I'm attempting to raise my productivity by reducing the number of distractions I have while working. I work at home, and there's no-one else here when I work, so there's not much to do there. There is a lot to do about online distractions, however. The three biggest distractions are IRC, non-necessary mailing lists, and random web browsing.

I will be reducing the IRC channels I'm regularly on. This means dropping all but one or two channels not directly related to work, and as many work related channels as I can.

I'm pondering doing something similar to what Martin Krafft has talked about: making sure the mailing list messages reach me only at certain points of the day or week. I'd do this by having list e-mail delivered to a folder not usually visible to my e-mail program, and then having a cron job move the mails to the inbox when it's time. I have all the scripts written for this, so it'd be easy to do.

This way I could ignore them at all other times, and then catch up on them every now and then. The problem with this is that when the list mails are delivered, I'm going to be swamped, and that can happen at an inconvenient time. So it's probably best to just unsubscribe.

Either way, even if I'm fairly silent on mailing lists, don't be surprised if I shut up completely. (I might start sending out other e-mails and blog a lot more, though.)

Both of these changes, dropping IRC and lists, are potentially permanent, but might turn out to be temporary. We'll see. If this works out well, meaning that I manage to keep track of the people and projects I'm interested in while improving productivity, the change is likely to be permanent.