How to be productive

Added July 2020


Mornings: Wake up early, deep work for up to four hours. Apps for research: Zotero, Scrivener.

Afternoons: Do shallow work, process captured thoughts, check email, plan next day, exercise.

Batch shallow tasks and meetings to reserve long blocks for deep work.


Forest, SelfControl, RainyMood. For capturing stray thoughts: Things quick entry.

Take short breaks; don’t redirect attention.

Build focus muscles by meditating and minimizing internet use.


Environment: Light and air.

Intake: Coffee, modafinil, water. Avoid food comas by fasting until noon (or dinner).

Quick boosts: Walks, naps, music.


Books: Allen 2002 (flowchart), Newport 2016. For academics: Silvia 2007, Brennan 2020.

Articles: Todd 2017, Zerner 2017, Pink 2018.