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  • Doug Belshaw 2:12 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , productivity,   

    Perhaps we just don’t know how to measure ‘productivity’, anymore. Or said differently, the nature of work may have changed so much that the tools we use don’t measure all the outputs.

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:46 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , productivity,   

    We’d like to believe — and we are intensely sold on — the notion that if we use better tools for communication, coordination, and cooperation then we will be more productive, more engaged, and more personally fulfilled. This is what I call techism. It’s odd that although we are using work technologies more than ever our productivity has slowed in the past 10 years or so, after an initial surge following the emergence of the internet. So the thesis of techism is unproven. And of course, these technologies are wildly different, and don’t necessarily play nicely with each other. Maybe we have too many tools, and a smaller number of dominant ones — like email in the early days of the Internet — could make things easier, if not better in some deeper sense?

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:42 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , open offices, , productivity,   

    The official story is that today’s workplace is designed to increase the likelihood of serendipity, creativity, innovation, and human happiness, but the hard reality is that most companies are decreasing the square footage of offices to save money, even when evidence suggests that many people are less happy, and less productive in open spaces, especially introverts.

    Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 1:37 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , productivity, , teams   

    One issue is that different teams use different messaging services. Lyft’s product and engineering teams use Slack, while some in the legal and HR teams use Google Hangouts, said an employee. Mr. Morelli, echoing efforts by Lyft’s “internal communications team,” urged more people to use “Facebook for Work.” That way more workers could get on the same page on company-wide matters, he suggested.

    From an article cited by Stowe Boyd
  • Doug Belshaw 10:18 am on July 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: calendar, productivity, reminder, search   

    Why I’ve started an ‘anti-calendar’ 

    Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

    For the last few years, I’ve tracked my migraines on a calendar called, funnily enough, MIGRAINES. It helps me remember when they were and if there were any particular triggers. I also occasionally add something we’ve done as a family into the shared family calendar retrospectively, as it helps me to remember when it happened.

    This morning, I bought some new trainers as, prompted by my six year-old daughter’s question, we did some research yesterday that advised changing running trainers every 300-400 miles.

    I didn’t have a way of tracking the number of miles I’ve run in a pair of trainers, until I realised that, much as Umberto Eco had an anti-library, I should have an anti-calendar. It was effectively just formalising something I’d already kind of started.

    It couldn’t be simpler to set up an anti-calendar. Here’s the steps to do so in my tool of choice, Google Calendar.


    1. Click on the drop-down next to ‘My calendars’.

    Select ‘Create new calendar’.


    2. Give your calendar a name.

    I went for the super-descriptive ‘When I did stuff’.


    3. Add something to your new calendar.

    Here I’ve added ‘Bought New Balance trainers (590 v5)’ which is short but specific.


    4. Perform a search for your event to make sure it’s working.

    I just searched ‘trainers’.


    All that’s left to do is to add anything that’s already happened that you need to remember. It could be purchases. It could be when you got your hair cut (if, like me, you don’t go by appointment). It could be the time you had a realisation about a thing. Whatever you want. It’s your backwards calendar, after all!

    Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

  • Doug Belshaw 6:10 am on April 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , productivity,   

    Our minds must relax: they will rise better and keener after a rest. Just as you must not force fertile farmland, as uninterrupted productivity will soon exhaust it, so constant effort will sap our mental vigour, while a short period of rest and relaxation will restore our powers. Unremitting effort leads to a kind of mental dullness and lethargy.

    – Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind

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