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Productivity - project planning, procrastination and helpful tools

I gave this talk for the weekly group meeting of the Computer Graphics and Visualization group at the TU Delft I work in. Typically I can not share my talks there, because they contain protected medical images related to my PhD project, but this one is completely safe to share :)

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Noeska Smit
Productivity
On Projects, Procrastination and probably
more things that start with a p ;)
Noeska Smit
Why?
I was working all day,
but what did I actually
achieve?
I should really finish this
report, but let me just
check facebook
instead…
What’s a realistic
planning for this
publication?
So many things to do,
what should I do first?
Such PhD
Many year
How planning? Wow!
Noeska Smit
Project Management
Noeska Smit
Getting Things Done (GTD)
1. Capture
2. Clarify
3. Organize
4. Reflect
5. Engage
http://hamberg.no/gtd/
Noeska Smit
Getting Things Done (GTD)
• Five lists:
1. In
2. Next Actions
3. Waiting for
4. Projects
5. Some day/maybe
• Calendar:
– For date-sensitive items
• Contexts:
– Tags that indicate where items on the Next Actions list can
be performed
– @home, @work, @computer
http://hamberg.no/gtd/
Noeska Smit
Autofocus
1. Write all tasks on separate lines in a notebook
2. Go through your list and work on whatever jumps out
at you for as long as you like:
– Cross it out
– If it’s not done: re-enter it at the back of the list
3. Continue from your crossed off item and repeat step 2
for the same page
• Variation: select with a random
number generator
http://markforster.squarespace.com/autofocus-system/
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Productivity - project planning, procrastination and helpful tools

  • 1. Noeska Smit Productivity On Projects, Procrastination and probably more things that start with a p ;)
  • 2. Noeska Smit Why? I was working all day, but what did I actually achieve? I should really finish this report, but let me just check facebook instead… What’s a realistic planning for this publication? So many things to do, what should I do first? Such PhD Many year How planning? Wow!
  • 4. Noeska Smit Getting Things Done (GTD) 1. Capture 2. Clarify 3. Organize 4. Reflect 5. Engage http://hamberg.no/gtd/
  • 5. Noeska Smit Getting Things Done (GTD) • Five lists: 1. In 2. Next Actions 3. Waiting for 4. Projects 5. Some day/maybe • Calendar: – For date-sensitive items • Contexts: – Tags that indicate where items on the Next Actions list can be performed – @home, @work, @computer http://hamberg.no/gtd/
  • 6. Noeska Smit Autofocus 1. Write all tasks on separate lines in a notebook 2. Go through your list and work on whatever jumps out at you for as long as you like: – Cross it out – If it’s not done: re-enter it at the back of the list 3. Continue from your crossed off item and repeat step 2 for the same page • Variation: select with a random number generator http://markforster.squarespace.com/autofocus-system/
  • 7. Noeska Smit Scrum • Iterative + incremental agile software development framework for managing software projects and product or application development • For teams/solo https://www.scrum.org/
  • 8. Noeska Smit Scrum • Sprint: – a time-box of one month or less during which a “Done” product Increment is created • Sprint planning: (product backlog -> current sprint) – What to deliver? – How will the work be achieved? • Daily scrum: – What happened yesterday? (done) – What will I do today? (in progress) – Any obstacles to sprint goal? • Sprint review (check done, adapt product backlog) https://www.scrum.org/
  • 13. Noeska Smit Procrastination? • Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. • “Procrastination is the thief of time” – proverb: If you delay doing something, it will take longer to do later on
  • 14. Noeska Smit • http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why- procrastinators-procrastinate.html • http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/11/how-to- beat-procrastination.html
  • 16. Noeska Smit Three Tasks a Day • Start the workday by: 1. Selecting three tasks you want to complete that day 2. Posting them to your desk 3. Completing the tasks one by one and removing the posts as you complete them http://noeskasmit.com/three-tasks-day-keeps-procrastination-away/
  • 17. Noeska Smit The Rule of Three • Write down: – Three outcomes for the day – Three outcomes for the week – Three outcomes for month – Three outcomes for the year http://gettingresults.com/wiki/The_Rule_of_3
  • 18. Noeska Smit Tools of the Trade
  • 19. Noeska Smit Evernote • Cross-platform software (browser, stand-alone, apps) • Remember everything • Store and retrieve information in nested notebooks • Useful for: – Lab journal – Meeting minutes – Ideas – Conference summaries – Travel information http://evernote.com/
  • 20. Noeska Smit Todoist • Task management software (browser, apps) • Useful for: – To do list keeping – Recurring tasks – Date-sensitive tasks – Task sharing – GTD http://todoist.com
  • 21. Noeska Smit Trello • Organizing software (browser, apps) • Lists of cards • Useful for: – Planning – Reviewing student work with a group – Scrum (with the Scrum for Trello plug-in) http://trello.com
  • 22. Noeska Smit HabitRPG • Habit building software (browser, apps) • Gamify your life with a classic RPG-type • Level up as you succeed, lose HP as you fail, earn money to buy weapons and armor, compete with your friends. • Useful for: – Habit building – Tasks – Daily task checklist http://habitrpg.com
  • 23. Noeska Smit Final Tips • Doing the right things vs. doing the things right: – Perfect task management filled with tasks that don’t matter? • Productivity methods can harm productivity: – Don’t fall into the trap of finding the perfect method at the cost of getting actual work done
  • 24. Noeska Smit Questions? How can anyone enjoy things like this? Where are the cool medical pictures during my lunch? Seriously?