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Archive for May, 2019

Want to be Efficient? Disable Notifications. Read and Reply in Large Batches.

Resisting temptations is a lot easier when they never show up

Got mail

Productivity is — and has long been — a habit or hobby of mine; my blog has a whole section dedicated to it (since 2004). Some people wrongly accuse me of being a “bot” even though everything I post I always post manually (I use 3 computers in tandem, but that’s about workspace, not automation). The culprit which needs to be eliminated is obtrusive “push” as opposed to “pull”; push is when someone tells you what to pay attention to, whereas pull is when you’re totally in control of your workflow and you habitually ‘pull’ updates when time is available or the mind is blank (end of some mental backlog).

15 years ago I wrote down some “Efficiency Tips” and years later I wrote some blog posts about how I manage mail, filtering etc. I have hardly written anything on the subject since then. Over the past decade (or more) a new creeping threat to people’s sanity has emerged; it was further popularised by social (control) media and then spread to other platforms that imitate it (with the notion of notifications, not just in a designated area/page but also persistent somewhere on the screen, urging to be clicked). For people who crave constant attention there’s an element of addiction right there. I too was vulnerable to it.

I read E-mail about once a day (and for those who might send urgent messages I made it clear, reducing the expectation of a fast response; they can pick up the phone in case of urgency). To avoid temptation to open messages in the queue do not download E-mail and keep the E-mail client shut.

But E-mail is to many people “yesterday’s technology”… now there’s a small number of companies — often foreign ones that mine data — controlling people’s communications.

Suppress notifications and read them (and reply) once a day, sometimes even less often depending on the nature of replies and importance of their promptness (some platforms ‘move’ faster than others).

Notification bars can also be hidden, if not in site settings then by moving windows out of view (outside the screen). It’s not always simple to achieve and it depends on the site. It’s almost always possible… somehow.

Reading one notification at a time (not clustering related ones) is just about the worst one can do and the most distracting thing. There’s no way to keep one’s train of thought, concentration suffers, and multitasking results in mental clutter. I’ve seen people who have fallen into the trap of renting (‘owning’) a survrveillance device (they call it ‘phone’) and it constantly bugs them with updates that they attend to. Not good. They don’t even focus on their workout at the gym; so what’s the point even going there?

Busy-ness as a Form of Happiness

Business? No. Just keeping busy, not necessarily making money but keeping oneself occupied.

Got mail

Boredom or inactivity will not bring about happiness. Just ask retired or very rich people who do not work; they can sink into depression quite easily as they lack a sense of accomplishment (even making one’s meal can be a sort of accomplishment). They’re not distracted from ordinary issues and they drift into a world of “entertainment”, sometimes other people’s lives (strangers or fictional characters). They’re overthinking things and having regrets because they’re busy recalling the past instead of focusing on the present.

Feeling down? Keep busy and it might go away, as new thoughts and feelings obscure the prior ones.

Brexit Parties Rotting in the EU

Some flies on a bottle-

BREXIT fanatics have, as expected, voted for a “Leave” party. But the numbers are revealing. Not many people voted for such parties; as the Green Party’s Sian puts it this week (hours ago): “Giving the people the final say over the country’s direction is now clearly the only way forward, the way to draw a line under the Brexit chaos.” (Greens have more than doubled the number of MEPs)

Brexit is rottening; any party that backs it will perish. The hardcore Brexiters might be willing to vote for a cartoon party with no policies (other than “Leave the EU”), but Europe won’t take such a party seriously; it’s little more than a Trojan horse.

Will there be a general/snap election later this year? Some prominent people have called for it. In more than a week from now we’re left with no Prime Minister; surely people should get to actually elect who runs the country.

Oops! They Did it Again (Manchester City)

Manchester City champions

RECORDS were being promised and are now being delivered. Last night we saw our local team (across the road from us) winning the league again, having already won the League Cup and the Community Shield. In 5 days from now we shall see if FA Cup is added to the trophies cabinet, making a first-ever treble of this kind.

Not the first time

Manchester City won the league half a dozen times before, but over the past 8 years it happened 50% of the time. Here they are as recently as last year.

Manchester City champions

An attitude thing

I was never a crazy Manchester United fan. Sure, they’re local, but the attitude was always a tad different and City was the ‘underdog’. With young talent like ‘Insane’ Sane, how can anyone not like City?

Sane

Compare that to the pretentious London clubs, where some players’ heads are too big even for the coach/manager.

Kepa

Liverpool made victory even sweeter

I’ve long cheered for Liverpool because it’s a sweet, passionate club with a lot of tradition. For a number of decades it receded to ‘underdog’ status, but not anymore. It has defeated City more than any other club in recent years, so seeing their incapacity for actual trophies is always amusing.

Crying

‘Pep’ and Jürgen are another matter. Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, like his German club, are somewhat of a Nemesis to the legendary Guardiola, based on their track record. Thus, any time we see Klopp defeated there’s a tinge for sympathy for Guardiola, who conquers his worst fear.

Pep and Jürgen

And so, here we are the morning after. Will City get the perfect ‘cabinet set’ this year? We shall know on Saturday…

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