Povilas Godliauskas on Emotional IntelligenceWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |Some time ago
My answer: I never use productivity tools like this. 🙂 Oftentimes, using them is like treating the pain instead of the disease. A more productive (pun intended), yet less pleasant tool is asking the following: "Why am I feeling unproductive in the first place?" Maybe I feel hungry or thirsty? Maybe I feel tired and need a break? Maybe the task feels pointless? Maybe I have other things to do? After a short but productive (pun intended again) self-enquary, I might realize that 😶 I don't take care of my basic needs 🤔 I don't like what I am producing 😠 I don't like the product I am working on 🤯 I don't know what I am doing with my life Sure, this is not a very positive diagnosis. Who wants to learn that they are actually sick at heart rather than unproductive? However, it is as unpositive as learning that ❤️ you need to change your diet and exercise more due to high blood pressure or cholesterol level, 🖤 unless you want to increase your chances of having a heart attack or developing diabetes. Of course, sometimes it is totally reasonable to boost your productivity by changing the ergonomics of your workplace (e.g. switching between sitting and standing) or using co-working spaces. 👌 Oftentimes, however, lack of productivity is just the tip of the iceberg, hiding diverse psychological issues, ranging from mild deficits in grit to severe deficits in self-respect. The good part is that these psychological challenges can be fully or partially overcome by becoming more mindful of your physical and psychological needs as well as learning more self-compassion. ☀️ At the end of the day, we are just humans, an advanced species of mammals, who are not fitted for the modern and ever-changing world. Moral of the story: it is totally normal to feel unproductive as long as (1) you know why and (2) you know how to live a meaningful live, despite the occasional unproductivity. ✌️
Robert PožarickijTech & SoftwareSome time ago
Let's talk about productivity. Some time ago I discovered an app called Focusmate (focusmate.com) (not an ad). The app essentially forces you to get things done with the help of accountability. It matches you with another person for a 50 minute session where each of you work on your tasks live (camera mandatory, mic optional). Since then, I've used it for both personal and professional activities with really good results. What are some techniques or tools that you like to use when you want to stay focused for longer periods of time or when you don't feel like doing that thing?

