Hackers Digest #28: How Daydreaming Helps Productivity

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daydreaming

Welcome to this week’s installment of the Hackers Digest, a feature that explores some of the more exciting 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’s in store this week. 

1. Want to be a more productive worker? Stand up.

You’ve almost certainly heard that standing desks can boost your productivity at the office. But doesn’t that really make sense or is it just some marketing gimmick from the fine folks who make said standing desks? A recent study concluded that standing desks are linked to an impressive 46% uptick in productivity. So if you’re struggling to get enough work done during the day—or you’re trying to figure out how to make your team more productive—it might be worth rolling the dice on at least a couple of stand-up desks to see if they deliver. Let’s just hope the study wasn’t funded by companies that make standing desks. To read the study, head to ScienceDaily.

2. Increase your productivity by killing time.

All these tips about productivity tell you to stop doing this thing or start doing that thing. But what if the way to increase your productivity was to indulge in your vices? You know, cat videos, napping, art projects, tidying up your workspace, what have you. Believe it or not, you may be able to become a more effective worker by simply putting all of your work down for 15 minutes at a time. This makes sense to a certain extent, because as everyone knows, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Payscale has the story.

3. Your workspace is making you less productive.

How much attention do you pay to your workspace? Do you treat it as a shrine for productivity? Or are you like most people who don’t give it a second glance? Even if you’ve never thought about it before, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the cleanliness and tidiness of your desk and office area can play a huge role in your output—or lack thereof. Beyond that, the presence or absence of life could also play a part in determining your effectiveness as a worker. What’s more, all of that pleasant chatter you hear from your colleagues throughout the day is probably doing more harm than good, too. Head to FastCompany for more.

4. Is your boss ruining your productivity? 

Everyone’s had old-school bosses. You know, the type that demands you to drop everything to answer his or her query as soon as possible. The type that schedules weekly meetings and refuses to even think about whether they are effective simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. The type that actually thinks work shouldn’t be fun, that workers should constantly be plugging away at the next story or trying to land the next client. These bosses, unfortunately, do more harm than good. But instead of letting them micromanage you to oblivion, it might be worth your while to have a conversation with your boss and let him or her know you believe they’re stifling your productivity. Of course, in many scenarios, it’s not easy to “manage up.” But sometimes, you have no choice. Figure out your best approach over at Forbes.

5. How to spend less than 560 hours on email.

According to a recent McKinsey study, the average worker spends an ungodly 560 hours in his or her inbox each year. That translates into more than twenty-three 24-hour days. If you work 8-hour shifts, that number represents 70 work days. Seventy entire days, and you’re just in your inbox reading and replying to emails. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that’s probably not the way to become the most productive worker. You need to spend less time in your inbox. To do that, you can prioritize emails, responding to the most important ones and letting the less important ones collect dust for a bit. You can also make a conscious decision to spend less time in your inbox. And don’t forget to unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists, either. For the rest of the tips—as well as tools you can use to transform your inbox—head to Business2Community.

6. The unexpected link between daydreaming and productivity.

We’ve all zoned out in the office. In most cases, it’s a pretty good bet that few people noticed. But there are those of us who’ve zoned out at the least opportune times—you know, when your boss calls on you during a meeting and you’re thinking about something else altogether. Some bosses may certainly decide to scold their employees who are zoning out and not paying attention. But those folks may want to rethink their management style. According to one neurospecialist, daydreaming can actually boost productivity. It makes sense when you stop to think about it: Take a little break, relax the mind, and you’re ready to dive back in with a blank slate. The Telegraph has the scoop.

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