The Snarky Voice in Your Head Is Killing Your Productivity; Here’s How to Stop It SExpand I'm pretty sure no one in their right mind would tell George Carlin to "Just be nice". There are also obvious merits to being a snark, like the ability to speak what's really on your mind. Not just smile, act dumb, and play along. The difference is that George Carlin was a comedian. Not a philosopher, not your coworker, not your best friend. In fact, one of the examples that one of our psychologists uses frequently that didn't make it into the article as an opportunity for effective snark and sarcasm is in comedy, and if you're practicing a stand-up routine. Even so, George Carlin was a very funny man, and said some great things, but he also said a lot of rude and awful things that no one would in their right mind believe or take to heart, mostly in the name of attention-getting, but never mistake his comedy for legitimate commentary.
The Checklist Manifesto « Atul Gawande Over the past decade, through his writing in The New Yorker magazine and his books Complications and Better, Atul Gawande has made a name for himself as a writer of exquisitely crafted meditations on the problems and challenges of modern medicine. His latest book, The Checklist Manifesto, begins on familiar ground, with his experiences as a surgeon. But before long it becomes clear that he is really interested in a problem that afflicts virtually every aspect of the modern world–and that is how professionals deal with the increasing complexity of their responsibilities. Gawande begins by making a distinction between errors of ignorance (mistakes we make because we don’t know enough), and errors of ineptitude (mistakes we made because we don’t make proper use of what we know). The danger, in a review as short as this, is that it makes Gawande’s book seem narrow in focus or prosaic in its conclusions.
How Can I Get Over the Summer Productivity Slump? Dear Lifehacker, The hot, hazy days of summer are really starting to drag me down at work. I'm finding it harder to get things done and stay motivated, when all I really feel like doing is leaving work early and relaxing at the pool. Is there any cure for the summertime slump? Signed, Lazy in the HeatP Dear Lazy, You're definitely not alone. Set the Thermostat at the Optimal Temperature for WorkingP If the temperature inside your office is too high or too low, your productivity can suffer. Other ways to tweak your environment for more productivity include making sure your office is quiet enough or perhaps playing music that helps you work.P Switch Up Your Routine or Where You WorkP If work is starting to feel a little stale, you may be able to get a kick-start simply by changing your routine or environment. If you tend to do the same things at work in a set order, consider either switching up the order or injecting a new task or activity. Try a New Productivity MethodP Enjoy the summer!
Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning - Peter Bregman by Peter Bregman | 11:00 AM May 27, 2009 I was late for my meeting with the CEO of a technology company and I was emailing him from my iPhone as I walked onto the elevator in his company’s office building. I stayed focused on the screen as I rode to the sixth floor. The world is moving fast and it’s only getting faster. So we try to speed up to match the pace of the action around us. But that’s a mistake. Never before has it been so important to say “No.” It’s hard to do because maybe, just maybe, that next piece of information will be the key to our success. A study of car accidents by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute put cameras in cars to see what happens right before an accident. The world is changing fast and if we don’t stay focused on the road ahead, resisting the distractions that, while tempting, are, well, distracting, then we increase the chances of a crash. Now is a good time to pause, prioritize, and focus. Some people already have the first list.
Personal Outsourcing: How to Get More Than 24 Hours Out of Each Day Outsourcing is a term borrowed from the corporate world, that refers to taking a function of a business and having it provisioned by an external company, often overseas. Applied to our personal lives, outsourcing is about taking things that we would normally have to do in our day-to-day lives, and having someone else do it at a low(ish) cost. The first popular mention of personal outsourcing comes from AJ Jacobs of Esquire magazine. His article, written (by outsourcers) back in 2005, was a humorous look at just how much of your life could be run by a team of Indian virtual assistants at a low hourly rate. In terms of efficiency, personal outsourcing is incredibly valuable as it allows you to get more out of the 24 hours a day that we are all given. The Premise The important thing to remember about personal outsourcing is that you absolutely must know how much your time is worth (usually per hour). Let’s look at an example. If you are an entrepreneur this is easy – work on your business!
