Hackers Digest #45: Turn 40


Welcome to this week’s edition of the Hackers Digest, a feature that shines a light on some of the more 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’s on tap this week:

1. These nine morning habits may be stifling your productivity.

Everyone has their own morning routines. Some of us get up and go for a run while others pour a nice cup of coffee and read the news. While you might think your own personal routine is perfect, there’s a possibility that some of the things you do every morning are preventing you from reaching peak productivity. For example, you may not take the time to say hello to your coworkers when you walk past them every morning. Though you might not think anything of it, your behavior could be quite off-putting to your coworkers who may become more reluctant to give you a helping hand when you need it. And are you the kind of person who slams coffee first thing in the morning? Studies show that you might not want to get your java fix until after 9:30 a.m. because that’s when you’ll need another jolt of energy. More on those tips and seven others are over on Time.

2. How drinking 8 glasses of water a day can turn you into a productivity beast. 

Water bottles can seem like an extension of some of our coworkers’ bodies—and maybe even your own. But a lot of people don’t drink water all day long. They’ll opt for coffee, tea or soda instead. It turns out there might be a whole lot of wisdom in that old adage that tells us to drink eight glasses of water after all. After reading a study that said upping your water intake can boost productivity by 14%, one writer decided to drink a ton of it over the course of a week. The end result? It was easier to fall asleep, the writer was more energized during the afternoon, and he was able to concentrate better on the task at hand. If you’re not a huge water drinker, maybe it’s time you get hydrated. Fast Company has the scoop.

3. You need to manage your team’s stress better.

According to a recent survey, a whopping 92% of employees say they’re stressed out at work. There are many causes of this stress. Some people have too much work on their plates. Others don’t get along with their coworkers. Still others feel as though they lack job security and wonder how they’ll be able to pay their bills if they get a pink slip. Workers who are stressed are not only less productive than their more relaxed peers, they’re also incapable of doing their best work. In order for your team to make it to the next level, it is imperative that you try to reduce the amount of stress everyone is experiencing. While you can’t control stressors that may exist outside the office, you can control those that originate from within it. Read the story on cleveland.com.

4. Seven reasons remote employees are more productive.

There’s no shortage of content on the internet claiming that remote workers are more productive than their peers who are forced to work in the office every day. By don’t remote employees just sit on their couches in their pajamas watching television all day? Not the productive ones. Some people are just better suited to working remotely. That’s because these workers feel like working out of the home office is a privilege, so they’ll work hard to make sure they can keep doing it. What’s more, remote employees don’t have to commute to and from work, and they’re usually able to work at the times that are most convenient for them. Finally, remote workers are blessed with “well-timed distractions.” You can’t stare at a computer for 10 hours a day without taking a break. The moment the dog runs around the corner and wants to play fetch is a pretty good time to take a 10-minute break. The story is over on Forbes.

5. Seven ‘clarity vacuums’ you need to be familiar with.

The first time someone with poor eyesight gets fitted for prescription glasses, that person realizes how incorrectly they’ve been seeing the world for however many years. You don’t know what you’re missing out on if you’re not sure what you’re looking at. In this light, there may be a number of things you’re doing at work that have drastic implications—you’re just not able to see them. For example, giving your coworkers vague requests is likely to create a lot of confusion and undue stress. Similarly, having regular weekly meetings just because that’s the way you’ve always done it might be doing more harm than good, particularly if they’ve mostly unproductive. Today’s workers are drowning in email; don’t contribute to that noise unless you’re sending helpful emails. For more, head to Forbes.

6. You’ll be more productive in your 40s.

In the age of rampant advancements in technology, experts across the world are wondering why global productivity is stalling on an aggregate scale. But it turns out that there’s at least one cohort that continually tends to drive productivity: fortysomethings. Researchers aren’t yet quite sure why 40-year-olds are one of the most productive age groups. But they believe it may have to do with the fact those in their 40s have the right balance of experience and creativity. Bloomberg has the story.

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