I don’t know what the +0200 means, and I could’ve sworn I set it to 3pm or maybe 2pm (and I’m pretty sure when I looked at this post earlier today it said 03:00:00PM). Anyway, I’ll be there at 3pm local time. Gasteig.

Thanks for commenting and welcome! Do you own a copy of Zendo? I don’t, so we’d have to improvise with Legos or something.

GTD and the Pomodoro technique have different aims, I think, and are not mutually exclusive – you could use GTD for keeping track of what to do when, and Pomodoros for actually doing (some) tasks.

Many people also write down the task they want to do next, and put a checkmark next to it after they successfully finished the task. This might be important because it helps to build a chain of successes:

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