43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Psyching yourself out

Open Loops: Your Central Nervous System: Your Biological Key to Productivity

Interesting article on ways to jumpstart your brain into action by changing something physical.

By mimicking the sympathetic reactions to a threatening environment (sitting up straight, standing, moving quickly, deeper breathing), it appears to be possible to activate the sympathetic system, which then takes over.  We are ready to act, or in our case, be productive.  We can also change our environment to one that causes the sympathetic system to activate, one that is more spartan, threatening, or simply uncomfortable.  The result?  We take action.  We are more productive.

This doesn’t surprise me a bit, and if it’s all true, it might confirm my hunch that sitting still and staring at a screen all day is a recipe for lethargy, lame thinking, and productivity inertia.

One trick that works for me is to unhook the sitting/desk/computer triad as a necessary combination for accomplishing what I need to do. On unproductive days, I try to shake myself away from even one piece of that combination: walk around, take the laptop to a coffee shop or—best of all—pretend that my time at the computer is very precious (instead of theoretically unlimited as it often is). Maybe play a mental game where I pretend I’m getting on a plane in 30 minutes, or some equivalent.

For some reason, changing just one or two factors about my approach, my setup, my assumptions, or my schedule—even if I know it’s just a self-imposed psych-out—can be just the jolt I need to get things happening.

Got a psych-out trick—physical or otherwise—that helps you get out of a productivity slump?

[Link: Lifehacker]

FredOnSomething's picture

Hello, To the point :) However, I...


To the point :)

However, I think that it is much more easy to say than to do; unfortunately. The problem in my case, tell me if I am the only one in this situation, is that you know that your time is precious and need to be productive. You also know that changing your environment would help you but you also know that it take times to change your environment, and you think that you do not have that time. So, this is hard to tell you: "He! you need to spend 30 ou 45 minutes of your previous time to go to that cofee shop, you will be much more productive this way!". No... it is not easy ;)






An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »