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The Buffer blog: productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business.

The Buffer blog: productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business.
5.8K Flares 5.8K Flares × We all know this and have heard it hundreds of times. To work efficiently we have to single task. No multitasking. And yet, we let it slip. So one thing is for sure, we are all aware multitasking different things at the same time makes us less efficient. Recently I started to develop a new work routine online, that specifically focuses on singletasking only. To understand what actually goes on in our brains and see if it all makes sense, I went ahead and found some stunning research and answers to these questions: Why we multitask in the first place: It makes us feel good To understand why we always fall into the habit of multitasking, when we know we shouldn’t, I found some very interesting studies. “[People who multitask] are not being more productive — they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work.” This is what researcher Zhen Wang mentions in a recent study on multitasking. Unfortunately, exactly the opposite is the case. 1. 2. 3. Related:  Productivity

Android: A visual history 292inShare Jump To Close Google’s Android operating system has undergone a pretty incredible metamorphosis since it debuted on the T-Mobile G1, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this week. Half a decade might seem like a long time, but on the scale of the PC's growth, it's a blink of an eye. With the release of Android 4.4 — KitKat — on Google's new Nexus 5 smartphone, we wanted to take a look back through the years at how Andy Rubin’s brainchild has evolved into the industry titan that it is today. Sticky TOC engaged! Where it all began Where it all began The Android era officially began on October 22nd, 2008, when the T-Mobile G1 launched in the United States. The pull-down notification window. Home screen widgets. Deep, rich Gmail integration. The Android Market. Notably, Google developed Android 1.0's UI with help from The Astonishing Tribe, a Swedish interaction design firm responsible for some truly amazing interface concepts over the years. Android 1.1 Android 1.1 Cupcake, 1.5

Why You Need a Daily Prioritization Meeting We live in a culture of urgency, constantly throwing our emotional energy into the latest public scandal, emergency, or cat video. Most of us work in always-switched-on companies where everything feels urgent. Call backs, emails, and meetings are wrought with peak energy. How quickly do you expect a response to an email or changes to a report? Because of this, I believe that prioritizing is the most essential skill a creative can possess. The media theorist and writer Douglas Rushkoff describes his concept of “present shock” as “one big now… where everything is happening so fast it may as well be simultaneous.” “The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.”― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art Urgency is a great motivator, but a flimsy one. It’s true the creatives among us who make ideas happen have a remarkable ability to ignore distractions. My daily prioritization check-in

Could Ron Paul pull an upset at Republican convention? Alone Time 37signals is spread out over four cities and eight time zones. From Provo, Utah to Copenhagen, Denmark, the five of us are eight hours apart. One positive side effect of this eight hour difference is alone time. There are only about 4-5 hours during the day that we're all up and working together. At other times, the us team is sleeping while David, who's in Denmark, is working. The rest of the time, we're working while David is sleeping. Guess which part of the day we get the most work done? When you have a long stretch when you aren't bothered, you can get in the zone. Getting in the zone takes time. Set up a rule at work: Make half the day alone time. A successful alone time period means letting go of communication addiction. Get Into the Groove We all know that knowledge workers work best by getting into "flow", also known as being "in the zone", where they are fully concentrated on their work and fully tuned out of their environment.

Top 10 Game Center Apps 36 Shares Google+ 0 Twitter 30 Facebook 6 LinkedIn 0 inShare0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 36 Shares × Want to rank #1 on Apple’s global leaderboards? Compete with your friends for the top spot while racking up those achievement points! iOS 4.1 lets you experience social gaming in a whole new way. #10 – Pix’n Love Rush It’s a fast-paced game that’s perfect when you have a few minutes to spare. #9 – Spider: the Secret of Bryce Manor Now you can unlock the secrets of Bryce Manor! #8 – Farmville Love it or hate it, you have to admit it’s addicting. #7 – Bit.Trip Beat As mentioned by my fellow GeekBeat.TV blogger Chris Cameron, this game is like Pong + Guitar Hero. #6 – Pocket Frogs Pocket Frogs is all about collecting beautiful and colorful frogs. #5 – Super Mega Worm Giant worms have been released on our planet with the intention to cleanse it of human parasites. #4 – Diner DashDiner Dash is definitely a favorite for those of you who enjoy time management games. Trusted

Ignore Details Early On We're crazy about details. The space between objectsThe perfect type leadingThe perfect colorThe perfect wordsFour lines of code instead of seven90% vs 89%760px vs 750px$39/month vs. $49/month Success and satisfaction are in the details. However, success isn't the only thing you'll find in the details. How often have you found yourself stuck on a single design or code element for a whole day? Don't worry about the size of your headline font in week one. Details reveal themselves as you use what you're building. The Devil's in the Details I really got over the "get into details right away" attitude after I took some drawing classes...If you begin to draw the details right away you can be sure that the drawing is going to suck. You should begin by getting your proportions right for the whole scene. Work from large to small. —Patrick Lafleur, Creation Objet Inc.

