Thursday, February 18, 2010

Productivity Tricks

Do you know when you are most productive?

I'm not sure how well-researched this area has been, but everyone knows that sometimes they are just more productive than others. There seem to be plenty of mental performance-enhancing drugs out there. There are even companies out there (like iMusic) that sell you music specially formulated to improve staggeringly specific things from thinking stamina to "Writing chops: just the right words will come to mind." Some people put on headphones to keep others from bothering them. And yet other people say seem need to IM and watch TV at the same time while working.

Me? I do my best thinking while I'm in bed. I'm remarkably focused, creative, and alert when I've just woken up but haven't opened my eyes yet. In this state, I can visually organize entire presentations for work or adjust plotlines for my book. I can plan my schedule for the next day and through the next week. But I can't write any of it down.

You see, it is quite easy to break the spell. Sitting up or even opening my eyes for too long can put an end to my flow of productivity. Like most animals, I think I was just made to be in the horizontal position... and to not use my eyes...

So I do occasionally try to jot things down on my phone, by my typing speed on my pixi while lying sideways is not anything to brag about. As a result, I'm thinking about how to make best use of my productive state. I COULD, for instance, bring a bed into work and see if my boss will let me sleep at work, but I imagine that won't fly that well. Alternatively, I could try to set up a laptop next to my bed at home so that I have a faster way to jot down notes while in my optimal state. In fact, I just learned that one my friends finds creativity in the wee hours of the morning as well. She has a word processor next to her bed that she uses to write things down. Yes, that's right, a word processor. (For the luxury of having a monochrome screen that turns on instantly, you can buy a word processor for more than the cost of a laptop.)

Anyhow, now I'm thinking about sleeping with a laptop under my pillow or using some kind of fancy split keyboard so that I can write while lying on my side. The other night I had a dream that felt (at the time) like a really amazing story. So I decided to take some notes on my phone. But then I realized that my eyes were still closed and that I was only dreaming that I was taking notes on my phone. It was a semi-lucid dream in that I knew that I was dreaming. The only problem is that I couldn't actually do anything to remember what I was dreaming. But imagine if I could train myself to type while asleep. That would be pretty awesome. If I can manage to do that, I'll post the dreams for you to see (pending some possible censorship.)

So how about you guys? Anyone have some interesting environment in which you are most productive?

I do my best thinking in bed.

where do you do your best thinking?

1 comment:

  1. wow...sounds magical. best thinking for me occurs when i am sitting in a science/informational meeting or presentation. For some reason, whatever the person is presenting causes sooo many new and interesting questions and ideas to pop into my head. It is like I am bombarded with thoughts and ideas and that triggers my brain to synthesize new questions and ideas back.