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Here are a few tricks and strategies that are working for me right now:

  1. In the morning I write down what I am going to accomplish that day.  I try to plan an amount of work that I should be able to finish by about 3pm.  I also write down something FUN to do when I’m finished.
    • This incents me to get the work done and to not waste time on the internet.
    • I usually chose two different project per day; keeps me from getting too bored.
    • Even though 9-3 is not a full work day, I’m getting more done than when I planned to work all day and then wasted half of it goofing off.
  2. I’m using a timer to:
    • keep myself on task while I’m working (the value of focus) – 30mins is about right.
    • remind myself to take breaks away from the computer (keeps me alert, recharges creativity, prevents headaches).
    • limit the length of my email/surfing breaks.
  3. I’m closing my email apps when I’m supposed to be working.


Another big win is that I seem to have gotten a handle on my chronic headaches.  Stretching, exercise and back-pain meds weren’t working anymore, so I went to see my massage therapist again (I’d stopped because it’s expensive).  Oh my goodness, what a difference!  A massage doesn’t just cure the headache, it has some lasting effect on the neck and shoulder muscles that were causing it.  It has now been a week with no headaches – and I aim to keep it that way, so I’m keeping up with the physio exercises and stretching.

It’s hard to stop procrastinating when you feel like shit.  This has been a big boost for my productivity.

Next up: I need to pare down the list of social media sites and web comics that I’m checking daily.  I’m even thinking about moving all my personal documents and bookmarks to another computer to make it harder to play with them during the work day.





  1. As you already know, the dual-computer system is what I use. On one side of the room is my “work” computer. No games, only work emails and related programs. On the other side of the room is my “play” computer.

    They are at different desks with different chairs. I do not even use the same chair to roll between the two desks. This makes it “different” when I switch from one to the other. This not only helps keep me refreshed, but allows me to get into “work mode” when I’m at the “work desk.”

    I find it very helpful so I can definitely say that it’s worked for me in terms of increasing productivity.

    Taking the breaks also helps a lot. I have found that 20 minute tasks are best for me. I don’t use a timer, because at the 20 minute mark, I immediately start to lose focus. If I get up and do something else, even just wander into the kitchen to get a drink for 5 minutes, I can come back and work for another 20 minute stretch.

    It’s very exciting to see in practical terms the improvement in my productivity! I love this sense of mastery over myself and my procrastination.

    • I guess now I have to admit that I stole the two-computers idea from you. 🙂 Thanks for commenting DavidR, glad to hear it’s working for you!

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