Edit Answer Tags: Severin's Answer to How can I be a more productive student/researcher?

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Answer text

There are two parts to that answer.

Firstly: By working on the right things. Every generation since the dawn of humanity had it's Einstein-level geniuses. And yet, most of them were forgotten by history because they just didn't run into an important problem to solve.

Secondly: There are a number of useful resources for getting more productive on the internet. Some leads you might find useful:

  • 80.000 hours published an article with an extensive list of evidence-backed strategies for becoming better at any job. Start at the top, and work your way down until you find something that makes sense for you to implement.
  • For general problem-solving, the toolbox taught by CFAR (Center for Applied Rationality) has proven useful to many members of the alignment community. There are two sequences on LessWrong written as self-study guides for the CFAR tools: Hammertime, Training Regime.
  • Keep in mind that no productivity advice whatsoever works for everyone. Something might be useful for 50% of the population, or even 99%, and still leave you worse off if you try to implement it. Experiment, iterate, and above all: Trust your own judgment.