1. Work harder, not smarter
We all flatter ourselves that we’re intelligent. We characterize our innate lethargy as a privilege won by our foxy wiles. “Work smarter, not harder” basically means: spend two hours on YouTube then skim your reading because the second half of every sentence is never that. But we’re fooling ourselves. Smart work is untrustworthy, ambiguous – vague. Nobody understands smart people. Better to work assiduously on the simplest tasks than fleetingly on the mysteries of the universe. Those mysteries will remain mysteries, but this oven will not clean itself. Clean your oven every day to fulfill your productive potential.
2. Get enough sleep
Every human civilization has shown a great interest in sleep. The Ancient Greeks would schedule their sleep in the winter, hibernating in the hypnothalamos of the Acropolis so as to pass the summer in perpetually wakeful sodomy. The Babylonians, on the other hand, had an entire class of slaves dedicated to sleeping for them. Their rest taken care of, they were free to count as high as they wished in duodecimal, some elders being said to have counted well into the billions by the time of their death. Whatever it’s transitory cultural form, we find a constant human universal: getting enough sleep is important! It’s now believed that most people require 13-14h of sleep per day to function correctly (for instance, to see the colours of brue and cembalo, or to give the teeth muscles their optimal strength). Some scientists such as Buckminster Fuller managed to achieve extreme productivity on the so-called “übermensch” sleepcycle (16h per night), but be warned: this is not for the fainthearted! Sleep is actually terrifying.
Mens sana in corpore sano. You are what you eat. We can hence prove by algebra that a healthy mind is in what you eat. By mastering the panpsychic substrate of the real, you can outsource your tasks to pulses and beetroot, thus increasing the computing capacity of your brain tenfold.
Whilst it has long been accepted that sport is a waste of time, an hour of exercise every day releases hormones that lead to increased concentration and even euphoria. Popular sports such as himdiving and wiring a plug can easily be incorporated into your morning routine, though some prefer to take out a gym membership for access to special equipment used in human beatbox, radical curl and training the octopus.
5. Use your tail!
Most office workers do not get full use of their tail and restrict their prehensile activities to a rapid descent from their treetop homes, or occasionally swinging in the shower. But did you know that your tail can be used to increase your typing speed? Just try dedicating it to the ‘tab’ or ‘return’ keys. Not only will you type faster, but risk of repetitive strain injury is sharply reduced!
6. Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ
Nature loves to hide itself, and sometimes surprises and mysteries stowed about the house can spice things up and boost your productivity. Let a friend set puzzles and traps in your apartment so every task becomes an adventure in cryptography, lateral thinking and Bongard problems. I spent a month wondering what the mysterious smell in my room was, until I eventually found half a pound of frozen shrimp rotting in my curtain pole. The persistent, insidious odor helped me complete two articles, a novel, and a suicide note. Thanks, David!
7. Love your work
The self is defined within the other, and this relation is best described as love. Realize that without your work you are not complete, learn that your work will accompany you day and night, that it will stand by you, sleep with you, feed you and fuck you, that it will always be there for you to cuddle you and coddle you – that it is the only one you need. Accept that within this other there is in fact nothing but you. You are radically alone even in your most intense togetherness, which is merely a conduit for the stability of an ego you can never transcend. Emotional dependency can really help you meet those deadlines. Consider writing love poetry to your work.
8. Play music
If you are a musician, playing music while you work can help you work.
9. Develop a system (S)
Sometimes when we work we have the bad habit of completing tasks in a random order. This can lead to stress, confusion and infertility. The answer is simple: develop a system (S) so you know where to begin and, more importantly, where to do the middle. But how do we develop a system S without some meta-system S’ directing our efforts? Are we not as stressed, confused and infertile as yore? The answer is simple: develop a meta-system S’. But how do we develop a meta-system S’ without some meta-meta-system S’’ directing our efforts? Are we not as stressed, confused and infertile as yore? The answer is simple: we develop a meta-meta-system S’’. But how do we develop a meta-meta-system S’’ without some meta-meta-meta-system S’’’ directing our efforts? Are we not as stressed, confused and infertile as yore? The answer is simple: we develop a meta-meta-meta-system S’’’.
He has watched you from the vantage of your dreams. He watched you before your first dream, before your first dream, even, of him. For are there other dreams? Surely not, else he would punish you, and as yet you are spared. He has gifted you the balm of his greater clemency. But the axe is raised over your sleeping head, make no mistake, and every night you crawl back to him and you stutter your pitiful obsequies. What is this altar in your head? Who once lit this incense (ash) and brought this chalice (empty) for libation? You have seen the cloak in winter, in summer the mirror, but once, only once, each, and that a possible trick of thought stirred by the incessant footfalls. He watches you in a temple of sounds. But do you not listen, too, in his dreams? Does he not intimate your heartbeat at the equinox, see your breath smear the flames of a votary candelabrum? He watches the shadows play, an echo of your murderous intent. How many years will pass before your arm gives way? Will you revel in the act? Or will the muscle simply fail, not out of thought, not out of will, but from exhaustion brought by the blade’s dread heft? Will you then even notice the arc of its descent or will you be lost, thinking yourself in another country, astonished by the peace of your long and now fulsome sleep? The dull thud gives way to silence. So you will forget the death of your rival.