TL;DR: A good productivity system is one that helps you get done the things you need to. One of the most important things is to take time to think about your work. Desired outcomes are a good thing to think about.
I have tried a number of different productivity systems over the years. Some have worked better than others. I've tried:
One of my favorite people-and-preference papers is Kahneman, Wakker, and Sarin's 1997 article ‘Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility’. They report on a series of experiments that examine how people experience and remember utility, pain, or pleasure, and the ways in which it affects their decision-making processes.
Published on 16 Jan 2017 and tagged with academia.
As professors, we get a lot of e-mails. One of these classes of e-mails is the prospective student e-mail, which comes in wildly varying quality. This takes time from faculty, enough that many have written guides to e-mailing or specific requirements for e-mailing them and receiving a reply; I have a version of this myself.
Published on 3 Jan 2017 and tagged with statistics.
In the course of training to be a scientist, you generally learn some statistics and probability theory. I've grown to be quite fond of the topic, but as I've learned it, there are a few things in particular that I've found brilliantly satisfying. Simple tricks, some of which may seem counter-intuitive, but for some reason fascinated me when I grasped them.