“Life hacking” to streamline daily tasks and get things done

No, I haven’t flipped out. Inspired by some programming aids, self-styled life hackers have thought about how knowledge workers can increase their productivity (See my post of April 3, 2006 with its analysis of the term “productivity.”). The Economist, June 10, 2006 at 14, mentions two sites, 43 Folders and lifehacker.com, and usefully gives five life hacks.

1. Change your e-mail so it fetches new messages at 15 or 30 minute intervals, so you can concentrate more (See my post of today about another e-mail restriction.)
2. Create form responses for e-mail messages you often send
3. Fill your screen with the application you are working on, to reduce distraction
4. “Park on a downhill slope” – leave a note for yourself at the end of working on something so you know where to pick up next time
5. Use a “dash” to fight procrastination. Commit five minutes, and only five minutes, to working on a task you have put off. The task will thereafter seem more approachable.

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