FacileThings: Changelog (Nov. 2014)

Published on November 20, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

A list of minor changes and bug fixes on FacileThings.

Lately we have made some minor changes and bug fixes—most of them requested and detected by you. This is the list of changes, grouped by the application sections.

Routines

Repetitive tasks can remain inactive in the Tickler File until a number of days before the date they are scheduled. This way, you are not distracted by stuff you still don’t need to worry about. Previously, they could be activated, at most, the day before. Now we have added the possibility that a routine can be activated the same day it’s been scheduled:

setting an inactive routine

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Productivity Strategies: Exploration vs Exploitation

Published on November 17, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

Organizations are constantly engaged in conflicting processes that balance flexibility and efficiency, and so do you.

exploration

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

A very important issue in any company is deciding when to invest in improving existing products and services and when to invest in researching new possibilities 1. How many companies have been ruined by blindly following the products that led them to success, not caring to investigate new concepts, technologies and trends?

As an individual, you have a similar problem. At different times of your life and in different situations, you have probably wondered, “Should I continue with what I’ve done so far although it seems suboptimal or, on the contrary, should I seek and try other options, at the risk of not getting any improvement?”

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How To Be Productive When Bored

Published on November 10, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

Boredom is a double-edged sword. To put it at your service, you must understand why you get bored, when it benefits you and when it hurts.

boredom

“You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.” ~ Mortimer Adler

Basically, you’ll hear or read two kinds of comments about boredom and productivity. The most common is that “boredom is a productivity killer.” Other, the less common, opposite and somewhat counter-intuitive, is that “boredom improves your productivity.”

Both statements can be true. To take advantage of your boredom, you must understand why you get bored, when it benefits you and when it doesn’t.

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7 Reasons To Be Extremely Curious

Published on November 03, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

Or how curiosity can be a source of significant improvements for your personal productivity.

curiosity

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” ~ Leo Burnett

We are all born curious. You just need to look at how children play, constantly ask questions and try everything that is unknown. However, at some point in our unfortunate education, this curiosity is somewhat appeased. A myriad of rules, norms and conventions appear that are slowly killing our curiosity. As Einstein said, “it is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education”.

However, well understood and well managed curiosity can be a source of significant improvements for your personal productivity.

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Getting Control With GTD: Capture

Published on October 27, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

Identifying what's true, now, is the first thing you need to do to create a sense of positive engagement with your world.

capturing

“We want our minds to be clear—not so we can think clearly, but so we can be open in our perceptions.” ~ Mary Caroline Richards

Capturing is the first phase you need to carry out to take control of your world. In the GTD terminology (Getting Things Done) it is called also collecting and basically involves identifying what already has your attention—what is potentially relevant in your current reality.

Actually, although you do not realize it, you already capture everything that is relevant to you. At least, your brain does. It is an unconscious act that is responsible for putting that information somewhere in your mind where, besides of not being accessible for proper analysis at the right time, it constantly restricts your attention span.

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How To Beat Your "Lizard Brain"

Published on October 20, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

Never take Resistance lightly, underestimate it or fail to take it into account.

lizard-brain

“The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.” ~ Seth Godin

In his book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, Seth Godin talks a lot about the term “lizard brain” 1 (also known as “reptilian brain”) to refer to the most primitive part of our brain, where the instincts that warn us of danger when it lurks reside. Actually, this lizard brain is a metaphor for the amygdala, the part of the limbic system which is responsible for processing our emotions.

This old part of the brain allows us to react to a threat in an immediate and automatic way, without the rest of the brain processing information, thus gaining a split second that has allowed our survival for millions of years. Today, in a world in which these threats are not exactly the order of the day (we have our predators pretty well-controlled and we don’t live in such a hostile environment), this “survival instinct” that has hardly evolved, rather than help, hurts us often.

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Looking For The Perfect Productivity? Stop Putting Out Fires

Published on October 13, 2014 by Francisco Sáez

Are you being productive or spending the day putting out fires?

continuous improvement

“Prevention is better than cure.” ~ Popular saying

Of all the activities you do, which one do you consider the most important? Solving problems? Fixing errors? Taking new projects?

Unfortunately, we spend too much time solving problems and fixing errors that have been generated by some things that we haven’t done too well. And this means that we cannot have the necessary time to face new and interesting challenges… and that our productivity sucks.

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