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IslamQA: Productivity tips

Assalamualaikum, i was wondering if you have any productivity tips regarding reading and doing our daily work?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I used to read many articles and follow many websites that were dedicated to increasing personal productivity. But I realized at some point that it was all irrelevant to me. For example having a clean desk and working in a quiet environment is recommended by many productivity-related sources, but in my case my productivity had nothing to do with these things.

So instead I developed an empirical program where I kept track of my habits to determine what increased my productivity and what decreased it. For example I discovered that having caffeine (such as a strong coffee) in the afternoon made me less productive the next day, so I stopped doing that. I also realized that having a large breakfast or lunch reduced my ability to work, so these days I only have one major meal per day at around 4 PM or after. Before that I only have small amounts of food, such as an apple in the morning.

The most important productivity thing you can do is to keep track of how many hours you worked, and how many hours you read, every day, and to keep track of how the things you do affects these things (the meals you eat and their size, where you spent your work, what hobbies you engaged in). You can keep track of these things in an Excel spreadsheet, and eventually you may notice some patterns and find out how to best maximize your productivity. Without having empirical data on your performance it may be very difficult to find out what is benefiting and what is harming your productivity, since we are not naturally inclined to take into account what we did yesterday when we think about why we are not productive today.

And God knows best.
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