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Comment author: ilzolende 07 February 2015 06:46:06PM 6 points [-]

Solution: get an eBook edition or get a used hardcover and take off the dust jacket.

Also, it's not going to make you meaner than the general population. It just teaches you how to do consciously what some people can do unconsciously.

If it's morally good for me, as an autistic person, to improve my social/manipulation skills such that they're closer to the average NT, then why would it be immoral for you to improve your social skills? Unless there's some morally optimal level of social skills that is quite conveniently the level of the average person, this seems strange.

Comment author: peter_hurford 07 February 2015 09:37:12PM 3 points [-]

Solution: get an eBook edition or get a used hardcover and take off the dust jacket.

I enjoyed it a lot as an Audiobook.

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13 peter_hurford 27 January 2015 02:45AM

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Comment author: c_edwards 15 January 2015 04:06:12PM 1 point [-]

This seems like a very good idea, but I'm not sure that it fills the same role as the traditional Pomodoro (grain of salt: still new to Pomodoro).

One of the problems that I find when programming (and a lot of other tasks, really) is that it's easy to get wrapped up in "how do I implement this?" instead of "What do I need to implement to achieve my goal?". This is especially problematic when it becomes even finer scaled - "I need to understand/rework this one little part because maybe it's causing the current bug/error" instead of "what is the most time-efficient way for me to try to solve the current bug/error". I've spent many hours banging my head against a wall trying to implement/fix something that was ultimately unimportant. Your technique here seems to be a great solution to this problem - frequently pulling out of tactical mode to think strategically, (plus making sure that you're fed etc, which has a huge impact on my work efficiency).

On the other hand, my impression with the Pomodoro technique is that part of the goal is to make it easier to stay motivated - it's much easier for me to sustain a decent pace of work for a day when I know that every 20 or 25 minutes I'm going to have a 5 minute break to do something fun. I'm looking forward to trying your modification, but I'm wondering if, at least for myself, I'm going to need an additional five minutes to just do something fun (at least if I want to be able to keep up my work all day long). Although, as you point out, 15 minutes is actually a long time, and maybe only 10 minutes of it is really necessary for the strategic thinking and body maintenance stuff.

Comment author: peter_hurford 16 January 2015 03:19:10AM 0 points [-]

Hey, thanks for the insight! You hit right on the head what benefit I derive from this, and I think you're right that I neglected to notice that the benefit is pretty different from that of the original Pomodoro. And, I actually still do use the original Pomodoro when I need to bust through tasks I really don't want to do, because the "It's only 25 minutes" is pretty compelling. Good point.

Comment author: c_edwards 14 January 2015 03:08:47AM 1 point [-]

Found another helpful addition to the gmail part of the system - install google lab "Multiple Inboxes", and add an inbox for "Action" and an inbox for "Waiting" (or whatever labels you use for those categories). I set mine to show below the main inbox. So now whenever I go to gmail, I see my inbox, whatever "action" emails I need to deal with, and whatever emails I'm waiting for a response on. It helps make sure I don't forget about my "processed" emails.

What modifications? I really like the pomodoro technique (so far - still in the novice stages of using it), but its rigidity doesn't lend itself well to a lot of tasks that I deal with - reading papers and writing code, mainly. In both cases, it takes a lot of work to wrap my head around things, and I lose that if I take a break at the wrong time. So when I'm doing those tasks, I'm breaking off chunks that roughly correspond to 20 minutes (like a sub function of code, or reading the intro and methods of a paper), and working until I hit that milestone. When I'm doing something where it doesn't matter when I take breaks, I'm trying to follow the pomodoro technique more exactly.

Other than that... I'm actually not sure that I'm doing much that's very different. I think that may have been a reflexive addition of fudge factor. Although I reserve the right to make further modifications.

Oh - one minor addition to the Eizenhower matrix. I'm trying to follow a common rule in the academic world, that every day you should spend at least an hour working on the project that is closest to completion. Which is just a way of weighting things within the "Important" row.

Comment author: peter_hurford 14 January 2015 04:36:03AM 1 point [-]

but [Pomodoro's] rigidity doesn't lend itself well to a lot of tasks that I deal with - reading papers and writing code, mainly. In both cases, it takes a lot of work to wrap my head around things, and I lose that if I take a break at the wrong time.

