multitask

multitask

Craig Buckler over at Sitepoint.com wrote an interesting article about how people that multitask are actually less productive than those that don’t. According to his article, a study conducted over at Stanford University showed that people that multitask have limited attention spans and are easily distracted. People that do not multitask, on the other hand, seemed to score better on the test conducted at Stanford. I can see why this might be true. Given my own experience, I often find myself distracted from the tasks that I’m doing only to discover hours later that I’ve been off an a tangent. But I don’t think that the tests reflect what goes on in the workplace. The test measured memory and how well subjects could recall the information that they’ve seen. Non-multitaskers did better because they could focus only on the specific information they were showed, while multitaskers tried to absorb everything they saw. In reality, in the workplace for example, any multitasker worth the water he’s composed of, would have a system in place that would help him organize and track all the information he encounters. The point, I’m trying to make is that effective multitasking doesn’t rely on memory, it relys on how to deal with information at the appropriate time. So while the study is interesting and has some valid points, I don’t think that it reflects any real world scenarios. In the movie, Memento, Leonard couldn’t create any new memories and yet still managed to find his wife’s killer all because of the system he used to organize information (I know it’s just a movie, but I...
Done

Done

So David Allen has kinda sorta changed how people increase their productivity. His Getting Things Done method is said to have revolutionized the way people, well… get things done. Despite GTD’s raging success, it has been met with some¬†critisism, however, the most prominent of which is that GTD is too inflexible and impracticle to be implemented easily. While I agree, I think that GTD is not meant to be followed evangelistically. Rather, GTD should be thought of as a set of guidelines that should be implemented so that it fits into the way you work. Even David Allen has said that he falls off the GTD bandwagon every once in a while. The point of this post, however, isn’t to defend or slam the GTD system. It is to give the seven of you reading this my take on David Allen’s methods and how I’ve implemented them into my daily workflow. So, GTD’s major priciple (and the reason why I believe it works) is that you must empty your mind of all tasks by recording them externally. This external device must be something reliable so that information is not lost (and so that your subconcious knows that it wont be). This way, instead of remembering what you need to do, you can focus more on getting those tasks done. Allen suggests that the simple act of “unloading” your mind is enough to relieve most of the stress that hinders actual productivity. The unconcious mind is therefore free of anxiety so that the concious mind can focus on completing tasks. The first step to implementing GTD is to identify where...

framework

When I first encountered CSS Frameworks, I was a little intrigued, but dismissed the whole notion because it looked overly complicated and the whole code structure was (at first) very difficult for me to grasp. Add that to the fact that the general concept of designing using a grid for some reason escaped me, and you can see why I rejected the whole idea. But bordom being what it is, I decided to one day do some experiments to see what all the commotion was about (by now, CSS Frameworks were gaining in popularity and many people used them). All I can say from the experience is that I was impressed! I tried a few frameworks out, among them Blueprint CSS, YUI Grids CSS, and YAML. The one that stuck with me, however was 960.gs. I was never before able to create basic layouts so rapidly. Adhering to the grid made everything look balanced and nicer, it seemed, and I was soon churning out designs left and right. It was a while before I realized, that using a framework imposed certain limits on how I created my websites. As I became more adept at web design and was aware of semantic naming conventions, it’s obvious that a framework cannot allow you to have HTML that actually has any meaning. Well, I guess you could add extra classes to add that semantic meaning that’s missing from frameworks, but that just adds more to your code.¬†You might as well add inline CSS styles to your HTML because essentially, that’s what you are doing. Also the bigger downside of using frameworks is...