Productivity

Decision Fatigue & Why I Do My Most Important Work First

The concept of decision fatigue gained popularity in 2011 with an article in the New York Times Magazine. Essentially, our willpower decreases throughout the day as we make all sorts of large and small decisions. Lifehacker did a good job of summing it up at the time: Each decision you make and the more choices you make throughout the day, the harder it gets for your brain to continue to make decisions. The result is that towards the end of the day when you’re low… Continue reading

7/25/17

Applying “HELL YEAH Or No”

Derek Sivers has a very short, very popular, and very timeless post entitled No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.” The gist of it is: When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say “no.” Derek discussed this in more detail in this great Tim Ferriss Show podcast if you’re interested in learning more about how he came up with this approach. He does mention that when you’re just starting out… Continue reading

5/23/17

One Technique for Preventing Unnecessary Phone Calls

Last year I wrote about How a Single Meeting Can Derail an Entire Day. As we’ve grown, the semi-legitimate meeting requests have increased significantly. Pure Adapt probably uses hundreds of different products and services to keep our business running, from financial (accounting software, banking, etc) to technical (servers, backup, etc) to shipping (supplies and carriers), and that’s not including all of the suppliers that Detailed Image works with. We’re large enough at this point that most of these companies have assigned a sales rep to… Continue reading

4/25/17

Repurposing An Old iPad As A Second Monitor

Over the winter we had some major construction done on our house. For a few weeks my office became a staging area for the crew. Before the project started I lowered my standing desk, threw a few tarps over it, and set myself up a temporary work space on a card table in the guest bedroom. I had an old 1080p monitor and keyboard, which I figured would be better ergonomically and for my productivity than working on my laptop. I was correct, but a… Continue reading

4/4/17

My #1 Productivity & Life Balance Improvement From 2016

It’s rare that I make a productivity change that I would call life changing, but there’s one quick and simple change that I made last year that I think meets that criteria. When I stop to think about it, I marvel at its effectiveness. About a year ago I wrote about how I set up Gmail label notifications on Android as a means to disconnect. Essentially, anytime there’s an urgent work issue that needs my attention I receive a notification on my phone. Most of… Continue reading

1/17/17

How a Single Meeting Can Derail an Entire Day

If I’m not careful I can find myself spending my entire day performing tasks associated with running the business: checking email, taking phone calls, scheduling meetings, communicating with our employees, documenting processes, and the like. As we’ve grown it’s been harder and harder to carve out uninterrupted time to program and work on other important projects that will help grow the business. I’ve had to work harder and harder to guard my schedule. In doing so I often think back to an essay from 2009… Continue reading

11/22/16

Minimizing Commuting Isn’t Just About Saving Time

A few weeks ago I came across this article in the Albany Business Review that stated: What would you do if you suddenly had two extra days each year? The average commuter in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area spends about that much time, 42 hours a year, stuck in traffic, according to a new study from the Auto Insurance Center. That’s not even that bad: 42 hours is the average across the country. New York City commuters spend 74 hours a year in traffic, and Washington,… Continue reading

9/12/16

How Tea Helps Me Get Into A Flow State

A few weeks ago I wrote about listening to one song over and over again on repeat to improve focus. There has been a lot written about flow states, or “getting into the zone” as it’s often called. The Wikipedia entry does a good job of summing it up: In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in… Continue reading

8/25/16

Listening To One Song On Repeat Over And Over Again

Years ago I read an interview with WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg where he described how he listened to a single song over and over again on repeat to help him focus. I remember thinking at the time how weird yet interesting that was. Then I heard Matt on the Tim Ferriss podcast last year, and again he described how he listened to one song on repeat. It turns out that blogger Joseph Mosby did some research and there’s actually some science behind the idea: I… Continue reading

8/9/16

How I Read Business Books In An Hour

About five years ago I almost completely stopped reading business books. I read a ton of them in the roughly 10 years prior as I was finishing college, leaving my job, and venturing out on my own. Some of it was that I had shifted my learning/doing balance to more doing and less learning. Another factor was that there just wasn’t that much out there new that interested me because of how much I had read previously. The biggest factor though, was that they just… Continue reading

7/13/16