OK, I guess this has been covered a million times already, and probably a million times before that. However, it is a very good hack which I just recently started using to increase my productivity. I guess you all can relate to how you, when you just woke up, says “Today I’m going to be productive”. I did that. I still do, to be honest. What dragged me down however was the fact that I, every morning, had to catch up on a few pages before I set to work. I get done in the morning, showering and the usual, then, with a fresh cup of coffee I would surf around the web with the intention of catching up. Almost every time I ended up on an old article, not up to date and therefor not part of what I set out to do.
I just recently came across IFTTT (www.ifttt.com). My hack is somewhat like that. Gather 3 pages you think are 3 great pages to start your day with for some new knowledge. Then, let your browser do the work for you. Set them as homepages to open at launch of your browser. That way you will get rid of the risk of drifting away on something unrelated.
I’m using the following:
- http://www.designspiration.net/ – Great for inspiration and to get your mind going.
- http://www.wired.com/ – Brilliant layout, gets you MUCH information in a few scrolls.
- http://www.fastcompany.com/ – Of course. Very well written articles, check out their “Trending”-section.
What’s important here is keeping track of time. If you set aside 20 minutes for reading through what’s new you should be fine. Maybe 30 minutes occasionally. If you run out of time in the middle of an article, make sure to have an account with Instapaper before you start. By doing so you will just click the bookmark for “Read Later” and you can progress with your day as planned. The article will be there waiting for you in the evening.