Focus Your Ambitions with the Lifehacker Hierarchy of Goals Setting goals is easy, but prioritizing them is hard. Humans suck at properly weighing what we need to achieve our goals. We take on too much, skip steps, and often, as a result, we give up. If you're anything like me you have a ton of goals. Consider this a system of life designing that helps you question assumptions and figure out what you really want. Level 1: The Primary GoalsP SExpand Your primary goals are the base of all other goals—the one or two things you aspire to do before you die. Level 2: Long Term GoalsP Your long term goals are the major goals that are required to get to the primary goals. Level 3: Short Term GoalsP Think of short term goals as weeks or months out. Level 4: Recurring GoalsP Your recurring goals are what you want to do daily/weekly/monthly regardless of what else is going on. Level 5: Immediate GoalsP These are the goals and to-dos that you can and want to accomplish right this second. How to Use Your Pyramid to Weed Out Junk and Accomplish Your GoalsP
Getting Back To Work: A Personal Productivity Toolkit I procrastinate. You procrastinate. We all procrastinate. Pavlov's Dogs Everyone knows the story of Pavlov and his salivating dogs. One day there was a bad storm and Pavlov's lab flooded. The animal was abnormally restless and all conditioned reflexes were practically absent, and, though usually very ready for food, the animal now would not touch the food and even turned its head away. So it would seem that an extraordinary event can shake us from our routines, and this state of being shaken can last for an extraordinarily long time. Work is a sort of conditioning. A lot has been written on the subject of procrastination, but I wanted to collect here my current thoughts on the discipline required to get back to the grindstone. Positive Associations There are some places that I just associate with work. A sense of place like this can be created subtly. This works, I've done it for years. The key here is to only use this thing when you're actually doing work. Flow Nanny 911 Get Back To Work
Getting Real Here are the 16 chapters and 91 essays that make up the book. Introduction chapter 1 What is Getting Real?A smaller, faster, better way to build software About 37signalsOur small team creates simple, focused software Caveats, disclaimers, and other preemptive strikesResponses to some complaints we hear The Starting Line chapter 2 Build LessUnderdo your competition What's Your Problem? Stay Lean chapter 3 Less MassThe leaner you are, the easier it is to change Lower Your Cost of ChangeStay flexible by reducing obstacles to change The Three MusketeersUse a team of three for version 1.0 Embrace ConstraintsLet limitations guide you to creative solutions Be YourselfDifferentiate yourself from bigger companies by being personal and friendly Priorities chapter 4 What's the big idea? Feature Selection chapter 5 Process chapter 6 The Organization chapter 7 Staffing chapter 8 Interface Design chapter 9 Code chapter 10 Words chapter 11 Pricing and Signup chapter 12 Promotion chapter 13 Support chapter 14
The Book by 37signals Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule -- and Your Life: Julie Morgenstern: 9780805075908: Amazon.com The Laziness Paradox: Embrace Your Weaknesses to Accomplish More I was recently having dinner with a friend who was telling me his plan to get in shape. He had always been on the skinny side and wanted to bulk up a bit. His plan was to gain ten pounds over the following two months. Being the good friend I am, I told him he’d probably fail. My response may seem rude or pessimistic, but it was the truth. I’ve known this friend for a long time—long enough that we can give each other blunt feedback without taking offense—and setting fitness goals only to make zero progress was so common it was practically a ritual for him. Instead I gave him a better plan. The problem with my friend is a general one. You’re Lazier, Weaker and Dumber Than You Think I believe, on the whole, confidence is a good thing. The reason confidence works is that it is usually in the abstract. This advantage of confidence may explain why people are so overconfident. The weakness of confidence is when you’re forming concrete, short-term plans. You’re Not Really in Control
What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Tumblr founder David Karp will "try hard" not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. Gain Awareness, Be Grateful Choose Your Frog
How I Turn Vague Ideas Into Tangible Goals Consider using the following mantra to generate Ideas: (From the website www.mindtools.com) S-ubstitute C-ombine A-dapt M-odify P-ut to other use - like using staples on a electronic breadboard instead of Jumpers. E-radicate Simply take out part of the factors. R-everse Put the idea on it's head. Another way to generate ideas is to list all factors influencing your improvement in a spreadsheet along the x and y axis and then work through the matrix evaluating each combination. Remember most innovation is in increments, not the flash of insight that changes everyone's world. Who What When Where How Why to help formulate the problem as a single question. What You Want to Do Is Who You Are Lovely post. I completely agree with it. Having undergone a recent tumultous personal loss that has put all housework on my shoulders apart from my office work, the todo lists are keeping me sane and on track. I have prepared a todo list for home and another for office. The todo for home consists of all important things to do such as bill payments, but also things that would be good to do, such as get a new mattress to replace the old one. Similarly, the todo for office consists of important tasks such as complete the pending report development (I am in IT), to improve on a specific skill. I may not be able to keep the list updated (though I try) everyday, atleast I have a clear understanding of the tasks that are pending. On another note - Lifehacker is my most favorite site and I visit it everyday. - Shailesh