15 Android Games You Should Be Playing 114 Shares Google+ 42 Twitter 27 Facebook 40 LinkedIn 4 inShare4 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 1 1 Buffer 0 114 Shares × I’ve recently been gaming a lot more on my Android tablet. It still holds true that iOS tends to have more polished, quality software than Android, but recently that has started to change. Developers have started taking notice that Android devices own a significant portion of the mobile market. Battleheart I love this game! Age of Zombies This is a seriously fun twin-stick shooter with a ridiculous premise and entertaining art. Castle Warriors If you’ve ever played games like Galcon or Archipelago then you know what to expect here. The mechanics are super simple but the game can get very challenging as you progress. Stair Dismount Here is another game with a simple premise and simple mechanics. Dungeon Defenders This is probably the best looking game you are likely to find in the Market right now. Shadow Era PewPew 2 Zenonia 3 (+ Series) Fieldrunners HD More Tower Defense! Vector Runner

How to Make Things Happen This is an excerpt from Making Things Happen, my bestselling book on leading project teams. One myth of project management is certain people have an innate ability to do it well, and others do not. Whenever this myth came up in conversation with other project managers, I asked for an explanation —how to recognize it, categorize it, and, if possible, develop it in others. The only thing we usually identified—after considering many of the other topics covered in this book—is the ability to make things happen. This ability to drive is so important to some that it’s used as a litmus test in hiring project managers. Priorities Make Things Happen A large percentage of my time as a PM (project manager) was spent making ordered lists. I invested so much time in these lists because I knew that having clear priorities was the backbone of progress. What slows progress and wastes the most time on projects is confusion about what the goals are or which things should come before which other things.

Pioneer AppRadio 2 128 Shares Google+ 102 Twitter 20 Facebook 5 LinkedIn 1 inShare1 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 128 Shares × For Car Audio aficionados we’re talking about a double din sized head with a MOSFET power amp with four 50-watt channels. However, what you really want to hear about is what happens behind the 7” capacitive touchscreen. The Pioneer AppRadio 2 is available now at a suggested retail price of $599.99 Our email robots can be trusted. Trusted How to be Happier and More Productive by Avoiding 'Decision Fatigue' 6.1K Flares 6.1K Flares × Let’s say it’s your birthday. First, happy birthday! We’ll come back to the cake in a moment. Second, we have a question for you on your special day. Which would you pick? For myself and a surprising number of people I talk to, the answer is B. We’re conditioned to think that more choice is always a good thing, but in the past few years, studies have discovered something called decision fatigue. Our cognitive resources are regularly depleted because we’re fighting an uphill battle every day — physically and mentally, both at home and at work. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Let’s start with that cake. Running on empty – The decision fatigue phenomenon Kathy Sierra has written and spoken extensively on this topic. In the talk, she tells the story of a famous experiment by Professor Baba Shiv. This was unbelievable; it took them a long time to figure out what was happening, because it seemed so bizarre. The rise of simple 5 Ways to fight back 1.) 2.)

The Early History of LEGO Simple, block-shaped toys have been around for hundreds of years, but it took a 20th-century Danish genius named Ole Kirk Christiansen to invent the interlocking pieces we know today as LEGO bricks. It all started in 1932 in the village of Billund, long before LEGO had achieved world domination as a brand. A master joiner and carpenter, Christiansen opened a humble woodworking shop with his son Godtfred, just 12 years old at the time. They manufactured stepladders, ironing boards and later expanded to make wooden toys, and in 1934 dubbed their business LEGO, a contraction of the Danish "leg godt" ("play well"). And play well they did. The company expanded from only six employees in 1934 to forty in 1942. Dubbing them the (decidedly un-catchy) "Automatic Binding Bricks," they were the forerunner to today's LEGO brick. In 1958, the LEGO brick finally came into its own. More LEGO fun: In 1961, the LEGO wheel was invented. But whatever you do, don't call them LEGOS.

5 Things We Need For Sustainable Performance At Work We all want to perform well at work and live a fulfilling life. It all gets down to these two simple needs. If we take a minute to contemplate that a bit more, those two simple needs further get down to a few simple actions. #1. Big things start with simple habits. #2. You woke up in the morning. #3. Our stress ball is rolling on. #4. This involves interactions that we have with co-workers, whether work-related or not. #5. Count all those occasions when you have mini-bummers as your tools won’t let you do the work comfortably, keeping your flow. Related articles: Top 5 Non-Office Brain Killers Cognitive Endurance Basics for Software Developers Continuous Problem-Solving Is No Accident

Ben Rimalower: Hashtags Are Over Dear @FeldmanAdam, Hashtags are over. Hashtags are hoary. Look, Adam, nobody enjoyed hashtags as much as I did -- in 2009! How many times did I relish buttoning tweets with ironic and awkwardly long-winded, punctuation-less, space-less hashtags, running on my efforts to sum up themes or anti-themes of my tweets? And then one day, March 28, 2012, at 1:38 p.m., I read our mutual friend Brendan Kennedy's (@waywaw) tweet: "Remember hashtags? ‪ Yes, I was horrified. And don't give me that crap about pandering to trends. Hashtags began with a real purpose. And hashtags are unseemly outside Twitter. Look around and see who's using hashtags nowadays. There's no crime in joining Twitter late. I'm grateful to my young friends in their 20s for letting me know what's hip. And, Adam, by any definition, you are cool. Hashtags had their 15 minutes, but they were never more than a trend, and their time has come to collect dust in the corner of some second-hand shop, like trucker hats.

Rules that have no reason are just obstacles Productivity We all abide by many spoken and unspoken rules every day; while some of those rules have good reasons, plenty more have no reason and possibly a negative outcome. They stifle us, they rob us from imagination and they contain us. Why do we follow rules that stifle us? Well, most of the time because it’s the easy thing to do. As comfortable as this may sound; here are 5 reasons why avoiding rules will make you more productive. Rules that have no reason are just obstacles A classic example is the work dress code. “Hell, there are no rules here – we're trying to accomplish something.” — Thomas A. Rules hinder our imagination If you live by the rule of “never color outside the lines”, you will quickly become bored (and possibly boring), life will be filled with mediocrity. Challenging assumptions makes us grow as people. Rules trap us in a local maximum Rules that put us in local maxima are the hardest to break, but breaking them can be quite rewarding. Rules hinder innovation