Productivity/Quantified Self/Life Hacks/Etc. Improving Programmer Productivity (Mind Map) Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus - life - 06 February 2012. I'm close to tears behind my thin cover of sandbags as 20 screaming, masked men run towards me at full speed, strapped into suicide bomb vests and clutching rifles.
For every one I manage to shoot dead, three new assailants pop up from nowhere. I'm clearly not shooting fast enough, and panic and incompetence are making me continually jam my rifle. My salvation lies in the fact that my attackers are only a video, projected on screens to the front and sides. It's the very simulation that trains US troops to take their first steps with a rifle, and everything about it has been engineered to feel like an overpowering assault. But I am failing miserably. Then they put the electrodes on me. Burnout Is Real: How to Identify and Address Your Burnout Problem. Kinja is in read-only mode.
We are working to restore service. I've been going through burnout recently, thankfully it's improving. This article is pretty good. This is what I've been up to, go your mileage may vary: 1) Admit that you're burned out 2) Stop and take a 35,000 foot high level overview of the situation, and possible causes of your burnout. How to Start the Big Project You've Been Putting Off - Peter Bregman. I want to write a screenplay.
I wanted to write one last year, but other work took more time than I expected, and I kept pushing “write screenplay” off my to-do list. I know I’m not alone in struggling to make incremental progress on long-term projects or goals. How do you get started when you have “all the time in the world”? Maybe you have a project with no deadline, like my screenplay.
Or maybe you have a deadline that’s months away — like preparing a speech, developing a business plan, or designing a training program. Doing something big and important is rarely as simple as just getting it done. I know the basic advice: break the work into smaller, more manageable chunks, focus on the next small step that will move you forward, set intermediate deadlines. It’s good advice. Because, ultimately, the reason we procrastinate on a big, long-term project isn’t just because we have too much time or don’t know where to start. How to optimize your caffeine intake. Two doctors at Penn State University have developed Caffeine Zone, a free iOS app that tells you the perfect time to take a coffee break to maintain an optimal amount of caffeine in your blood — and, perhaps more importantly, it also tells you when to stop drinking tea and coffee, so that caffeine doesn’t interrupt your sleep.
You’ve probably heard of being “in the zone” — a period where your brain is firing on all cylinders and no obstacle seems insurmountable — but did you know that there’s an optimal “caffeine zone” too? To find the boundaries of this zone, the authors of the app, doctors Frank E. Ritter and Kuo-Chuan Yeh, pored through peer-reviewed studies. They found that between 200 and 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine in your bloodstream provides optimal mental alertness, and that below 100mg of caffeine is ideal for sleeping.
Nootropics. A record of nootropics I have tried, with thoughts about which ones worked and did not work for me. These anecdotes should be considered only as anecdotes, and one’s efforts with nootropics a hobby to put only limited amounts of time into due to the inherent limits of drugs as a force-multiplier compared to other things like programming; for an ironic counterpoint, I suggest the reader listen to a video of Jonathan Coulton’s “I Feel Fantastic” while reading. Your mileage will vary. There are so many parameters and interactions in the brain that any of them could be the bottleneck or responsible pathway, and one could fall prey to the common U-shaped dose-response curve (eg. Somewhat ironically given the stereotypes, while I was in college I dabbled very little in nootropics, sticking to melatonin and tea. Golden age. Modafinil.
Modafinil is a wakefulness drug developed in the 1980s. It is prescribed for narcolepsy but is widely used off-label for its stimulating effects and to deal with sleep deficits. As such, many believe it helps their cognitive performance & productivity. It probably does. (However, comparing it to the fictional drug NZT in the 2011 movie Limitless is a gross exaggeration.) Its development stems from adrafinil, a wakefulness drug developed back in the late 1970s. Modafinil is better, but the problem is that a number of forms are patented, and in addition, it’s a proscribed drug in the US & Canada.