Pagico 9 Preview #6: Color-Code Everything

What can you do with colors? You can label things with colors and have your content stand out more when you’re looking for them. That’s why in Pagico 9, you’ll be able to create new categories with colors and customize them any way you like to make color-coding a breeze.

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10 Sunday Habits for a Productive Week

Are you afraid of falling behind during the week? Your Monday doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are 10 Sunday habits you can do to set your week up for success.

  1. Start with creating a clean and calming living space. Open the windows, light a candle and welcome in the fresh air. Taking time to get a few chores done, will make your life so much easier later in the week.

2. Review your Calendar. It’s easy to miss preparing for a deadline or even an important meeting if you don’t check your schedule. Review what your week has in store for you, and prepare accordingly.

3. Write a To-Do List. Once you write out your list, highlight your top priorities and plan your days around them. Once you’ve picked at least 3 top priorities, check back on your progress. It’s easy to get carried away with what you want to be able to do, but be realistic. What are you able to do?

4. Reflect on your progress thus far, and take time to set new goals or figure out how you will pursue the same ones differently. What went well? What went wrong?

5. Disconnect from Technology. While it might be hard at first, the increased energy and creativity you can experience from putting your phone down just one day a week makes a noticeable difference.

6. Take time to plan and prep your food for the week. Having food already prepared not only saves time but makes sure you stay on track with eating healthy and at home.

7. Go for a walk outside. Take time to clear your head at the nearest Beach or Community Park. Giving yourself this time, will help you start your week feeling refreshed and focus.

8. Tidy up your house, and straighten your workspace. Setting a day that you can get your maintenance things done makes a big difference and helps your productivity levels throughout the rest of your week.

9. The little things you didn’t get to. Pay your bills, run that errand or finish your laundry. These are all tasks that don’t take long, but in the long run help free your mental space for the week ahead.

10. Relax! It’s a day of rest. These tasks shouldn’t consume your entire day but just take a few moments here and there. Make sure to take time to hit the reset button. Read a book, meditate, spend time with your family, do something that you normally don’t make the time for.

Pagico 8.18 r2426 is now available for macOS, Windows and Ubuntu

Pagico 8.18 r2426 is a maintenance release and zaps a few bugs to improve the reliability and efficiency of Pagico. It’s a free and recommended update for all v8 users.

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How to Create a Strong Research Routine

Studies have shown throughout history, that the most successful Academics almost always had strong research routines. And interestingly enough, a number of similarities between these routines show up. It turns out that having no routine or structure is more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be! 

Create a Schedule

One of the most important ways to increase your productivity is to know yourself. When are you most creative? Awake? Alert? That is the time that you want to dedicate to your research. For some, it is the first thing in the morning, for others midday or even the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep. The time and location do not matter as long as your writing and research become a part of your daily schedule. 

Use Time Wisely

All time is not created equal. Having a block of five hours to work is worth more than a dozen half-hour chunks of time throughout the week. Turn off your phone, forget about your emails and rearrange your schedule to have as many blocks of uninterrupted time as possible.

Schedule It

One of the biggest mistakes one can make is thinking that they’ll “find” the time for research. As if extra time was lying around or hidden somewhere we are hoping to stumble upon. The best advice for those struggling to balance teaching, research, and writing with responsibilities outside of the academy is:

Schedule the time. Don’t wait until you have a moment; seize the moment. 

There’s no one way to create the perfect research routine, but not having one at all is a recipe for incomplete projects. Routines are invaluable in your daily life, as they provide structure and focus to your activities. Although you should always remember that routines should serve you, you shouldn’t be a slave to them. Their purpose is to allow you to accomplish your goals and live a happy, healthy life. Accordingly, learning how to build positive routines in your life today is important for your future life as well.

5 to 7 AM

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” — Richard Whately

Maybe you have learned this lesson before. And you may have to continue re-learning it again and again.

How we spend our mornings determines exactly who we become.

How we spend our mornings determines how well we:

  • perform
  • strategize
  • prioritize  
  • influence
  • develop

If we do not consciously create a routine, then we continually repeat the past over and over again.

The purpose of a routine is to stop repeating things that no longer serve us.

