Hackers Digest #56: You Are Not a Robot


Welcome to this week’s edition of the Hackers Digest, a feature that explores some of the more innovative 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 we found this week:

1. Six things the most productive people do every day.

The world’s most successful people don’t have the same exact routines. But when you analyze the way they all approach productivity, you begin to see a number of overlaps. One writer put together a summary of six habits the most productive people do every day. For starters, everyone has a morning routine that enables them to begin their days on the right foot. Beyond that, the most productive people block out time so they’re able to really focus on tackling the most important tasks they’re facing.  They also don’t spend their entire lives inside their inboxes—unlike you probably do. For more on those habits and three others, head over to Fast Company.

2. Your marketing team may benefit from these four cloud tools. 

No matter how good your marketing team may be doing, it can always be doing at least a little bit better. How do you go about improving your marketers’ productivity? It starts with using the right tools. When is the last time you invested in the technology and platforms that power your marketers? If it’s been quite a while, you’re missing out. There’s no shortage of cloud-based tools designed specifically to help the modern mobile professional who’s always on the go. Such tools generate a slew of actionable data marketers can use to streamline their approaches. Among them? Cyfe, a tool that measures the effectiveness of social media campaigns, and SurveyMonkey, a platform that enables marketers to ask your customers direct questions about why they like or don’t like something. For more, head to Entrepreneur.

3. You’re not a robot. Your personal productivity efforts are doomed to fail. 

In an age where we are able to answer work-related emails at 9 p.m., many of us feel compelled if for no other reason than we want to convince our managers and employers that we are supremely productive individuals who are irreplaceable. In a similar vein, many of us are constantly trying to figure out what we can do to become more effective workers. While the heart might be in the right place, the body will eventually wear out—you’re not a robot. As Frederick Taylor demonstrated for Bethlehem Steel over a century ago, every worker has a breaking point. You can’t just expect yourself to do more and more and more work without burning out. Don’t succumb to self-imposed unrealistic expectations of productivity. You’ll fail. NPR has the scoop.

4. Your awful diet is ruining your productivity. 

When you’re exhausted in the afternoon, you might feel obligated to head to the nearest convenience store to grab a chocolate bar to give you a little more energy. Maybe instead of leaving the office to grab some lunch, you bring a bag of chips to work and munch on them when you’re hungry because you have so much work on your plate. And when you do go out for lunch, you get a meat-laden sandwich every time. You probably have suspected that the food you eat plays a role in how productive you are. But did you know specific foods have been linked with productivity? For example, studies show that maintaining a vegetarian diet can do wonders for your output. When you eat healthier, you feel better—which makes work easier. Change your diet over at Care2.

5. The benefits of tuning out.

As mentioned above, many of today’s workers feel the need to check their inboxes every few minutes to make sure they’re on top of their work. The last thing you want to do is give your boss the impression that you’re not reliable—even if it’s a completely unreasonable expectation to think workers will be on call 24 hours a day. Understanding this trap that many workers fall into all too well, one CEO of a copywriting agency recently penned a piece explaining why her company makes sure employees tune out at the end of the day. After all, there’s no such thing as a copywriting emergency. If employees were unable to take time off from work, how could any boss expect them to be able to sit down and focus intently on the task at hand? No matter what kind of industry you’re in, you need to make sure your employees have dedicated time off. The case is made over on Forbes.

6. Ten ways to make your commute more productive.

If you’ve ever had to commute long distances to get to the office and back, you know how easy it can start to feel like you’re wasting a lot of time hopping on subways, riding trains and walking. But just because it make take you a good amount of time to get to work doesn’t mean you have to use that time to think about how much you hate commuting. Instead of staring out the window for an hour every morning, why not use that time to get a head start on your work? There’s no shortage of entrepreneurs who are in the same exact position as you are. They get work done on the train. How? By storing important documents in the cloud, only tackling tasks they can get done during their commute, and using a platform like WhatsApp or Slack to communicate with their peers. Learn how to take your commuter productivity game to the next level over on Tech.Co.

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