The psychology of unfinished tasks

Unfinished tasks can feel overwhelming, leading to procrastination and slowing your progress. On the other hand, the annoyance of having all of these unfinished tasks on your to-do list may motivate you to tackle them at the next opportunity. These contradictory experiences are due to two effects: the Zeigarnik effect and the Ovsiankina effect. A …

Read more

Temptation bundling: how to stop procrastinating by boosting your willpower

You know you should be working on that presentation, but you’ve been procrastinating. To make things worse, the latest season of your favourite show has just dropped on Netflix. Luckily, making progress on your work and indulging in activities you enjoy is not only compatible, it can make you more productive. That’s called temptation building. …

Read more

Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity

The business and productivity app market is worth billions of dollars. Every day, there is a new productivity tool popping up, a book about productivity being published, and millions of people reading and sharing content related to personal productivity. It started as a measure of efficiency for the production of goods and services. Somehow, along …

Read more

Living and working outside your inbox with the co-founder of Mailman

Welcome to this edition of our Tools for Thought series, where we interview founders on a mission to help us be more productive without sacrificing our mental health. Mohit Mamoria is the founder and CEO of Mailman, a plugin that allows you to decide when and what emails should land in your inbox. In a …

Read more

The MoSCoW method of prioritization

Whether you are trying to decide which product feature to ship first, or what task to place at the top of your to-do list, it can sometimes be hard to decide on the right prioritization. That’s when a strategic approach can be helpful. The MoSCoW method is a simple, effective way to bring order to …

Read more

Is there a perfect productivity system?

Every year, dozens of new productivity systems pop up, each of them promising a more efficient, better way to work. And, every day, people try one of these new systems in the hope of better managing their work as well as their mental health. Talk to any knowledge worker and they will have tried at …

Read more

The willpower paradox: when confident self-talk becomes counterproductive

We all have used self-talk to motivate ourselves. “I will meditate everyday”, “I will start going to the gym”, “I will complete this coding course”… It gives us a boost in confidence and the conviction that we will achieve our goals. Such self-talk sounds harmless, but research suggests we may benefit from being a little …

Read more

Not-to-do list: a conscious way to break bad habits

The good old to-do list is a staple of most productivity systems, used to keep track of tasks and manage your focus throughout the day. While to-do lists are powerful, a complementary method can further increase our productivity: the not-to-do list. As the name indicates, it consists in listing all of the behaviors you want …

Read more

Should we really focus on one thing at a time?

Most productivity methods will encourage you to focus on one thing at a time. The idea is to avoid multitasking and to concentrate all of your energy one one goal until you achieve it. There is a lot of wisdom behind the “one thing at a time” principle, but is it always the best approach? …

Read more