It’s to put ourselves in a position of growth and development — one that you are purposely creating, regardless of what has happened to you in the past.

Without a routine, we are far less able to deal with the challenges of life.

What Do You Do Between 5 and 7 AM?

If you could give yourself two hours, every morning, dedicated to developing your personal growth, your life could change.

When you instill a morning routine dedicated to your self-development, you have the potential to change your entire life.

You’ll learn from your mistakes, and quit the same unhealthy patterns.

You’ll elevate yourself while most people continue small lives of regret.

What are you going to do about the hours between 5–7AM?

Master your Time, using Time Blocks.

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” -Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower lived one of the most productive lives one can imagine.

From being a five star general in the US Army to becoming President of the United States, his life was anything but normal.

Along the way, he served as President of Columbia University, became the first Supreme Commander of NATO, and managed to find time to pursue hobbies such as oil painting.

Eisenhower had an incredible ability to sustain his productivity not just for weeks or months, but for decades. And for that reason, it is no surprise that his methods for time management, task management, and productivity have been studied by millions of people over the years.

His most famous productivity strategy is known as the Eisenhower Matrix, and it’s a simple decision-making tool that you can use today.

The Eisenhower Matrix

Eisenhower’s strategy for taking action and organizing tasks is simple. Using the matrix below, you will separate your actions based on four possibilities.

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

The great thing about this matrix is that it can be used for broad productivity plans (“How should I spend my time each week?”) and for smaller, daily plans (“What should I do today?”).

Urgent tasks are things that you feel like you need to react to: emails, phone calls and text messages.

Separating these differences is simple enough to do once, but doing so continually can be tough. And like anything in life, consistency is the hard part.

Too often, we use productivity, time management, and optimization as an excuse to avoid the really difficult question: “Do I actually need to be doing this?” It is much easier to remain busy and tell yourself that you just need to be a little more efficient or to “work a little later tonight” than to endure the pain of eliminating a task that you are comfortable with doing, but that isn’t the highest and best use of your time.

The Eisenhower Matrix can be a useful decision-making tool for increasing productivity and eliminating the behaviors that take up mental energy, waste time, and keep us from moving towards our goals.

The Pomodoro Technique

For many, when it comes to getting to work, time is our greatest enemy: it seems to stretch out endlessly when you have a hard job to do, then it flies away when you waste time on yourself distract.

Ineffective. If that’s the hallmark of your day’s work, then there’s a simple way to quickly improve your productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique offers a method to divide your work into small, manageable tasks for a fixed, uninterrupted time.

The technique of Pomodoro

The Pomodoro technique is as simple as it is effective.

You choose a single task. Preferably, something that deserves full attention.

You set a timer for 25 minutes ( pomodoro ). You agree to spend this time on the work to be done.

Do the job. Do not be a slave to your interruptions. When you think of something that is likely to stop you, write it down on a piece of paper and continue your pomodoro. 

Once the timer rings, take a 5-minute break to relax. Stretch, drink a glass of water, meditate, do anything unrelated to work. The sound signal helps your mind to internalize the transition from a targeted work state to relaxation and vice versa.

After finishing 4 pomodoro, take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes. This allows your brain to rest to facilitate the assimilation of new information and avoid mental fatigue.

The advantages of Pomodoro

Better measure your time. Take a list to make an inventory of your tasks. Mark a cross next to the task for each past pomodoro. At the end of your day, you will have a good indicator of your work time.

Cut any interruptions (social networks, emails, phone). Winning in discipline means learning to say no to focus on the essentials. Your social life will not collapse if you are unavailable for 25 minutes.

Estimate the time spent. With experience, you will be able to estimate how many pomodoro will be needed to complete a task.

For example: Do research – 2 pomodoro; Write an article – 3 pomodoro; Re-read and correct mistakes – 1 pomodoro.

To gain inefficiency. After each pomodoro, you can measure your progress by noting anything that can help you improve.

Define your limits. What motivates you to complete a task within a specified time. The more time you have to complete a task, the longer it will take. It’s Parkinson’s law and the students know it … very well.

Set your goals. Realizing that you spend a lot of time doing something that is not essential, allows you to redefine your priorities.

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