meta: On top of the article please link the LessWrong Study Hall to the wiki page about how to access it.
One big example of a successful study project is the LessWrong Study Hall, which is still active 1.5 years after it was started.
Ship it. Get feedback from some readers. Use feedback to improve your ideas and your writing. Repeat.
Bought new headphones
A friend of mine noticed that I'm often frustrated at work, and she asked if that's normal. I thought about it for a while, and found one low-hanging fruit to optimise: open-space office noise. Bought a new pair of headphones that offer decent noise isolation. My distractability dropped perceptibly. I'm satisfied with that change.
FWIW we already do have at least two users who live in timezones with fractional UTC offset. That's why I always use UTC time when announcing new pomodoros.
I'm going. It looks that the LessWrong Study Hall is going to have a strong representation in this event.
Beeminding +4. I've found that the default 1 year goal length is too long for me. These days I'm usually doing 1 month long goals. I've found that the easiest formula to follow is to beemind doing at least a little bit of the thing you want to do every day, without quantifying how much you've actually done.
LessWrong Study Hall +7. I'm a regular there. In terms of the procrastination equation the pomodoro rhythm decreases delay, peer pressure decreases impulsiveness, and social chat during pomodoros increases value. Tinychat IMO is not a good piece of software. It suffers from frequent disconnects and has no form of keep-alive for quiet periods. We still don't have enough people there to guarantee 24/7 coverage.
GTD system +5. The main benefits of GTD to me is the focus on decomposing projects into actionable chunks, offloading stuff into "a trusted system" to free up cognitive resources, and the notion of thinking at different "horizons of focus". I've found the down-to-earth pragmatism of the GTD method helpful when attacking some Ugh fields. BTW, I use Remember The Milk as my GTD database. Previously I've used OmniFocus on a Mac.
Resolving to Do Better in The Future: -3. Huh. That's not how it works.
Micro-rewards: +2. I've tried to use almonds as dog treats at work: 1 almond for each Git commit and such. After a few weeks of feeling slightly incentivised by it I absentmindedly ate the whole bowl. I might return to it in the future.
LeechBlock +2. Wasting time on-line is a problem for me. LeechBlock helps in general, but has some drawbacks. I have several sets of URL patterns: a work-related whitelist that's never blocked, a list of known timesinks that's always blocked and a general '*' glob to for a total Lockdown. The problem with the last one is that one needs to remember to enable it, and every now and then in the middle of such a Lockdown I want to check StackOverflow or something.
I'm a regular there. Here are my observations.
This is fun. I haven't had this much social fun on-line for a decade. I'm a corporate stooge, and usually sitting at a keyboard and typing for a living is not that social and not that fun for me. As much as I enjoy spending time there, the mere social fun is not the purpose. I've noticed that whenever I join the chat without a clear goal, I tend to drift through pomodoros without achieving that much. I first need to do some GTD-style analysis of what project I want to work on, and what are actionable steps to take during a pomodoro. I like to ask the participants about their projects and I like and find it useful to briefly explain mine.
Apparently a little social salience can go a long way with me. BTW, that is a possibly useful observation for team mangers, and it agrees with what random pop-psychology of human motivation I've heard about.
I'm worried about the long-term prospects of this idea. I think most of the participants are students. During the first summer vacation season we'll likely see a big drop in participation.
How did you handle the IHOP joke a few lines above the stewberries?
You don't need to use your Twitter or Facebook credentials. You even don't want to, since tinychat will spam your feeds. Logging in as tinychat guest is the status quo for pretty much everyone on the LWSH.