FARNAM STREET

In Praise of Idleness: The Productivity Secret Nobody Talks About

relaxing

“What will be the good of the conquest of leisure and health, if no one remembers how to use them?” — Bertrand Russell

You’re busy from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. Your life has become so busy that you start missing things. In fact most of us need to schedule time to get any free time. We even take our work with us on vacation!

Kids today are the same. They are “over-programmed” moving from one activity to the next without so much as a break. One family I know well has at least two activities a night and three on the weekend. Sure they have four kids, but really?

I’m sure all of this effort is rationalizable. We work harder and longer hours than ever, in part  because we live in a face-time culture. We push ourselves to get promotions to acquire things, which make us feel like we need more things so we push ourselves harder. Or because we want our kids to get a leg up, we somehow think that the choreography required to get them to piano, French, ballet, gymnastics, and Mandarin class will pay off in the long term. Read More

You'd Better Work

Study Claims Workers Are Twice as Productive Thanks to Tech, Despite Candy Crush

Yup, killin it. (Photo: Getty)

Some people (not us, please) find technology to be distracting at work. How can one settle for crunching numbers and filling out forms when the fruits of Instagram, Snapchat and even Tinder are constantly ripe for perusal?

But a recent study shows that the average worker is almost twice as productive now than the average worker in the 1970s was, the Telegraph reports. And it’s not because we’re no longer being distracted by garish polyester sportcoats and rampant sexual harassment in the workplace. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Throwing Laptops at Mark Zuckerberg Edition

(blogcdn.com)

“I would never throw a laptop at someone, like it appears in the movie. Not even at Mark.” – Eduardo Saverin [CNET]

Was buying Skype for $8.5 billion worth it for Microsoft? [New York Times]

The headphones you use to block out the sound of your annoying coworkers may actually be harming your productivity. [Wall Street Journal]

Meet Flame, the terrifying spy malware spreading across the Middle East. [Wired]

The Museum of Endangered sounds includes–of course–the sound of dial-up. [Savethesounds.info via Hacker News]

Farewell, Yellow Pages. [PaidContent]

App for That

Obtract Makes Procrastination Feel Like Work…So You’ll Do More Work

obtract

Stop maximizing that Excel worksheet whenever a coworker walks by your cubicle. Everyone already knows that you are looking at the J-Crew sale page while playing angry birds on the iPad in your lap.

Or if they somehow didn’t know, they will soon. Once you download School of Visual Art Interaction Design MFA candidate Eric St. Onge’s thesis project, trying to hide your shocking lack of productivity on sunny spring Fridays (but also, be honest, on rainy Mondays too) will be even more impossible. Read More