And that’s one of the most elegant productivity techniques I’ve seen.
Computers are multi-functional. That’s their benefit. Is is also a biggest threat to the productivity for people who mostly work on a computer, as you can switch from being super productive and focused to browsing cat videos for an hour in a matter of keystrokes. Switching back, however, is hard, as we all know.
Factory workers, delivery guys, and other not-so-digital employees don’t have this problem — it’s kinda hard to get into Netflix marathon when you are on a 10 hour shift in a uniform and your hands are kinda busy. Many productivity techniques try to mimic these limitations. Pomodoro promotes kitchen timers, which are loud and red. Some authors recommend to change clothes, making your work and leisure times different. Others say that flipping 18 sided dice each time you change an activity helps concentrating, and there are more approaches than can fit in a medium article.
Breaking down these techniques I can point on two things that make a difference — one is having a physical token and two — make it annoying enough so you can’t just snooze it. You can’t snooze an UPS uniform, it’s just here and reminds you that you are at work.
A guy I know — full time Scrum master, geek, and a father of two — made this ring of a bread clip to constantly remind himself of his work and, I may say, this is brilliant.
First of all, it is ugly enough. It’s bulky — you can’t get used to it as you would with common jewellery rings. Secondly, it’s affordable — you can make it in like fifteen minutes, including time actually buying bread, not like another 2-year-delivery kickstarter gadget. Thirdly, it’s simple to use, which means it’s also simple to build a habit of using it — you just put it on when you are ready to work, and you take it off each time you start fooling around. Boom, done. Here it lies, a simple, ugly reminder of productive hours wasted.
When it comes to productivity it’s always about building a habit. The more steps and rituals the habit includes, the harder it kicks in. Making it dead simple, on-off case can help you a lot.
Maybe it’s time to try one new gadget to rule them all )