I admit that organization and productivity aren't my greatest strengths, but I'm really great at watching videos on YouTube. Especially ones like this video from AsapSCIENCE that teaches us about the science behind productivity. One point they make is that it's important to take breaks from your work. Why not take one for the next three minutes and watch this video? Tell your boss it will make you more productive. You might learn something.
Try to write an essay on your laptop, find yourself playing Minecraft. Try to send an important email from your phone, find yourself surfing Reddit. Try to do whatever productive thing people with iPads pretend their iPads enable them to do, find yourself playing Angry Birds. You're not alone. Author, blogger, and marketing expert Seth Godin throws yet another provocative idea at us in a recent post: The reason it's so hard for people to get things done nowadays is because the devices they use for work and play are one and the same. (See also: The classic Onion report on how we spend 90% of our waking hours staring at glowing rectangles.) Godin's solution? Make sure that you use your work computer for work and only for work, and get another device for messing around.
The two-device solution Simple but bold: Only use your computer for work. Real work. The work of making something. Have a second device, perhaps an iPad, and use it for games, web commenting, online shopping, networking... anything that doesn't directly create valued output (no need to have an argument here about which is which, which is work and which is not... draw a line, any line, and separate the two of them. If you don't like the results from that line, draw a new line). Now, when you pick up the iPad, you can say to yourself, "break time." And if you find yourself taking a lot of that break time, you've just learned something important.This might sound a little dire, and one can imagine a less costly solution that accomplishes the same goal: Say, partitioning a laptop's hard drive for two operating systems, and using Ubuntu for work and Windows for gaming. Still, if the very thought of giving up your procrastinating tools sends you into a cold sweat, Godin may be on to something. (Seth Godin. Title pic via shutterstock)
Google has just unrolled a new HTML 5 based notification system that informs you when new instant messages or emails have arrived in your inbox. For those many thousands of people that keep Gmail open for fast access to email and Google's integrated chat service, this could mean faster responses and fewer missed messages. Users can chose whether they want to receive notification of incoming chat messages, new emails, or only new priority emails. Other options, such as the position of messages, can be customized by clicking the wrench icon on the alerts themselves. The notifications can be activated in the "settings" tab of Gmail, but are only available to users of Google's Chrome browser. According to Google's Gmail Blog, plans are currently in the works to make these notifications part of "the standard Web platform." Those of you pretending to not see chats or ignoring emails for extended periods of time had better find some new excuses. "I didn't see it," just isn't going to cut it anymore. Also, if you're easily distracted and get itchy knowing that there unread messages waiting, you might want to think twice about turning these on. (Gmail Blog via Lifehacker)