Productivity tweaks for this semester

I am doing two new things to help my productivity this semester. At work, I use Mutt for email (Motto: “All mail clients suck. This one just sucks less.”). I use getmail to actually retrieve the email from my school’s account, and I use a cron job (a scheduler for Linux) to get my emails every minute. My tweak: I changed the cron job so that I get email every four hours, rather than every minute. Thus, there are really only three times during the work day when it even makes sense for me to check email.

If I need to check email between these three times, I can still do so (I can run getmail manually, or I can use the web interface for my school’s email), but that creates one small barrier where I can ask myself if I really, truly want to check email.

My other tweak is similar, but at home. My wife and I decided to attach a timer to our wireless router so that it is only on during certain times of the day. I suppose that this is less about productivity than quality of life, particularly because we want our kids to be in the habit of coming offline frequently as they grow up.

Both tweaks have been in effect for about a week, and all is working well so far.

2 Responses to “Productivity tweaks for this semester”

  1. thehabyss Says:

    That’s why you never respond to my emails! I was wondering…

    You spoke about this at your Thursday forum talk, right? Well, not using technology to assist you in not using technology. You spoke about only checking your email a few times a day. You are the most productive person I know. Yet you always talk with me when I wander into your office. What a guy.

    • bretbenesh Says:

      Well, that’s not why I don’t reply to your emails.

      This was the type of thing that I talked about at my Thursday Forum talk. I probably said that I only check email a couple of times each day, but I fall off the wagon on that a lot. Having Mutt only update my email three times per workday helps me accomplish this.

      I always have time to talk with you because I do stuff like this. You are a higher priority than email (even emails that you send).

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