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Ask HN: What's your personal workflow environment like?
7 points by igammarays on Oct 9, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments
How do you optimize your productivity? What techniques and apps are you using to manage tasks?

I'm especially interested in you super-productive folks who have been sticking with effective routines for a long time (you know who you are, I'm lucky if I can catch you on HN), startup founders and university students. Less interested in those who jump frequently from app to app.

I'll start: I use a variation of GTD techniques for task management (iOS reminders managed by Fantastical), Pomodoro timers for focus (BreakTime on Mac), Productive App for building and tracking my personal habits, HIIT exercises twice weekly for basic physical health, Krill oil omega-3 supplements and probiotics for brain health, Asana for work/group collaboration, pen-and-paper for notes (which are reviewed at the end of the week and digitized with ScanBot) and daily meditation to stay calm and sane.

Would love to hear about your productive environment.




1. Limit inputs and the number of inboxes you have to pay attention to. By "limit inputs", I mean limit and control what goes into your brain to limit information fatigue -- websites, podcasts, etc. All this stuff must be processed by your brain. If it's not truly important to you, cut it out.

Learn to enjoy the silence.

2. Pay no attention to the latest productivity "life hacks" and apps. Use simple, age-tested, least-friction approaches.

3. Exercise very single day. Walk, run, lift, whatever. This is a keystone habit for discipline and productivity and is vital.

4. Get stuff done.


This is how I optimise my productivity:

- Make a list every morning of your priorities - Take a break every 1.5hrs minimum - Exercise at least every second day for 30mins - At the end of the week review where you were unproductive (due to the benefit of hindsight, missed opportunities, focussing on the wrong thing) - Pen and paper can't be beaten for some activities

I also fast one day a week as it sharpens my mind.


>I also fast one day a week as it sharpens my mind.

I tried this and my body literally can NOT handle this. When I fast one day the next day my body goes nuts and I eat everything in sight.

I fast til diner (5 pm) and then eat all my protein + calories. This builds a kind of 'buffer' for random food I didn't expect (lunch with someone I met that day, birthday cake, etc)


He only exercises 30 minutes every other day. I would try exercising 30 minutes every day before this fasting. As someone that exercises 1+ hour a day I gotta say I couldn't think without proper nutrition, even delayed a few hours.




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