Welcome to this week’s installment of the Hackers Digest, a weekly feature that explores some of the most interesting ideas about productivity that were 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 we found this week:
1. Is digital hoarding crushing your productivity?
When’s the last time you didn’t have any unread emails in your inbox? Can you even remember? Many of us are guilty of flooding our smartphones with tons of photos, videos, and unread emails that, when it really boils down to it, have no reason being there in the first place. This digital clutter may be working against your productivity—and you might not even realize it. Have you recently noticed that your mobile searches take a lot longer to complete? Is your phone working slower than you remembered it working the first time you used it? Now is as good a time as any to analyze the clutter on your devices. Closing those 87 tabs in your browser will speed things up, making you more productive. Head to the Seattle Times for the story.
2. How your poorly designed workspace is affecting your productivity.
A lot of workers don’t pay much attention to their dedicated workspace. They’re given a desk and they’re given a chair. So long as the desk doesn’t fall apart when a few pounds of pressure are applied to it, they can do their jobs. It turns out, though, that it’s not that simple. Believe it or not, the ergonomics of your workspace can play a huge role in your productivity—or lack thereof. When you stop to think about it, this makes perfect sense. The more comfortable you are, the less time you’ll think about your discomfort. What’s more, poorly designed workspaces can actually injure employees. You can’t do your job to the best of your abilities when you’re not feeling 100%. To learn more about the relationship between ergonomics and productivity, head over to the Portage Daily Register.
3. Potheads rejoice: These marijuana strains won’t kill your productivity.
Marijuana enthusiasts wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that there’s a misconception associated with their drug of choice: Smoking pot doesn’t automatically turn you into a lazy bastard. Just like there are a zillion different kinds of beers, there are a zillion kinds of marijuana strains. While some strains are likely to make you want to sit on the couch and watch movies for hours, there are other strains—primarily in the sativa family—that are proven to boost productivity and improve focus. Read about five strains of marijuana that are linked to increased productivity over on ATTN:.
4. You’re focusing too much on individual productivity. Focus on team productivity.
It’s no secret there is a ton of focus placed on improving individual productivity these days. While professionals may be getting more productive in their own right, that uptick in output hasn’t really translated to an aggregate shift in productivity. Why is that? Well, the answer is quite simple: We may be thinking about the productivity question the wrong way. In order for organizations to be successful, employees need to work together well. It’s not enough for individuals to improve their own productivity if team productivity doesn’t also improve. All told, it may be time to start thinking about what you can do to increase organizational productivity instead of what you can do to increase your own output. The Harvard Business Review has the story.
5. The link between mindfulness and productivity.
At a very basic level, those who practice mindfulness take time out of their days to focus on the present moment and check in with themselves. In today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, that doesn’t really seem like the recipe for increased productivity. But believe it or not, a recent study revealed that folks who were trained on mindfulness were able to add about an extra hour of productivity to their workweeks simply by changing the way they approached the day. If you’re looking to become a more effective worker, perhaps it’s time you gave mindfulness a try. Read the full story over on The Huffington Post.
6. Some of the things on your to-do list are holding you back.
When you’re searching for ways to improve your own productivity, it never hurts to learn from successful CEOs. This week, we shift our attention to clean-shaven Andy Katz-Mayfield, the co-CEO of Harry’s, a subscription razor company. In a recent interview, Katz-Mayfield shared one of his productivity tips. About once a month, the CEO sets aside 30-odd minutes to write down his priorities for the upcoming month—a list of four or five things he hopes to accomplish by the time he reconvenes with himself next. He then cuts out tasks that are on his plate that don’t align with those priorities (e.g., a meeting he was dragged into). Catch the full interview on Slate.