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westward comments on 10-Step Anti-Procrastination Checklist - Less Wrong

32 Post author: JesseGalef 17 May 2013 01:59AM

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Comment author: westward 17 May 2013 05:12:08AM 1 point [-]

Regarding background music... I enjoy Classic Guitar Sky.fm on iTunes Radio (I don't know how to link to an iTunes station) which is mostly instrumental, but the songs that aren't are in a language I don't speak so it has the same effect.

I also listen to which is the background noise of a coffee shop.

Regarding distractions... I have a problem with focus. If I'm coding and have to wait 15-60 seconds for something to run, I have a hard time not switching to another task (ie checking the news, Facebook, personal e-mail) which is costly when returning to the original task.

I do use Leechblock and Chrome Nanny which help marginally. However, I recently purchased a used treadmill, set up a board across the handles and put my laptop on it. $200 treadmill desk. I set a Pomodoro timer and start working and walking. It helps me because it seems the walking satisfies the need that checking the news also does, but without the cost.

Also, it keeps me from sitting all day, which is correlated with bad health.

Comment author: wadavis 24 May 2013 05:44:23PM 1 point [-]

I'd like to hear more solutions to the 15-60 second break problem. Options less extreme than working on a treadmill.

I've had some success with having a second task that is light on wetware ram on hand to jump back and forth with, ie. proof-reading for clerical errors or formatting documents. But this is not ideal, these boring tasks have their own weak ugh fields that can derail the whole plan.

Comment author: curiousepic 16 July 2013 06:16:39PM *  0 points [-]

I have had some success with this by reading a few lines of a physical book. Interesting poetry (I had EUNOIA by Christian Bok handy) is better suited to this, as you can complete an entire passage or page in this short span.

It's similar to checking news or Facebook, but much less likely to suck you in.

Comment author: beriukay 26 May 2013 01:00:29PM 0 points [-]

With coding, at least, I find that I can stay focused if I put console outputs in the program. Debug info, or progress updates.

For example, I had some encoded text to decipher in my crypto class, and I knew the method of encoding used, so all I had to do was check every character's input with the ciphertext to see the answer... so I made it print every character, and then delete the character if it was wrong (or move on to the next if right), so it looked a bit like Hollywood-style decoding. Definitely kept me interested.