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Readers Recommend: 15 More Productivity Blogs You Probably Never Heard Of

Readers Recommend: 15 More Productivity Blogs You Probably Never Heard Of

The Path Less Traveled By

    Last week, I recommended over 60 productivity blogs, from the big name sites to some of the little-known discoveries I’d made in my travels through the productivity Web. At the end, I asked readers to recommend the sites that they’d come across that they felt deserved wider recognition, and this is what you came up with.

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    1. Aim for Awesome: Vern Lovic shares his simple recipe for life (“smiles + smarts + success”) with an odd but interesting mix of high technology and spiritual seeking.
    2. Avani Mehta: Avani Mehta offers “Food for Mind”, with posts on motivation, stress and relaxation, and “mind hacks”.
    3. Chief Happiness Officer: Alexander Kjerulf answers questions, shares tips, reviews books, and indulges in a little bit of silliness on this blog dedicated to living happily ever after – and today.
    4. Encouraging Greatness: Jeff Hurley focuses on office relations, with tips and tricks for coaxing success from any staff.
    5. Effing the Dog: A blog and podcast offering a not-so-slightly offbeat take on productivity: Eventualism, which as far as I can make out, holds that eventually everything gets done. Filled with interviews of productivity greats (that he eventually gets posted…).
    6. Get Everything Done: The blog of Mark Forster, author of Do It Tomorrow and other books on personal productivity and time managment. Here he offers tips and motivation for more productive living.
    7. Lesson In Life: Mohamad Zaki, known as “banji”, shares his lessons on living, with posts on self-motivation, attitude adjustment, studying kills, and related topics.
    8. On Simplicity: Sara shares her findings in her quest for “a happier, easier, more enjoyable life”. Contains a pretty even mix of practical advice and inspiring thought-pieces.
    9. Productive Flourishing: Charlie Gilkey’s blog is notable for his philosophical approach to just living, as well as his free downloadable monthly planner pages.
    10. Sneak Up On Your Dreams: Aileen Journey discusses how to make and achieve your goals in little steps on this new but promising site.
    11. Study Matrix Blog: A unique site dedicated to exploring the potential of a kind of mind map known as a “study matrix”. Gorgeously illustrated, there’s lots of useful information here for people interested in learning how to explore and represent ideas visually.
    12. Success Making Machine: Heshy Shayovitz presents his “life management system” – along the way touching on topics related to productivity and effective management.
    13. Team Taskmaster: This BNET blog cy CC Holland is geared towards office workers, with an emphasis on workplace relations and other issues.
    14. YangTown: A spiritual blog for men, this site is Ryan Randolph’s attempt to forge a new concept of masculinty. Scroll down – all the content was below my browser window when I visited!
    15. Zen College Life: Ibrahim Husain presents the technology news, health and fitness tips, study advice, and life knowledge students need to succeed at college – and life.

    Thanks to everyone who recommended sites – even if they were your own. There are a lot of sites here that I plan on subscribing to – and a few I wouldn’t, but that’s the beauty of the Web: there’s plenty for everyone.

    My larger list last week drew quite a few comments from people complaining about the length of the list. I’ve grown to expect the refrain of “you’re a productivity site, how can a huge list be good for productivity” on any post with more than a few ideas in it, but I suppose it’s a valid complaint and deserves to be addressed.

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    First of all, I haven’t exactly hid my feelings about productivity – it’s a lot more than work work work. Some of these sites provide useful, immediately applicable information – and some provide inspiration, spiritual instruction, or just plain fun. Some I read every day, and some I read once a week or less – and some I visit just every so often, when I feel like it. Some are essential reading for the advice they give, and some are occasional reading to snuggle up with on a long afternoon with nothing else pressing.

    Second of all, I don’t expect anyone to read all of these sites. I don’t read all of them – and many I only read occasionally, as I said! I fully expect that some of you will absolutely loathe some of my recommendations – the author is too arrogant, too spiritual, too feminine, too masculine, too money-centric, too self-righteous, too whatever. Others might find the same site exactly what they’ve always looked for. This is not an all-or-nothing affair – by all means, pick and choose the ones that work for you.

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    Finally, on a different note, if you write one of these sites, we’d love to hear from you. Maybe you’d like to join Lifehack as an ongoing guest contributor, or submit an occasional guest post. What has become especially clear to me in the year-plus at Lifehack (last week marked my one-year anniversary as a Lifehack writer) is that there’s a huge community of people out there seeking ways to better themselves and their lives.

    But that community is somewhat disjointed, scattered into tiny niches (student life blogs, management and leadership blogs, make money online bogs, and on and on).

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    Let’s start changing that – let’s open up some lines of communication and see what we can achieve if we start building relationships amongst ourselves!

    If you’re interested and have any ideas, contact us or email me directly at dustin (at) lifehack dot org.

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why we procrastinate after all

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    So, is procrastination bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How bad procrastination can be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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    8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

    Procrastination, a technical failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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