How Do We Manage Academic Digital Productivity and Wellbeing?

Here are some links from today's session on digital wellbeing and productivity


Here's an article from BBC that is some good food for thought: "How to take a digital detox during the Covid-19 pandemic"

Another article that might be of interest: "Graduate School Prepared Me to Self-Quarantine"

Tips on Managing our Daily Routines: Manage Your Day-to-Day

Thoughts on Routines -- routines and productivity often go hand in hand, here are some highlights from writers and thinkers to hopefully serve as some inspiration:

"The Daily Routines of Great Writers" via BrainPickings

Sounds and Productivity -- how much does our background noise influence how we work? Check out some options here:

Work Life, Home Life, and Balance -- how do we draw our mental boundaries from work time and leisure time, especially now when home/work feels so blurred? Here's an excellent TED talk I recommend:

Schedules and UnSchedules -- I am a big fan of the UnSchedule; now more than never we want to make sure that we do make time for our fulfilling, leisure activities, that in turn can ultimately help us be more productive:

Time Self-Audit -- Where is our time going? I recommend a time self-audit, using a tool such as Rescue Time (or Screen Time on Mac and iOS devices) to get a baseline of where our time goes, and see where we might be able to make some improvements in small steps:

Related to that, here is an excellent post by The Thesis Whisperer on tracking time as academics:

Zoom Fatigue -- Zoom fatigue is definitely a real thing and don't worry, it's not just you. But what can we do about it? Here are some tips:

"The reason Zoom calls drain your energy" via BBC

Tips for Eyestrain -- We are spending a lot of time on our screens nowadays, because they've become our work and social lifetime. Eyestrain can sneak up on us though, so here are some tips to reduce before it becomes a problem:

On procrastination -- This is a very good time when we should all try and give ourselves more of a break. Procrastination isn't always as bad as it sounds! Check out these helpful links for more:

"Why Do We Procrastinate? Here’s the Liberating Truth…"

"Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control)" via New York Times

On rest -- Rest is absolutely part of our productivity. Here are some links to think more about why we really do need rest, and ways that we can give our brains some much needed time off:

"Why rest is so important (and why you’re not getting enough)"

"The Surprising And Powerful Links Between Posture and Mood"

"Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime"

I mentioned some of the perils of late night social media use and blue light that comes from our LCD screens and the impact they have on our rest and our brains. Here's some additional information:

"Blue light has a dark side" via Harvard Medical School

"The vital time you shouldn’t be on social media" via BBC

And here are a few links mentioned on managing our time, work sessions, and writing productivity --

7 Pomodoro Apps to Try

"HOW TO WRITE 1000 WORDS A DAY (AND NOT GO BAT SHIT CRAZY)" via The Thesis Whisperer

The Cult of Busyness -- Can we get away from the academic culture of competitive misery? I think for our sanity, we can:

Social Media/Time Management -- I really like the Freedom App, and here's a blog post I did on how to use Freedom for helping counter our digital distractions:

And more on what I discussed on digital distractions and our news consumption habits:

"Social media apps are 'deliberately' addictive to users" via BBC

Steven Pinker on: "The media exaggerates negative news. This distortion has consequences"via The Guardian

"Coronavirus: 5 ways to manage your news consumption in times of crisis"

"How Can I Improve My Short Attention Span?"

Additional helpful resources -- The Center for Humane Technology is a fascinating organization, helping us rethink our relationship to everyday tech use. Here are some specific tips from them on managing our digital distractions:

Books -- Some additional reading from today's session, in case you want to learn more about any of the topics in depth!

· A room of one’s own, V. Woolf

· Manage your day-to-day: build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind, J. Glei

· Daily rituals: how artists work, M. Currey

· The now habit, N. Fiore

· Procrastination: why you do it, what to do about it now, J. Burka & L. Yuen

· Present perfect: a mindfulness approach to letting go of perfectionism and the need for control, P. Somov

· Why we sleep, M. Walker

· Deep work, C. Newport

· Notes on a nervous planet, M. Haig

· The news: a user’s manual, A. De Botton


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