How to kill your productivity completely

For a while I have been wondering why my energy has been lacking.

I wondered if it was diet, stress, workload, exercise. Of course all of those things are factors, but I couldn’t put my finger on why it was so unusually bad right now.

With the help of my iPhone I think I have found the culprit, or the largest.

My sleep is atrocious.

While I always knew my sleep paterns could be, well, less than optimal, I never expected to see a chart like this one. According to this, once I got to bed I had around 1 hour of actual deep sleep. We all know it is not so much how much time you spend in bed that counts but the quality of sleep you get while in there, and this shows mine isn’t so great.

Sleep Monitoring Gadget

The application is called “Sleep Cycle” (find it in your app store) and uses the sensitive accelerometer in the iPhone to detect your movements and therefore sleep pattern. I don’t know how to read these charts but even I can tell this does not look as it should be.

With lack of sleep we get lack of energy, stamina suffers and so does concentration. Peak productivity can’t be maintained while your body and mind are crying out for sleep.

Of course I have a lot on my mind, what with projects and an immigration to worry about on top of the usual family/business/life stuff, but I am pretty sure my productivity will take a leap once I can fix or mitigate this sleep problem.

Sleep Fix Project

Here are the things I am going to try:

  1. Temperature – Too hot or too cold and I will never get decent sleep. No point in getting proper air conditioning only to leave it in the UK but I can bring up my portable office unit to see if that helps.
  2. Pillow – I have one of those curved, firm pillows that are supposed to offer more spine support. This needs to be examined to see if it is right for me.
  3. Timing – Sleep routine rather than random “keep working until I start nodding off at my desk” would probably help I am guessing!
  4. Brain – Turn off the brain well before attempting to go to sleep to stop the mind continuiing to work long after it should be dozing.
  5. Diet – Eating late or eating certain foods impacts sleep, as does excess or late caffiene/sugar intake. I practically live on coffee, and that needs to stop.
  6. Exercise – IE. get some. I started before our recent trip to Australia and quit while we were away. Use up that adrenalin for something positive.
  7. Daylight – IE. get some. Artificial glow from a computer screen is not a natural light substitute I am told. Strange that. We need sunlight to regulate our body clocks.

What else can I try to improve my sleep? What has hurt or helped yours? Do you get enough sleep? Please share any thoughts you have in the comments ….

Modern Productivity Inspired by Classic Life Hacks from the Past

You may think that Life Hacks were invented around the same time computers and the Internet hit the scene, but this isn’t the case. In fact, putting on your time goggles, you can look back and see that Life Hacks have been a part of human history since … well, the very beginning, or at least as long as we’ve been writing things down. As proof of this (and to put a smile on your face), let’s take a look at these little adventures in time that have Life Hack written all over them.

As a disclaimer, these may or may not be considered Life Hacks by you, but a case is made that they fall under the general definition of Life Hacks. (Not to be confused with the General Lao Lao Smith definition of Life Hacks, which is another article entirely.) With that in mind, sit back and prepare to be astounded by some of the biggest Life Hacks throughout history. [Read more...]

Productivity Tip: Turn Off Instant Messaging

It seems so simple, so innocuous, but in reality instant messaging is one of the most evil sinkholes of productivity. I have a few different programs and websites, to manage the different lists of people I talk to, as everyone seems to have a different preference. I’ve even worked at jobs that had its own Jabber server and network, adding one more to the pile.

The corporate instant messaging platform was so we could turn off the rest, and be able to focus on work, but the reality is that all instant messaging needs to be turned off to really get a good amount of work done. Any interruption to your focus, or what I call my “groove”, will distract you from your goals, stop you from getting things done, and cost you time and energy that could have been put into work tasks. [Read more...]

Choosing the Right Web Host

A basic fact of doing business in this modern technological age is that you must have a web site. Whether you are a corporate leader, looking to promote your own personal brand, or just plan a family reunion establishing your online presence is important, both personally and professionally. In order to have a web site that projects your own personal identity you must start with selecting the right web host; but with so many options available today, where do you begin and how do you know if you are selecting the best web host for your needs? In this guide to selecting the right web host for your web site we will look at ways to select the best host and a review of some of the top choices available to you in order to help you find the best hosting solution. [Read more...]

Managing Overload: Tips for Web Workers to Deal with Information Overload

I was a full time, professional blogger for four years, and in that time, I had my fair share of information overload. Each day, I was dealing with around fifty to one hundred e-mails that needed my attention, scanning through over a thousand blog posts in my RSS reader, managing comments on upwards of forty different blogs, and providing thousands of words of content each day. It wasn’t easy by far. Some people envied my job, but there can definitely be a horrible side effect of being a professional blogger, web work, or any number of the increasingly technical information management careers out there today.

By the end of most days, I couldn’t tell you anything about what I had done that day because my brain was just overwhelmed. Sometimes my wife would feel a little slighted because I couldn’t even remember conversations or events during weeks where I was intensely busy. It was a rotten feeling and tiring. I was waking up each day feeling like I was multiple days behind in my job, and that the To-Do list was long enough to crush me under its weight if I printed it out on paper.

Then I started to realize that it didn’t have to be that way. [Read more...]

How Being a Geek Made Me More Productive

You might not think “geek” is a lifestyle, but it really is. Being a geek seeps into every aspect of your daily life. You can’t switch it off, it is part of your DNA. Being a “geek” is much more than just a fondness for Science Fiction and gadgets, so much more.

Until a few years ago I had to keep my geekiness to myself. Then all of a sudden it seems that the geeks have inherited the Earth! Here are a few areas where being a geek helps me in both business and in life… [Read more...]