You should clean up all the empty cans or bawls bottles on your desk. A virtually empty desk gives you a sense of well being, zen if you will, and motivation to actually do something productive. Check if your computer is making too much noise. Your ears are so accustomed to the noise that that more often than not, you will realize how loud it is when you think about it consciously. That is the sad part, the humming noise is affecting us subconsciously without us realizing it. This is one of the reason that I am thinking about getting a Mac Mini. After supposedly spending $200 of "quiet mods" for my PC, I still ended up with an unacceptable noise level.

Turn off the damn computer:
Oh yes, you heard it right. Sometimes it helps to get back to the offline world. I dont know about you guys but for me, I prefer to design the structure and anatomy of my application on pen and large piece of paper.

Everyone has their own optimum temperature range. You just gonna find out by trial and error. Try to keep yourself within that range. According to Joel Spolsky, the ideal temperature is 68 and 72 degrees.

Taking a cold shower:
I noticed that taking cold showers usually picks me up when I feel like I am reaching my productivity trough, especially so when Ive gone through days without taking one.

Adam said on April 18, 2006

Roy your comment is interesting and the PC one I find really interesting, the noise really bugs me at times. Now and then it will just vibrate like its about to explode, a swift kick later and its fine.

Hopefully when I take delivery of my shiny new imac (i need to get the money first), Hopefully my noise levels will drop.

Your post has inspired me to give my room a good tidy and open the god dam curtains for the first time in about 4 weeks. (sunlight, funny monitor angle = glare etc)

Id like to try the cold show method too but I dont have a shower. . .. maybe something to work on!

The drawing with pen and paper method doesnt really work for me though for some reason. Maybe because i suck at using them.

Chad said on April 19, 2006

I feel the same way about productivity, I often struggle with projects I want to do on my free time, work consumes most of my day with stuff I have to do.... so I find myself going home, coming up with an idea ( ) then never ever finishing it.... its very frustrating..

as for Roy... every database design or complex program I write is ALWAYS born on a piece of paper or a white board ... it has become a staple of my design process ... I used to pseudo code... now I just draw charts with little snippets of code near them... really helps me visualize the project as a whole, it also makes for good reference when you get knee deep in the project and have a brain fart ;)

Roy you forgot one though... Caffine... a nice Ice coffee after the cold shower really gets the gears going again ;)

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.