Monday, March 09, 2009

Procrastination Killer and Beyond

Procrastination killing may seem like an odd topic for this site.  In today’s connected world, many who never had difficulty staying on task before find themselves distracted by electronic media or caught up in compulsive web surfing.  One common challenge faced by IFLR students is dealing with dozens upon dozens of enticing Internet links to information an appetizing selection of food law topics. 

Merlin Mann says that procrastination can be remedied by running dashes, short bursts of productivity :

Why the Heck Should This Work? By making even the most modest bit of progress on your hated task, you’ve done what once seemed impossible: you got started. When you realize how much of the anxiety you’d experienced was created in your head, you’ll experience huge relief and give yourself the jolt needed to get back on track. You can do a dash any time and for virtually any kind of project. The task has not been conceived that cannot be made smaller and more dash-able.

Merlin Mann's (10+2)*5 dash technique breaks hours into 10-minute bursts of productivity followed by two-minute breaks.  This Procrastination Killer application helps you time and controls those dashes. This is a stand-alone, no-install-needed app.  Note that you can turn off "Always on Top," and it pops up to tell you you’re due for a break. The app is free to download here.

I have never been known to be a procrastinator, but I have found this technique and app useful for another challenge to productivity. Sometimes I find myself facing a long list of short tasks (a/k/a “mosquitoes”).  I hate to break away from the big tasks to tackle the mosquitoes, but, of course, I can spare ten minutes.

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