Hackers Digest #54: Bring Your Dog to Work

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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 came to the surface 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. What Tim Ferriss thinks is the most important productivity advice.

Tim Ferriss is a serial entrepreneur who made a name for himself after penning his best-seller, The Four-Hour Workweek. Recently, he published Tools of Titans, a book that includes interviews with a number of influential people—from cartoonists to entrepreneurs to actors—and synthesizes their productivity tricks. Recently, Ferriss sat down with Entrepreneur to discuss some of the things he does to remain a productivity beast. For starters, Ferriss believes it is critical for creators to schedule large uninterrupted blocks of time that are at least two to four hours long. Twenty minutes here and there won’t cut it when you have to make major decisions. Ferriss also reminds us that, in order to reach peak productivity, we need to be focusing on the right things. When we don’t, we could end up spending a lot of time working on things that don’t matter. Watch the interview over at Entrepreneur. 

2. How to be a more effective telecommuter in 2017.

Those who work from home know how easy it can be to procrastinate and how hard it can be to get things done. Since it’s the beginning of a new year, if you work from home, now is as good a time as any to reevaluate your approach to telework to see whether there are any changes you can make to become a much more effective member of the team despite working remotely. One writer serves up 10 tips that should help you increase your output at least a bit—unless, of course, you’ve mastered the art of working at home. For starters, set up your own dedicated workspace that’s separate from where you spend your leisure time. You’ll also want to set a fixed schedule if you can. While you might be tempted to wear pajamas all day, you should probably put on some real clothes instead. More on those tips and others are over at The Washington Post.

3. The one question you need to ask yourself to become more productive.

There’s no shortage of productivity stories that tell you what to add to your life to become a better worker. Maybe you need to start meditating. You can also opt to download this app or that one. Read this book, and you’ll become the best worker ever. Or you can also exercise more. The list goes on and on. But what if it were possible to become a more productive worker by removing things from your life instead? Once writer says the key to productivity is asking yourself a very simple question: What one thing can I subtract from my life? Inc. has the story.

4. Fifty Google Chrome extensions that will help you become a better worker.

It’s that time of the year again. The folks over at ZDNet have put together a list of 50 Google Chrome extensions that can help you become a productivity wizard in 2017. You’ve no doubt heard of Adblock. But have you heard of Discoverly, the extension that helps you learn more about your contacts easily? What about Blur, a password manager that doubles as a secure payment tool? Beware: It’s a slideshow! If you have the time, you’ll undoubtedly find at least a few extensions that will pique your interest. Patiently scroll through the list over at ZDNet.

5. Will 2017 be the year everyone starts dropping acid at work?

Recently, it’s come to everyone’s attention that microdosing LSD—taking about one-tenth of a “normal dose—is all the rage in Silicon Valley. Proponents of using the drug in small doses say that it helps them unlock their inner creative genius and be more productive. It also makes them less stressed, more relaxed, and more comfortable. But before you go dropping tabs and strolling into the office, you may want to consider the long-term health effects and whether, if you need “performance-enhancing drugs” to keep up in your industry, you’re working in the right field. While LSD may work for some people, it won’t work for everyone. The good news is that coffee will always exist. Uproxx has the scoop.

6. Bring your dog to work to become more productive.

Ever worked at an office that was exceptionally quiet and mundane? It’s not exactly a place that inspires you to go above and beyond. If yours is a boring office, it may be time to enliven things by letting workers bring their dogs to the office once a week—that is, if every day is too much. Studies show that having a dog in the office encourages more employee interactions. It also increases the likelihood people will take breaks to recharge their batteries. If that wasn’t enough, when a dog is nearby, there’s a noticeable reduction in stress. If your office can handle a few four-legged beasts roaming around every now and again, why not give it a whirl? For more on that tip and others, head over to The Telegraph.

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