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Tracking writing goals: Scrivener + Dropbox + Beeminder

I’ve been tempted to try out Beeminder’s URLminder integration after their most recent blog post, and for added procrastinating fun time, I went out looking to make this work with Scrivener. If you’re not familiar with it, Scrivener (Mac, Windows) is a widely used application for writers, both fiction and non-fiction. I highly recommend it [Continue reading]

How to take a Multiple Intelligences assessment test

It’s quite easy actually, just answer this online list of questions :) Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of cognition and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, developed his theory of multiple intelligences which argues that people employ several different types of intelligence, rather than one general type. Warning: this is an anonymous test, [Continue reading]

Be positive to be healthy to be positive

Positive emotions, positive social connections, and physical health influence one another in a self-sustaining upward-spiral dynamic. From a 2013 paper: The mechanisms underlying the association between positive emotions and physical health remain a mystery. We hypothesize that an upward-spiral dynamic continually reinforces the tie between positive emotions and physical health and that this spiral is [Continue reading]

A RescueTime alternative, Memory from Timely

There are plenty of software approaches to tracking who one spents time for billing and productivity (or just plain personal improvement) reasons. Memory is a new app from Timely, that aims to be an improvement over widely-used RescueTime in that it offers a better presentation of were you spent your time and that it intergrates with the [Continue reading]

How to make your job easier

Copying from the Productive Living Newsletter by Get Things Done author, David Allen Get your life back to widget-cranking! Oh, for a widget-cranking job again! Ever have gigs like that, where all you did was crank widgets? Like a summer job in college? Remember how bored you were, and how psychologically healthy it was? All [Continue reading]

My first 2017 resolution: do this “8,760 Hours” thing

If you’re looking for a practical guide to do a “data dump” of your thoughts, wants and future planning, try out the 8,760 Hours: How to get the most out of next year free PDF from Alex Vermeer Contents 1) Introduction. Why plan at all? To get more out of life, to take responsibility for [Continue reading]

How to be like Zorba

Some food for thought: Despite continual romantic, financial, and familial disasters, he says, “Zorba can dance in the present moment, because he knows that stress— the full catastrophe— is not good or bad, but just part of the way life is. You’re in it, so how can you best relate to what’s happening, both for [Continue reading]

The importance of keeping score

It’s fun when you practice something and it turns out that there is science backing it! In this case, keeping an account of small accomplishments. “[B]y keeping score during the most important periods of challenge and growth in your life, you’ll better remember exactly what you did to get stronger—making it more likely you’ll do [Continue reading]

How to fail successfully

Nine weeks ago, a friend set out to get back into a more fit state and asked people to publicly bet against him. I ended up joining with a bet of my own. Specific goals were set on losing overall weight but also fat, along with the commitment to post regular updates. Here is the [Continue reading]

This would reduce all internet and office communication by at least 50%

This would also improve the progress of the human kind tenfold. It takes some practice (responding to shit is quite addictive, you put in a tiny effort and feel like you have accomplished something) and some self-awareness (“what do I really want to do with my life” is a quite hard question to answer). David [Continue reading]

Against motivation: 3 elements for success

There is no need to always search for motivation. Any goal will do the same job along with planning and monitoring. However, all three elements are required. Just setting a goal is not enough because it only takes a second to take the decision but there is nothing to trigger you to specific action after [Continue reading]

The Art of Letting Others Be Right

Lately, every time I get into an argument, and the distance of online communication can make this rather easy, I am reminded of an article by James Clear. Some key parts: I gather I have a long history of arguing my views, even when I’m not sure why I’m doing it. One time I was [Continue reading]

How to kill Facebook’s News Feed

Find yourself spending too much time on Facebook? Eradicate distractions by removing the news feed content. Chrome: News Feed Eradicator for Facebook Firefox: Kill FB Feed Safari: Quiest Facebook These solutions will allow you to still use messages and do posts of your own. To block Facebook (and other distracting sites) completely (or even better, [Continue reading]

Obama on how to achieve change

  In a recent commencement address in Howard University, Barack Obama talked about his favourite topic: change. While he was talking about working to fix the issues that the US is currently facing, about the injustices that still exist, they can be viewed in a broader way. Excluding any discussion on his policies and implementations, here are [Continue reading]

Focus is about saying no

Steve Jobs was asked (WWDC’97) about some of Apple’s choice at the time in cutting off features, and had this to say: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that [Continue reading]

Don’t forget to be happy!

Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick. Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive. […] During the experiments a number of the participants were [Continue reading]

Resistance is how we protect ourselves from taking risks

“This is going to kill your children” – Jamie Oliver is making a point about cooking junk food for your kids. The quote and screenshot above is from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. What I find interesting in the show is not so much the garbage that we eat these days, as much as the amazing amount [Continue reading]

What You Believe Affects What You Achieve

Our genes influence our intelligence and talents, but these qualities are not fixed at birth. If you mistakenly believe that your capabilities derive from DNA and destiny, rather than practice and perseverance, then you operate with what Dweck calls a “fixed mindset” rather than a “growth mindset.” Our parents and teachers exert a big influence [Continue reading]

Tired? Think again

Science says your mind gives up before your body. Marcora believes that this limit is probably never truly reached—that fatigue is simply a balance between effort and motivation, and that the decision to stop is a conscious choice rather than a mechanical failure. This, he says, is why factors that alter a person’s perception or [Continue reading]

Learning from failure

Currently reading: When we do experience failure, we need to approach what has gone wrong in a realistic way too. If we don’t examine the reasons why we have failed or are failing then we may find ourselves condemned to make the same mistakes over and over again. Even worse is refusing to admit that [Continue reading]

Flybys: Strava replays an entire race

Available for some time in test mode, Flybys is a (now more prominently displayed) feature from Strava that allows you to replay multiple runs of users of the platform. It is available for all activities, even your training runs, but is more fun for full races were there are much more users matching your data. [Continue reading]

Smiling is it’s own reward

“In part positivity reflects the brain’s reward circuitry in action. When we’re happy, the nucleus accumbens, a region within the ventral striatum in the middle of the brain, activates. This circuitry seems vital for motivation and having a sense that what you’re doing is rewarding. Rich in dopamine, these circuits are a driver of positive [Continue reading]

RescueTime now integrates with IFTTT, Zapier, Slack

In the age of APIs and integrations, as Twitter goes backwards and shuts down one API after the other in a awkward attempt to monetise, other companies improve by connecting with third-party services which can improve both sides. One of my favourite productivity tools has added new integrations that can help you get more done [Continue reading]

Weekend productivity experiment: (Almost) no e-mail

This will probably be easy as I don’t get a lot of e-mail over the weekend anyway. – Rule 1: Don’t open Mail on the desktop – Rule 2: Only check the “VIP” view on mobile Mail – Rule 3: Work on stuff that matter (Update: it worked! While that particular weekend wasn’t overly productive, [Continue reading]

Fight procrastination with timed bursts and Time Out (Mac)

I’m currently reading the excellent “Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management“ by Mark Foster and one of the first things that caught my are timed bursts. As Mark explains: One of the most effective procrastination busters is to work in timed bursts. These bursts can be any length, but usually will be [Continue reading]

Relax, you’re insignificant, none of this really matters

Described in Judd Apatow’s recent book, Sick in the Head, Jerry Seinfield’s solution for relaxing during a stressful period: look at photos of space taken by the Hubble Space Telescope to remind him how insignificant everything can be perceived. That would calm me when I would start to think that this was important… I’ve often said this [Continue reading]

The employee of the future (=today)

The changes in the chart are already here. Denying them or denouncing them as part of an evil capitalistic scheme to further oppress the working masses isn’t going to change things. The only way to respond is to adapt, evolve, grow, take advantage. Images source: The Evolution Of The Employee (Forbes)

TripMode: Control what’s eating your mobile bandwidth

If you’re often connecting your Mac laptop on the road through a mobile connection (phone, USB dongle, etc), TripMode will show you which app is using how much bandwidth and will allow you to disable internet access for it. This can both save you money as well increase the connecting speed of the apps you’re [Continue reading]

Pomodoros with Eggscellent + Google Calendar + IFTTT + Beeminder

File this under #lazysunday (I should be working) #justbecauseIcan (I’m not sure I’m going to use it) #addicted2automation (no explanation necessary) :) Here’s a recipe for beeminding1 pomodoros2 if you use Eggscellent3 1) Download Eggscellent4 2) Open Google Calendar 3) Create a new calendar named “Eggscellent” 4) Open the OSX Calendar and add your Google [Continue reading]

Currently reading: The Motivation Hacker

I’ve been reading this while travelling today and it could possible be for productivity what was for me the Hacker’s Diet for weight loss. E.g. a gateway to a different way of thinking and what one can achieve. That said, and following one of the suggestions of the book, consider this a public commitment to write [Continue reading]