KDE -> Ratpoison -> Awesome
KDE is great to flaunt (esp to your friends on shiny Winedwhores 7 junk), but too bulky for my liking. Htop reported that I was using approximately 350MB of memory consistently (no Nepomuk *)) and this sounded ridiculous enough to warrant a full-scale switch to Ratpoison.
[8:32:32 am] * pavan_ just switched over to Ratpoison from KDE.
[8:33:20 am] Quit SandGorgon has left this server (Ping timeout: 265 seconds).
[8:35:51 am] <wheels> [10 minutes pass]
[8:35:59 am] <wheels> * pavan_ just switched back.
Soon enough (as wheels prophecized), Ratpoison, though (barely) usable - was proving a tad too hard to get accustomed to. Finally, I made a compromise and switched to Awesome instead and I haven't been disappointed at all.
KDevelop -> Vim -> Eclipse
Although I'm not a total Vim-noob (nor a ninja, as such), it soon became obvious that managing a large codebase would prove to be a pain with Vim. Besides, more than the performance of the editor itself, it would be the integration goodies - visualization, refactoring, integrated unit tests, ease of setting up additional build-magic which would be the real time-savers (compared to the bare-bones editor + debugger setup I could muster up otherwise).
Eclipse PDT satisfied all my criteria. Usability (or rather the ease of it), bought at the price of some memory whorage. It was a worthy trade off. I felt like a user again.
Two concerns here:
a) Being connected.
b) Yet, not distracted too much.
* Battling IRC addiction:
I got rid of my IRC BNC. Even if I were detached, it would always constantly play on mind to take an "irc-break", or atleast to check PMs / mentions every once in a while.
According to my revised policy, I connect "on-demand" only, avoiding bs-channels and trolling almost altogether. Notifications are almost always turned off.
* Jabber / Xmpp:
Switched from Pidgin to mcabber. Mcabber rocks, except that it doesn't support multiple accounts.
I'm signed in (on the VPS) almost all the time, and mcabber also plays well as a pseudo BNC
Unfortunately, I'm pretty addicted to atleast a couple of people on my roster (for reasons beyond me). I'm attached (+visual-bell) almost all the time and usually respond at leisure throughout the night (with better response times towards morning).
Browser: Firefux -> Chromium
Chromium almost everywhere. Firefox still comes in handy (sigh, Firebug / FirePHP), once in a while.
Kmail -> mutt -> Sylpheed
As expected, I ran out of patience before I ever got used to mutt. Sylpheed has proven worthy.
More importantly, I skip most emails (except those that I can't, ofcourse) particularly ones from the dev-lists that I used to spend 2 hours daily reading, if not responding.
Avoiding babble is also another acquired quality that adds many many more minutes to your time-treasury.
Even harder to overcome is the geek-media addiction: Specifically, Reddit, HN and Slashdot. I've already given up on giving up these. However, a reduction in visit frequency, as well as total duration spent on these daily, would prove to a massive productivity hike.
Sleep / Eating Habits / Exercise.
I recently got admitted to a hospital (BP = 90/58), after a rather bad case of food poisoning. Ever since, I've virtually stopped eating out unless necessary (from what used to be a daily affair with street food not too long ago).
The sleep schedule is still messed up, given that it's almost impossible to work in the mornings (without gallons of coffee).
Binge-eating and binge-sleeping share a highly associative relationship. Lack of exercise is an ideal catalyst to worsen the scenario.
Managing a healthy lifestyle is challenging for most tendentious people like me. Personally, I end up long-polling my frustrations up over a weekend, venting them away with a trek / hike in the woods. Although healthy habits don't scale to the granularity of hours or days, these getaways definitely do account for some peace and quiet.