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Tech Productivity

Issue #44  (An Alternative To-do List) 12/16/19

A user on Hacker News shared a website called Music for Programming, which is an older project and is supposed to offer music suitable for high concentration work. Users discussing the site debated whether or not any kind of music is conducive (or at the least, not detrimental) to writing code.

Music for Programming
Is any kind of music beneficial to high-concentration work?
The top comment, for example, says:

"Am I the only person who can't listen to anything while coding? My attention goes straight to the music, and I can't concentrate on the task at hand!"

For me, if the music is familiar (which is normally what's in my playlists), then I get more mentally involved in it, so that can be a barrier. On the other hand, if it's without lyrics, that helps me zone it out more. Basically, the more boring it is, the more I'm able to stay focused on the task I'm trying to complete.

In addition, one person commented that open offices have a similar effect to distracting music, with the conversations and noise flowing freely.

Overall, it's clear that every person is different when it comes to what kinds of things break or improve concentration, but it does seem from that thread that a large number of people prefer to code in near silence.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!

Tools & Apps

DaisyDisk - A disk analyzer tool for Mac that visualizes hard disk usage and allows to free up hard disk space.

CoScreen - Remote collaboration and screen sharing platform. Turns your secondary display into your joint team desktop. Share windows via drag and drop, collaborate remotely via mouse and keyboard.

Asana - Work management platform to stay focused on the goals, projects, and daily tasks that grow business.

Fibery - Build your own workspace with no code to replace isolated tools and bring everyone together.

Itemsy - Turn content saved for later into a beautiful personal newsletter. Follow interesting people to read what they read.

Articles & Resources

Effects of total sleep deprivation on procedural placekeeping: More than just lapses of attention - This is just the abstract, but the overall point here is that lack of sleep can impair ability to perform certain tasks.

Making Distributed Working Work - Anna Debenham looks at strategies that make her 200+ person, two-city startup more productive.

You should be working asynchronously - Based on the idea of breaking tasks into smaller tasks as much as possible and releasing Minimum Viable Changes (MVCs) as frequently as possible.

This Alternative Todo List Will Help You Complete 100 Tasks Every Day - Lawyers bill their clients in 6-minute increments. This approach has productivity benefits that we all can adopt.

Pointless work meetings 'really a form of therapy' - Meetings at work should be seen as a form of "therapy" rather than about decision-making, say researchers.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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