Structured distraction: how to make the most of your breaks at work

If you went to a traditional school, chances are you were told to avoid distractions at all cost: keep your eyes on the teacher, take copious notes, don’t fidget on your chair, and don’t let your mind wander. As adults, we have internalised this mantra and seek to be hyperfocused on our work. But our …

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From productivity porn to mindful productivity

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. To put this figure into perspective, that’s about ten years of back-to-back work. So it’s no wonder productivity advice is so popular: we rightfully try to make the most of the time we spend at work. However, our desire to be more productive …

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The mindful productivity guide to intermittent fasting

When I first heard about intermittent fasting, my reaction was: “Wait, I’ve been doing this for years!” In fact, I have been skipping breakfast for more than fifteen years, simply because I don’t feel hungry in the morning. More recently, I have started experimenting with other intermittent fasting regimens. Intermittent fasting consists in alternating between …

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GPT-3 and the future of human productivity

The idea of artificial intelligence taking over the world is at least as old as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was published in 1818. Public figures such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have warned us against the reckless creation of superintelligent machines. In June 2020, OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory based in San Francisco, …

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Browser extensions for Roam Research

Roam is a note-taking tool for networked thought which I find incredibly powerful. One of the exciting aspects of using Roam is joining a community of curious minds interested in metacognition and thinking in maps. While Roam is a pleasure to use out of the box, this community has created many browser extensions to improve …

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The psychology of mindful productivity

Mindful productivity is a sustainable way to work and think. It’s not a product, it’s not an app, it’s not a system—it’s a flexible roadmap. While mindful productivity is first and foremost a set of principles anyone can apply to work better and think better, many of the habits and routines it prescribes are rooted …

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Connectedness and complex systems with Dr John L. Collins

Welcome to the fourth instalment in our interview series, where I ask highly creative and innovative people how they manage to achieve more without sacrificing their mental health. Our guest is Dr John L. Collins, a Chartered Mathematician and Chartered Physicist who holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics and Semiconductor theory from Aston University. John …

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Are we too busy to enjoy life?

“How are things?” asked a friend. “It’s busy, but I’ll take some time to relax when things ease up,” I replied. I recently caught myself giving a variation of this answer every time I was asked how I was doing. “So much work, but hopefully it will be better next week.” Being busy all the …

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10 ways to speed up your Roam Research workflow

Since I started using it a few months ago, Roam has become an integral part of my workflow. I use it for interstitial journaling, to outline articles, and in general to seed my mind garden. If, like me, you spend a lot of time inside of Roam, you may want to add some productivity shortcuts …

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Interstitial journaling: combining notes, to-do and time tracking

Interstitial journaling is a productivity technique created by Tony Stubblebine. To my knowledge, it’s the simplest way to combine note-taking, tasks, and time tracking in one unique workflow. You don’t need any special software, but Roam Research makes it even easier to do thanks to the flexibility of daily notes. Interstitial journaling has had an …

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