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Today a dear colleague sent me the following link explaining an unusual but simple way of improving one's productivity when doing office work, for example.

In fact, I do have a kitchen timer sitting on my desk but so far I only ever used it to remind myself of when I needed to ring someone back who was not available when I called the first time.

So whoever shys away from using time tracking systems mentioned in other questions and answers might want to give this simple method a try.

What else do you do to improve your productivity, enhance your concentration skills and possibly also motivate yourself?

asked 04 Jun '13, 17:08

AlmuteL's gravatar image


  1. Dump your TODO list to an app ( with configurable email reminders ) that follows you wherever you are. Don't clutter you desk with sticky notes and your mind with that looming cloud of tasks. I'm using Wunderlist (desktop, Android, iOS, Web) -- which I'm happy to say comes from Berlin
  2. Never go to bed with an undefined TODO list for the following day. Write them all down - in Wunderlist for instance - before you hit the sheets. You'll wake up more relaxed and won't waste 15 minutes over coffee pondering what it was you were meant to do first.
  3. Work out for one hour thrice a week. Your mind is nothing without your body.
  4. Avoid bores and wackos. They'll irritate you or suck your energy in no time. You'll finish the day in a bad mood and won't be able to get anything done.
  5. Reward yourself. Use the time you've saved by being efficient at work by doing something you truly like.
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answered 04 Jun '13, 17:37

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck


Love the answer... but how do you/we "avoid bores and wackos" when you/we hang out with interpreters all the time ;)

(08 Jun '13, 04:04) Andy

In addition to what Vincent has mentioned above, I would add:

  • Think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, because it helps to keep your focus and maintain momentum
  • And sleep an adequate number of hours...
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answered 05 Jun '13, 16:04

Marta%20Piera%20Marin's gravatar image

Marta Piera ...

To Marta's and Vincent's answers I would add:

  1. Keep you accounts (i.e. what you're owed and what's been paid) up to date - it clears mind space.
  2. For freelancers, who at times will face worries about income: make yourself an annual budget based on less than the previous year's earnings. I suggest 90% - and then when you earn more you'll get a happiness rush. Plus it also clears up mind space.
  3. Watch your posture. You don't have to bend over the microphone and tense your back and neck muscles to concentrate. And you won't tire as easily.
  4. Don't spend too much time over your computer or mobile devices, and limit your time on social media. Also read on paper - I find that the way I digest things on paper is qualitatively different and contributes to good concentration.
  5. Spend a few minutes everyday doing absolutely nothing.
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answered 06 Jun '13, 20:13

Luigi's gravatar image


edited 06 Jun '13, 20:19

Excellent advice so far. Accidentally, I have recently written about this topic for the Journal of The Institute of Translation and Interpreting. You can find the full text at:

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answered 10 Jun '13, 13:43

exceed's gravatar image


edited 11 Jun '13, 03:44

Angela's gravatar image


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question asked: 04 Jun '13, 17:08

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