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Robert PožarickijTech & Software
These are good observations. I think what we classify as "productivity tools" can be subjective (is coffee a productivity tool?). As you pointed out, we are living creatures and we aren't perfect. We are forgetful and we make mistakes. We especially have plenty of limitations when it comes to attention and memory. Having above in mind, we could treat things that enhance our innate abilities as "productivity tools". For example, instead of having all your appointments in your head, you can free up your attention by setting up reminders or using some calendar software. Such tools can go hand in hand with a solid daily routine and the right mindset. I think finding a balance between aforementioned things, that works for each individual, boils down to personal preferences :)
over 1 year ago
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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
Robert, thanks! I am 100 percent for tools which help you create order from chaos, including calendars, to-do lists, etc. If these are considered productivity tools, let it be. However, I am against tools which are solving the consequences rather than the problem behind productivity issues. Speaking of accountability tools which 'force you to do something", I am against them. Why do you need others to force you? You are not a child, aren't you? Nevertheless, I agree that choices boil down to personal preferences, but not all personal preferences are healthy and optimal. And to answer your question, coffee is so much a productivity tool as any artificial substance. Just get enough sleep, meditation, and rest during the day and you won't need drugs to keep your mind sharp and awake.
over 1 year ago
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Robert PožarickijTech & Software
The word "forces" wasn't meant to have such a strong connotation. In this context it's closer to "nudges". I like the idea behind Focusmate. It not only can make you more productive (if that's your thing) but it can bring some social contact too. It's not like anything is stopping you from having a small talk after working with that person for 50 min. Especially with all the WFH. And I also love coffee. While you can achieve clear thinking and lots of energy with proper nutrition and physical regime, but coffee for me is something that I always come back to. That extra oomph can be really noticeable. And coffee can taste great. That combo of meaningful and pleasant things is something that often resonates with me :)
over 1 year ago
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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
I have no doubt that you enjoy the social aspects of productivity tools and a damn fine cup of coffee, to quote Dale Cooper. People are different and they should be. More so, they are free to do what they want, including the two of us. However, when it comes to public forum like this I like to debate people and their ideas / suggestions / agenda. Unnfortunately, we stopped at the agreement that people are different which is not bringing the discussion further in terms of the validity of your suggested method or group of methods. Despite the fact that the tool may correlate with subjective levels of productivity and social wellbeing, its real and causal benefits are still questionable. Because they are, let's say, an attempt to hack a function or two rather than improve the inefficient infrastructure (sorry for the possibly bad metaphor, I am not a coder). People can do more and better. It just requires guts. :)
over 1 year ago
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Robert PožarickijTech & Software
Guts, effort, experimentation, courage to fail, to name a few. Most of these require time, which many of us lack. Furthermore, some of these things can be unpleasant. I do see your point. I also think not all people strive to be ultra performers. At the end of the day, we are social creatures, we need connection with others. That's why the social aspect of many platforms is so powerful :)
over 1 year ago
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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
Why do you think that spending some time in understanding yourself better will cost you all of these things? And how do you know that self-work won't lead to better relationships with other people? You don't have to become a ultra performer to become a better human being.
over 1 year ago
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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
Regarding the costs, if you are spending, let's say, around 2000 Eur for coffee annually, which accounts for around 66 hours of coding if your hourly rate is, e.g., 30 Eur, I am sure you can find some additional time for self-development every year, especially if it will cover your costs dedicated to coffee and attempts to fix productivity issues as well as improve your wellbeing. :)
over 1 year ago
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Robert PožarickijTech & Software
I do think that investing in yourself will definitely pay dividends down the road. I think not many people have the means or knowledge on how to do that well and efficiently (I'm not an expert either and I'm still learning). As a result, the tools that get you closer to making you a better person might not be the solution in and of itself, but they do guide you in the right direction.
over 1 year ago
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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
Working on yourself is never efficient, as it involves multiple regresses and progresses down the road. It's like travelling into the jungle: you never know what you will discover! Nevertheless, I am glad to hear that you are already taking the first steps. In case you need any guidance on the best viable path, let me know.
over 1 year ago
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Robert PožarickijTech & Software
It was an interesting discussion. Alright, I'll have that in mind!
over 1 year ago
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Povilas Godliauskas on Emotional IntelligenceWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |Some time ago
Think twice before deciding which side you are on, while you are listening to other people trash-talking their managers, colleagues, or partners. ⚠️ According to a recent study, by siding with the interlocutor, we are just adding more fuel to the conflict, which discourages the interlocutor to forgive and make peace with the other party. To be supportive, we do not have to choose a side. The most important thing is to create a safe space for the other person to vent their emotions and collect one's thoughts. We can do it by asking open questions, such as: ✔️ What happened? ✔️ How does it make you feel? ✔️ Why is it important for you? ✔️ What is the next step? Remember that our goal as good conversational partners is not to condemn anyone but rather be patiently present with the other person. 👌 Link to the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31464479/
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Povilas Godliauskas on Emotional IntelligenceWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |Some time ago
It's not the tech giants that are responsible for the negative effects of their digital products, including various hate crimes and increased suicide rates. It's the ad-driven business model that is endorsed by their investors. I recently watched a Joe Rogan podcast where he talked to Tristan Harris, an ex-Google engineer and one of the people behind the documentary "The Social Dilemma" (2020). They talked a lot about the problems of social networks, such as manipulative algorithms and their direct effects on the political climate, which I found really interesting. However, what they did not really talk about are the billionaires who are the major shareholders of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., essentially providing the ground for all the problems we are facing right know. Who are the major investors of these companies? What are they thinking about? Unless they are psychopaths, why aren't they pulling their money out of these ethically flawed ventures? If the negative effects of social media are so big of the deal, as described in the documentary, why aren't we including the elephants in the room? ~3000 billionaires is not a lot to with whom to have an adult conversation. As a side note, if every person just stopped for a second before scrolling one's biased feed or sending the hate-driven comment and asked oneself "Why I am really doing this?", maybe we would not be even having this conversation.

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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
I am not sure if that is the case. All people (both rich and not) rationalize to a certain extent. It would be interesting to learn what are they really thinking instead of projecting our own ideas.
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Povilas Godliauskas on Emotional IntelligenceWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |Some time ago
For many, "Social Dilemma" (2020) has been an eye-opening experience. For me though the most eye-opening fact was the overblown reaction to the film. 😶 It's not that we never realized our data was (ab)used for marketing purposes, social media was addictive, or engineers were not the most avid users of their products. It's that many knew (at least deep down) they shared a bed with the devil. However, suddenly some people stumbled upon a visually pleasing (but super predictable) documentary and now the world looks different. To me, the overrated reaction is a reminder of how persuasive a technology-driven product can be, whether it's a "world-changing" app, social media, or a dramatic flick by Netflix, guilty of the same tactics their film is attempting to criticize. 💩

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Povilas GodliauskasWell-being Psychologist | Lecturer | Consultant | Mentor | HR |
"Show people something popular because it's probably something good" does not sound intelligent. No smart person would assume that popular = good. Furthermore, their job was to create products that increase profits. And they did. Of course, I am not blaming the engineers. They just did what they were asked, but that's in itself a problem.
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