Hackers Digest #52: Ignore Time


Happy New Year!

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Hackers Digest, a feature that investigates some of the more fascinating 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. How one CEO conquered his email.

Many of today’s workers know all too well how overwhelming the inbox can quickly become. Despite the fact that everyone’s drowning in emails, the way you communicate still remains a critical facet of your business. You can’t ignore your inbox altogether. But you probably don’t need to give it as much attention on a day-to-day basis. To conquer email overload, one CEO’s recently created a simple canned response that is sent to anyone who emails him during the day. It basically says he checks his inbox before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Is there a pressing matter that needs to be dealt with during business hours? Call or text. The simple system, he says, has worked wonders. CNBC has the scoop.

2. ‘Terrible’ habits that may help you become more productive.

Dieting doesn’t have to be terrible. There are so many healthy things that taste delicious. Same goes for productivity. You don’t have to put on an ice vest that ostensibly stimulates your body to give you more energy to bring to the table. To increase your output, you can actually take up some “terrible” habits. For example, stay in bed longer. You won’t be able to reach your full potential if you’re exhausted every day. You also don’t have to put in a zillion hours every week in order to get the most done. Studies show that working fewer hours can actually pay bigger dividends. For more on those tips and one more, head over to Business2Community.

3. Time management is ruining your life.

Many workers spend quite a lot of time thinking about what they can do to better manage their time and, by extension, become more productive employees. But is this seemingly everlasting quest to become more effective professionals ultimately in vain? One writer argues that the more time we spend focusing on managing time more efficiently and being “more productive” workers can actually do more harm than good. Focusing intently on schedules and workloads subtracts from what it’s like to be a human. How can you expect to be spectacularly creative, for example, if you’re always looking at your watch? You shouldn’t feel like a chump if time management is a top priority. It’s totally understandable. But is it the right approach? Find out more about why you may want to switch things up over at The Guardian.

4. How many big-name startup CEOs get things done.

Lots of people who are building businesses think they are geniuses and can do everything on their own. But successful entrepreneurs? They understand that they can learn from everyone—and particularly those who are creating and guiding companies of their own. Good news for those who are open-minded enough to learn from others: One enthusiastic writer put together a list of the productivity tips of 17 CEOs of the “next billion-dollar startups”—like Fuze, Gigster, Opendoor, and Boxer. Read their advice over on Forbes.

5. Trick yourself to becoming more productive.

Ugh, another productivity hack? So lame. Whatever. Productivity doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, sometimes you can trick your dumb brain into making you a stronger worker. For example, tell yourself that you can take a break after you do something important. Reward yourself with some exercise—like a simple walk during the afternoon to get your blood (and your creative juices) flowing. You might also want to make it a habit of writing thank-you notes to your coworkers, dropping compliments when the time is appropriate. You’ll be more connected—and therefore more interested in taking your game to the next level. The story’s over on mySA.com.

6. Ten things you need to stop doing to be productive.

You’re in your inbox way too often. Checking your email frequently is insanely distracting. Take the CEO’s advice and end your addiction to email. You are scheduling or attending too many meetings. Stop wasting your team’s time—or ask your boss, kindly, to stop wasting yours. You might think you’re able to get by without eating breakfast and just chugging coffee during the morning. Sure, you won’t die, but it’s impossible to reach peak productivity when you’re running on fumes. You may have been conditioned to think that every task is equally important, but get real. Some things are way more important than others. Stop treating them all equally. The rest of the tips are over on Jobs&Hire.

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