December 2008 Blog Posts

Best Productivity Tips of 2008

This is the last week of 2008 and according to our web traffic almost nobody cares about productivity right now, so this looks like a good time to pick the five best tips of the year. This list was selected by me, the web traffic statistics of all the productivity tips are too close to use them to select the best posts. Productivity Tips: Filling timesheets manually is a great way to under charge - and it’s also a waste of time Productivity Tip: Don’t Panic Productivity Tip – Why...

Productivity Tip – Take Vacations

Most people can’t work all the time, you need some downtime to “recharge” – so take a vacation and enjoy yourself. A vacation can actually boost your productivity in two ways, the first is the obvious, a nice change of pace and some rest will help you come back mentally recharged and ready to take on new challenges. The second and even more important impact of a vacation is less obvious. When you work on something every day you are too close, you are focused on the details and you can’t see the big picture – by leaving for a while you can...

The Real Cost of Free Ad-Supported Software/Services

Software is not free, making software takes time and expertise, making good software takes a lot of time and expertise. Internet servers are also not free, bandwidth cost money, computers cost money, disk drives cost money, renting space in a data center to put your server cost money. So, we established that making software and running web sites isn’t free, it’s easy to see that a more popular software or service needs more bandwidth and computing power - so the more popular your site is the more money you need to run it. Now, some sites are run by non-profit organizations or individuals,...

Productivity Tip – Don’t Multitask

We all think we can do more than one thing at the same time – and we are wrong, we have just one brain and we can concentrate only on one thing at a time. We can do multiple things at the same time – but not well, when we spread our attention between multiple things they all suffer. Do one thing at a time and you’ll get more done – because it’s quicker to do two things one after the other then to do them in parallel, that is, if you have to do a good job, it’s quicker to do...

You Are Not Microsoft

I wanted to write this back in 2002 but I didn’t have a blog back then so the example in this post is a bit old – but the principle is still valid. Obviously, if you do work at Microsoft you don’t have to read this post. Microsoft release Windows XP with an activation mechanism, I think this was the first mass market product in years with a “phone home” anti piracy system – and most of the time it works flawlessly and when it didn’t you can always call a local phone number and get someone that speaks your language who...

yaTimer 2.3 Released

I’ve just uploaded yaTimer 2.3 to the web site, you can download the new version here or upgrade (for free) from any older version here. This is a small release with only user interface improvements (I’ll post the complete change log soon) it doesn’t include any of the big exciting features I’ve been working on. With this version I also completely redesigned the yaTimer home page, I’d love to know what you think about it (as usual you can reach me by leaving a comment on the blog, using the contact form or sending a message to the support e-mail address).

Productivity Tip – There is no one size fits all

There are a lot of productivity tips out there, some of them contradictory, try to follow them all and you’ll waste so much time arranging, prioritizing, filing and tracking that you won’t have any time left to work. We are all different, our jobs are different and our psychology is different, so it should be a surprise that we have different whys to be more productive. Whenever you read productivity advice (including on this blog), you should read it critically, you should ask yourself “how does this make me more productive?”, you should think about the problem the method you are reading...

3 differences between 'Small Business' and 'Enterprise'

3 differences between 'Small Business' and 'Enterprise' on the SecretGeek blog

Post to Twitter

I’ve just added a small feature to this blog, every post now has a “Post to Twitter” link at the bottom (near the date and the comment count). Now every twitter user can tell everyone about any post in this blog with just one mouse click. This feature was inspired by How to Use Twitter as a Twool by Guy Kawasaki , currently those links are available only on the web-site and not in the RSS feed.

yaTimer 2.3 Release Date

I said yaTimer will be released sometime in November and yet today is December 1st and yaTimer 2.3 is still not released. yaTimer 2.3 is ready but I decided to delay the release another week, just to let me test it better and finish updating the web site for the next version. If you can’t wait until then send me an e-mail or use the contact form and I’ll send you a link to download the new version.

Productivity Tip: Sleep

Noting hurts productivity more than sleep deprivation. There is an awful lot of conclusive research on the effects of sleep deprivation on productivity (usually done by armies), the sleep deprived teams are always much slower, less focused and make substantially more mistakes, also the sleep deprived individuals don’t notice they are performing so badly. So, remember, you are not super human, you need your sleep – by working instead of sleeping you are likely just making a lot costly mistakes and setting yourself back more then you are advancing with your work.