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Showing 33 posts tagged productivity
Busy Is The New Lazy
If you’re telling everybody that you’re busy all the time, it’s time to rethink your ideas about productivity.
So why do we keep doing all this humblebragging about how busy we are? It’s a question Choi investigates thoughtfully: She observes that people who are “legitimately occupied” with work or family rarely play the “too busy” card (clearly, we don’t know the same people)—or, may even go out of their way to make a connectionbecause they’ve been so swamped.
To Choi, when we say “busy,” we’re really trying to say something else—although what exactly that might be depends on the harried soul that’s complaining.
She supplies some translations:
I’m busy = I’m important.
Being busy gives people a sense they’re needed and significant, Choi says. It’s also a sign saying that you’re about to be on-ramped into somebody’s misguided ego trip.
I’m busy = I’m giving you an excuse.
Saying that you’re busy is a handy way to outsource your responsibility to your irresponsibility. Since you’re always distracted, you don’t have to do anything for anybody.
I’m busy = I’m afraid.
Look above at the “I’m important” part. Whether the speaker knows it or not, complaining of busyness is a subtle cry for help, one that reassures us that yes, we are in demand.
In this way, busyness functions as a kind of laziness. When we fill our schedules with appointments and hands with phones, we divest ourselves of downtime. When we’re endlessly doing, it’s hard to be mindful of what we’re doing.
Of course, it’s a interdependent issue. It’s hard to have downtime if your bosses subscribe to what Anne Marie Slaughter calls our time macho culture, “a relentless competition to work harder, stay later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the international date line affords you.”
But don’t let that excuse suffice. You can convince your bosses—if you know how to approach the conversation.
Tips here worth stealing.
Great list of hardware here, but I really liked this insight: “When you use something every day and earn your living with it, you need something that fails at least as well as it works.”
Every brainstorming session is a new opportunity to bring your thoughts together or the members of your team. And whenever you have both, you have the chance to explore new communication pathways that can get you great results.
If you have ever been on a conference call in the workplace you know this is SPOT ON: The Conference Call by Dave Grady
But really, all I needed to know about being the president of a software company I learned from playing Dungeons & Dragons. In 5 minutes and d20 slides I will reveal these mystical secrets so you to can emerge victorious from cubicle dungeons and slay its dragons without becoming one yourself.
- Collaborative Storytelling
The more you sit, the higher your risk of chronic diseases. Kansas State University researcher Richard Rosenkranz, assistant professor of human nutrition, examined the associations of sitting time and chronic diseases in middle-aged Australian males in a study that is published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Compared with those who reported sitting four hours or less per day, those who sat for more than four hours per day were significantly more likely to report having a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The reporting of chronic diseases rose as participants indicated they sat more. Those sitting for at least six hours were significantly more likely to report having diabetes.
photo via flickr:CC | silverfuture
Inside big companies, we take organizational boundaries for granted. Traditional organizational logic suggests that most employees of big corporations should primarily only talk to other people at their organization to do their work and should only engage with “competitors” when a deal is being brokered or there is a particular need for cross-sector collaboration. In this frame, companies are quite protective of their intellectual property and company secrets and see any knowledge sharing between “competitors” as a weakening of their core assets.
To a teenager growing up in a networked world, this model makes absolutely zero sense.
She starts by describing teens working in the open source software arena - that sharing and piecing together code like a collage is preferred behavior, and teen developers…
“…spend as much time reading others’ code - grabbed from Github or random websites - as they do producing their own code. As a result, they are socialized into the idea that sharing code is a de facto practice.”
danah goes on to talk about teen internet culture:
“Yet, just because teenagers want to be IN public does not mean that they want to BE public.”
And finishes up with workforce implications. Here’s my takeaway:
“Because of social media, many youth feel empowered to surround themselves by people who think and act like them.”
“But if you want to prepare people not just for the next job, but for the one after that, you need to help them think through the relationships they have and what they learn from the people around them.”
“The answer is that the participants had to shift their attention from one task to another. Even momentary interruptions can seem jarring when they occur during a process that takes considerable thought. So before you enter this critical phase: all cell phones off at the very least.”
photo via flickr:CC | jdlasica
What’s the value of a good boss? When the boss is a CEO, that question has been closely scrutinized. But the role of less exalted front-line supervisors—the folks who directly oversee teams of workers—has been overlooked. Do supervisors vary in quality? How valuable is a good one? And what makes a good one good? These are questions that preoccupy people in their daily work lives, but haven’t been the subject of much formal research.
That’s why it’s excellent that Kathryn Shaw and Edward Lazear of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business recently teamed up with the University of Utah’s Christopher Stanton to explore the subject in a working paper called “The Value of Bosses.”
Their answer is that, yes, good bosses are a good deal better than bad ones. Replacing a supervisor from the bottom 10 percent of the pool with one from the top 10 percent increases output about as much as adding a 10th worker to a nine-worker team.
What “The Chronicles of George” can teach us about technical support. There’s bad communication and lots of resentment on BOTH sides of the phone line.
Staring at a screen all day can cause eye strain and other vision problems. Keep your eyes healthy and prevent other issue like neck and shoulder pain by practicing good “eye-gonomics.”
The Vision Council has published a helpful 16-page guide to avoiding digital eye strain. The first step is to identify symptoms of digital eye strain: red or dry eyes, blurred vision, general fatigue, or headaches. Back and neck pain can also be caused by poor workspace ergonomics.