One of the things I noticed I do a lot (especially when presented with hard problems) is to procrastinate by opening my email, opening Hacker News or something similar. I think it’s a fairly common thing for most people. The problem with this is that it’s very unproductive: because the mind gets distracted, looses focus and needs to do constant context switching.
It’s also ruins Flow, a state you want to be in:
There’s a lot of scientific research on the matter that concludes that multi-tasking and constant context switching is really bad for your productivity.
Back to the tip! It’s really simple:
- I have a work computer where I do work and productive things. Unproductive things are blocked on this computer.
- I have another computer (an iPad) where I do unproductive work, such as check Hacker News, Facebook etc.
- I process emails 3 times a day (after I am done with the emails, I block Gmail).
I have found out that this improves my productivity greatly. You should try it out.