Welcome to this week’s installment of the Hackers Digest, a feature that explores some of the more fascinating ideas about productivity that emerged 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 on tap this week:
1. How eating pizza makes you a more productive worker.
Want to motivate your employees? To do that, you might think you need to bump their pay a little bit or at least compliment them from time to time about how great their work is. But you’d be wrong. It turns out that there’s an even better motivator: pizza. A recent study found that workers who were given pizza to munch on were more productive than their peers who opted for compliments or cash. In fact, those who chose a cash bonus actually performed worse than they did before the experiment even began. The results of this study are a bit peculiar, but the more you think about it, the less surprising it becomes—particularly if workers were being served pizza from a classy joint. We all need to eat, after all, and it’s hard to fully submerge yourself in your work if you’re starving. Grab a slice over at Esquire.
2. Five productivity tips from the mind of a successful startup CEO.
Everyone on the internet offers you productivity tips. Rather than listening to all the noise, you might be better off taking advice from the kind of people you strive to emulate. For example, if you want to work at a fast-growing startup—and succeed in your efforts—you may want to take some advice from John Stevens, CEO of HostingFacts, who recently shared five productivity tips that help him accomplish what he wants to accomplish. For starters, rather than hitting snooze and sleeping in, Stevens does his best to get out of bed early each morning. Once he’s up and at ‘em, he tries to dive into his work right away. In an effort to make sure he doesn’t waste time planning his day in the morning, Stevens puts together a to-do list every night before he goes to bed. For more on those tips and others, head to Business Insider.
3. Can social media make your team more productive?
It’s not uncommon for organizations to ban the use of social networks in the office. The reasoning is pretty simple: to boost productivity. But if you want your workforce to become more effective, is that really the best approach? A new study revealed that 37% of millennials believe that social media actually makes them more productive in the office. Compare that to 23% of men and 21% of women who believe social networks make them less productive. Wait a minute: How is that possible? Rather than searching on Google for something, these workers tap into Twitter and Facebook. They stay connected to news as it’s breaking. Sure, people definitely waste time on social networks. But is the tradeoff worth it? If you’re looking to switch things up, it might be time for your business to reassess its social media policies. The story is over at MediaPost.
4. Nine things incredibly productive people do every day.
Everyone’s productivity ebbs and flows. But if you’ve never really taken an active approach to try to reach your full potential, you might never have experienced peak productivity. This is not to say you didn’t accomplish your goals. But perhaps you could have done better. With that in mind, one writer recently offered nine tips productive people do every day. Instead of multitasking, they focus on one thing at a time. Instead of working in fast-paced, noisy environments, they try to remove as many distractions from their lives. Perhaps most interestingly, knowing that they’re fallible people, they anticipate their own future failures and try to prepare themselves to thrive in those moments ahead of time. More on those tips and others can be found over at Entrepreneur.
5. Millennials are really productive when they can work on their own time.
So long as your workers are doing their jobs and doing them well, does it really matter when or where they do their jobs? A recent study revealed that millennials are the most effective at their jobs when they’re able to work on their own time. For example, someone might decide to log 10-hour days on Monday through Thursday, taking Friday off. Another person might decide to rock a 12-hour shift on Wednesday to lighten his or her load on the other days. Some workers are night owls, while others are up first thing in the morning. All employees won’t be able to reach peak productivity if they’re forced to work during specific periods of time. When you work on your own schedule, you’re bound to be more productive. Read the story over at InformationWeek.
6. Want to be more productive? Leave the office.
Does your company have a strict in-office working policy? Or does it allow employees to work from wherever they want to work? The same study cited in the above item also found that a whopping 93% of workers say they’re more productive when they’re able to work outside the office. Among other reasons, survey respondents said working remotely generally comes with fewer interruptions, there are fewer distractions at home, and when they’re not in the office, they obviously have fewer meetings to attend. Stuck in the office all day? Switch environments if you can and see if it affects your productivity. PayScale has the scoop.