I definitely have this problem too, now that I write a lot more code than I used to back in Aug 2013. You may be interested in my proposed solution, the Pomodoro for programmers.

In response to How I Am Productive
Comment author: c_edwards 13 January 2015 03:35:04AM *  1 point [-]

Thank you for such a comprehensive (and immediately useable) guide. I just thought I would throw out one of my favorite aspects of Gmail - shortcut keys. You can turn them on through [gear symbol] > Settings > General > Keyboard shortcuts. I'd also recommend turning on Auto-advance (also in Settings > General, I like it at "Go to the Previous (older) conversation"). [EDIT: to enable Auto-advance, I believe you need to first enable the lab in [gear symbol]>Settings>Labs>Auto-advance]

With these two things on, the actual processing part of emails is incredibly fast. Hitting 'e' immediately archives the current email (removing it from the inbox but leaving it searchable), and opens the next oldest email. Hitting 'v' opens the "move to" tab, and you can start typing your folder (say, "action") to select the folder, then hit enter to move it. In combination, these mean that actual maintaining of your email structure takes only a few keystrokes per email. There are a number of other handy shortcuts ('r' to reply, for example), but most of the time saving for me is in "archive" and "move to"

I'm about a week into trying out this system (with some modifications), and it feels really, really good.

Comment author: peter_hurford 13 January 2015 11:39:17PM 0 points [-]

You can turn them on through [gear symbol] > Settings > General > Keyboard shortcuts. I'd also recommend turning on Auto-advance (also in Settings > General, I like it at "Go to the Previous (older) conversation").

Thanks! Knew about the shortcuts, but auto-advance is a huge boost to my email workflow!

-

I'm about a week into trying out this system (with some modifications), and it feels really, really good.

What modifications?

Comment author: eli_sennesh 02 January 2015 05:37:20PM *  0 points [-]

No, that assumes there is such a thing as "your identity" beyond what yourself and others ascribe to you. There's really only just your causal history.

Besides, psychological experiments show that when talking about others rather than themselves, people tend to identify "personal identity" and "moral character or alignment". So that answers that.

Comment author: peter_hurford 03 January 2015 02:17:54AM 2 points [-]

Reduce further -- "what part of the character traits that you and others see yourself as possessing do you value?"

Comment author: peter_hurford 02 January 2015 03:59:32PM 10 points [-]

The question "what part of your identity is of value to you?" sounds like it can rescue the original philosophical meaning of the question, I think.

Comment author: MattG 26 December 2014 09:52:13PM 0 points [-]

Interesting thing about the 30 is it also has a small healthy meal attached. Eben says it has to do with maintaining blood sugar - could possibly be that without the meal, you're simply depleting your willpower/blood glucose, Which is why you can't do more than two in a row

Comment author: peter_hurford 27 December 2014 05:31:25AM 0 points [-]

That's a good point. I often eat while working or during my fifteen minute break, and I agree that feels very important for keeping my energy up. I don't know if I ought to dedicate time to eating and only eating, or if I should not eat for the two hour work block, though.

Comment author: VAuroch 26 December 2014 10:52:33PM 0 points [-]

From your description, your break looks more like a change in type of work, for the most part. The useful tasks you outline probably couldn't actually fill up 15 minutes, but just from reading the description it looks dominated by things I also wouldn't consider to be 'resting'.

Comment author: peter_hurford 27 December 2014 05:29:39AM 1 point [-]

From your description, your break looks more like a change in type of work, for the most part.

That's fair. Maybe "work - plan" is a better description than "work - rest"? I personally find the different kind of work still restful, in that I'm getting food, moving around, thinking about different things, not focusing super-hard, but I guess other people might differ on that. Interesting to know.

Comment author: MattG 26 December 2014 12:47:33AM 2 points [-]

Eben Pagan has his 60-60-30 technique based around circadian rhythms, may be worth looking into for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XbRYPriDSw

Comment author: peter_hurford 26 December 2014 06:36:25AM 0 points [-]

Huh, 60-60-30, which is really 50(work)-10(break)-50(work)-30(break). Not too different from my proposal, except for the thirty minute break. I wonder how crucial that part is. Interestingly, I've never managed to do more than two of these 45-15 in a row, so maybe that's something.

Thanks.

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