Welcome to this week’s installment of the Hackers Digest, a weekly feature that covers some of the most cutting-edge ideas relating to productivity published over the past several days. We explore every nook and cranny of the Internet to find the six best hacks and productivity stories of the week so you don’t have to.
Here’s what’s in store this week:
1. You can stop hiding cat videos when your boss comes around.
It’s safe to say most young professionals know their way around the Internet. Whether they’re scanning their social feeds, reading a new listicle on Buzzfeed or watching a hilariously cute cat video, workers can’t help but panic when their boss walks by and they’re not fully submerged in their work. Sound familiar? There’s good news: According to a recent study, we’re more productive after taking a break and watching a funny video. So next time you can’t seem to make one iota of progress on a project, it’s probably time to watch a couple cat videos. Head over to Business Insider for the full story.
2. You have more productivity power at your fingertips than you realize.
It seems as though the Internet is littered with articles designed to help readers increase their productivity. (This is one of them.) For the most part, these pieces explore new tools, platforms and apps that were built for productivity. They also explore ways you can change your approach to work and get more done. But what if all the productivity tools you needed were already nearby—and you just didn’t know it? Case in point: How much utility are you getting out of your smartphone? There’s a good chance an unused app on your phone could change your life. Read the story on The Huffington Post.
3. Your lack of productivity may be rooted in the fact you suck at prioritizing.
Turns out you might not need productivity tools to boost your output and be a more effective worker after all. If you’re routinely struggling with getting your work done each week, it may be time to reassess the way you prioritize your tasks. In fact, the art of prioritization is one that many professionals seem to overlook. Folks who are masters at prioritizing their tasks are able to stay on top of their work week in and week out. Catch the full story on Medium.
4. Want to be more productive? Focus on the present moment.
Are you worried about that mammoth project that’s due at the end of the month? Are you focusing all of your energies on the conference that’s three months away? Are you already stressing about what you’re going to get your loved ones for the holidays—even though it’s only January? In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, it can be shockingly simple to become completely overwhelmed with our responsibilities. We have so much on our plates, and we don’t want to drop the ball, so we spend an enormous amount of time focusing on the future. This, unfortunately, can work against our productivity. A simple fix? Force yourself to focus more on the present moment. The story is over at NJBIZ.
5. How games and contests make workers more productive.
Work can get tedious. When that happens, morale suffers. As does employee engagement. Because engaged employees are considerably more productive than their disengaged counterparts, all managers should strive to enact any and all policies aimed at increasing engagement. Ask yourself: Who doesn’t like playing games or participating in contests? Increasingly, business owners are deciding to move gamification into the office. Learn more about how playing games and having contests at your company can increase productivity over on The Columbian.
6. Prior to getting to work, put on some music. Now, sit back and watch your output increase.
Do you like working with music blasting? Or do you prefer to knock off the tasks on your to-do list in complete silence? According to one cognitive neuroscientist, listening to music while working can help us reach our full potential. But there’s a catch: You need to put the music on before you get to work. Believe it or not, turning music on in the middle of working will crush your productivity. The full story is over at Bustle.