The self-sustaining cycle of thesis productivity

April 4, 2012

How do you stay productive, day after day?One day you're on fire, the next you struggle to write 50 words.It's frustrating; you know you're capable of doing it, but that just makes it worse on those days when you can't get going.

1: The first working hour of the day is the most important

If you start the day achieving something, then you're more likely to stay productive for the rest of the day.But if you don't know exactly what you're going to work on when you sit down at your desk, then your default routine takes over (email, news websites, etc). Two clicks and you're stuck in a procrastination loop.So wait before turning on the computer. Spend 10 minutes or so just thinking about what you're going to do. Start with something easy you can finish!

2: Stop while you still have something in reserve

At the end of the day, don't work till exhaustion just because you are "on a roll". You need rest to stay consistently productive!Stop, and set yourself something easy to start with tomorrow.

The self-sustaining cycle of consistency

If you do this, taking care of the beginning and end of the day, you will be able to keep your momentum from one day to the next.Achieving something early generates momentum. That means you get plenty done and can finish the day happy with what you've done.Then it feels OK to stop, so you can rest properly, and leaving yourself something easy to do means you can achieve something early, which generates momentum...

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