Tuesday, May 1, 2007

So What If I Use ALL of Them?

A while ago, zenhabits (a productivity and lifehack blog) listed Top 5 Online Apps That Ruin Your Productivity, as follows:

  1. Twitter.
  2. IM.
  3. Email notification.
  4. Blog reader.
  5. Social bookmarking sites like Digg.
One question though, what if I use ALL of them, not only on a daily basis, but on an at-least-hourly basis?

First let me start by saying I have good reasons to keep the habits:
  1. Twitter. ( the most convenient way to keep track of my+my friends' life, a substitute of a condensed diary)
  2. IM. ( it's a code of conduct nowadays to be always reachable, as important as keeping your cell phone on)
  3. Email notification. ( same reason as above)
  4. Blog reader. ( keep informed. two days without reading recent feeds makes you a stone-age man/ woman)
  5. Social bookmarking sites like Digg. ( a little fun at side wouldn't hurt)
I use Google Reader, and subscribe to about 20 feeds from three categories: world news/opinion (up to 13 feeds), music, technology/productivity, etc. Here's how I survive:

1. Get up earlier.

No matter where you live, your internet connection is always fastest in the early morning. How early? That really depend on your environment. In my university, the internet starts to slow down at about 7:30 AM. That's why I usually get up at 6:00 AM, just enough time for me to read every feed and check out a few YouTube post.

2. Start with the fun part.

I don't care what people say about "get the important stuff done first", the thing is, if you are gonna start your day with some heavy news, it's likely you wouldn't want to continue working at all. So I start with my music feeds, chances are that there would be some free tracks available for downloading (if you subscribe to sites like Largehearted Boy or 3 hives) so that you could start the day with new music.

3. SORT your information.

I couldn't stress this strong enough. I read news from New York Times, Washington Post, BBC International and Gotham Gazzete (don't underestimate it just because of name, trust me, you couldn't know about news and public policies in NYC anywhere else. and since NYC is where most of the interesting policies start, it's the best place to learn about American policies), and commentaries / editorials from Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, The Economists, and Guardian Unlimited. [I had to do this because as a debater, I must be fully informed about (and preferably have an insight into) almost everything in the world... -_-////] The overlapping part of the information is time-consuming, so I keep news and opinions in two folders, and make the items in news folder only show headlines (for scanning) while the opinions show in full article (by then I should know what is more important/controversial).

4. Mozart, Mozart, Mozart...

I'm sure you've heard about "Mozart makes you smarter" (it's not a myth, but science-proven by the way). If you hate classical, listen to something that can get you out of the usual morning-doze. Listening to something, anything! While you are browsing the *fun* feeds, listen to a podcast; while reading news feeds (which require more concentration), using any non-vocal music.

5. Water!

Don't forget to drink a lot of water. It pumps up your body energy much better than coffee and rehydrates your body after a long period of sleep. (Oh, with a slice of lemon for better effect, if possible ;)

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