Hackers Digest #47: Stop Answering Your Phone

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Welcome to this week’s installment of the Hackers Digest, a feature that uncovers some of the more innovative 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. Ten apps that can help you become more productive.

Sometimes, too much technology can work against our productivity. But the right tools can help us make it to the next level. It’s been awhile since we’ve shared any lists of apps that were designed to make us better at our jobs. A lot of them are repetitive anyway. But one list recently stood out because it looks different than most. Rick Woods put together a list of 10 apps that he relies on for productivity. Some of them are one you wouldn’t think of, like Shazam, the app that helps us learn who sings songs quickly. It’s probably a more effective use of time than a 10-minute Google search to try to find the artist. Read the rest of the recommendations over at WWLP.

2. Stop believing these five productivity myths.

Some people say you don’t need a to-do list to conquer your day. But there’s a reason everyone has been using to-do lists to get things done forever: they work. There are also people who will tell you that as long as you are busy, you’re being productive. If you’re spending four hours in your inbox every day, that’s probably not the case. Finally, there are still other people who will tell you that you need to be the most organized person in the world in order to be productive. There’s actually evidence that says messy people can get more things done. Who knew? ATTN: has the scoop.

3. You’ll be productive every day if you do these five things.

If you develop the right routine, you won’t even have to waste any brainpower to figure out what you need to do next. Entrepreneur has a list of five productivity tricks that could easily become a part of your routine, assuming you’re ready to take action. First things first: Start your morning right. You can’t expect to hit it out of the park if you’re lazy in the morning or don’t get enough sleep. Speaking of sleep, you may want to try to nap sporadically during the day in order to keep your energy levels high. Also get into the habit of using the Ivy Lee method of productivity. Write down six things you want to accomplish every day. Head to Entrepreneur for the rest.

4. One iron and metal company has a simple productivity secret.

How is Padnos Iron and Metal Company able to be so productive? The answer’s a simple one: The company embraces the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement. No matter how well-oiled the machine is, chances are it can always run at least a little smoother. In addition to continually trying to make processes more efficient, Padnos also offers its employees better pay and benefits than its competitors offer their peers. The end result? Loyal employees who are always looking out for the company’s best interests. For more, head over to Forbes.

5. Does virtual reality make you more productive? 

Anyone who works in an office knows exactly how distracting things can get. Your coworker can start babbling about their weekend plans. Someone could be blasting music. People can stop by your desk at a steady clip just asking to talk. Your manager could call you in for a “quick chat” that ends up taking 45 minutes. If you’re struggling with productivity, it may be time to give virtual reality technology a try (assuming, of course, it makes sense for your job and your company is cool with it). Some workers have found that virtual reality allows them to create the exact environment they want to create—nothing more, nothing less. The India Times has the rest.

6. Every ‘productivity hack’ might not help you become a rock star at work. But some definitely can.

Want to listen to a conversation between digital professionals about what they do to increase productivity? We’ve got you covered. Kara Swisher, Lauren Goode and The Verge’s Dieter Bohn recently discussed their personal tricks for productivity. Some of the highlights? You may be able to get some mileage out of a virtual assistant. If your phone is ringing off the hook all day, you might want to consider never answering it (or at least muting it). Do you sleep until the afternoon? You’re doing it wrong. The story and podcast are over at Recode.

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