I find that I always have a whole bunch of things open on the computer (email, news feeds, instant messaging, facebook, etc.) and a whole bunch of stuff on my desktop and in various folders (photos, drawings, writing, code, etc.). This means a lot of distractions and clutter, often resulting in low productivity.
Anyhow, here’s the tip: Create a new user account just for work.
I configured a minimal desktop, made a few notes in Tomboy about the configuration, and installed Getting Things Gnome for personal task management. Then I added a general task called “Develop something” (which I decided meant making a Django-based web application) and broke that task down into subtasks.
It’s a great distraction-and-clutter-free environment, and fast user-switching allows me to swap back to my normal desktop (to catch up on email and news feeds) during scheduled breaks. I’m impressed with Getting Things Gnome thus far. I might take some time to populate it with high-level tasks for other projects.
So does everyone else do this? (Am I late to the productivity party?)