In his meticulous diaries, written from 1846 to 1882, the Harvard librarian John Langdon Sibley complains often about the withering summer heat: “The heat wilts & enervates me & makes me sick,” he wrote in 1852. Sibley lived before the age of air-conditioning, but recent research suggests that his observation is still accurate: summer really does tend to be a time of reduced productivity. Our brains do, figuratively, wilt. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle
on Jul 23, 2013 -
Steam to sell productivity software [main link
]. Gabe's dislike of the Windows 8 app store [BBC
] may be explained. It's particularly interesting given that Steam is about to launch on Linux [Valve
] [previously on Mefi
]; it's one app store across all three platforms. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan
on Aug 8, 2012 -
In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 22, 2012 -
I used to be a lifehacking addict [...] But sometime over the last couple years (around the time I turned 30, not coincidentally), it has begun to dawn on me: Maybe all the time I spend looking for better ways to do things is keeping me from, well, doing things.
Confessions of a recovering lifehacker
posted by Foci for Analysis
on May 23, 2012 -
Since its last*
appearance in the blue, yWriter
has been updated to version 5. Designed specifically for novels
, this freeware "contains no adverts, unwanted web toolbars, desktop search programs or other cruft".
posted by Trurl
on Feb 11, 2012 -
Webster's defines speedup as "an employer's demand for accelerated output without increased pay," and it used to be a household word.
posted by bitmage
on Jun 20, 2011 -
The OpenOffice.org Project has unveiled a major restructuring that separates itself from Oracle and that takes responsibility for OpenOffice away from a single company. ... Driving home the changes, OpenOffice.org project is now The Document Foundation while the OpenOffice.org suite has been given the temporary name of LibreOffice.
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 28, 2010 -
Can't You See I'm Busy? Let’s face it; we all want to relax every now and then, but still want to appear professional or busy! That’s why all [these] games ... are designed in a way that nobody can see that you’re gaming. In fact, your boss and colleagues will think that you’re working harder than ever before.
posted by crunchland
on Mar 7, 2010 -
Not all of us need, or want, $10,000 worth of Adobe and Microsoft software to be creative. So, here's some alternatives, each available on every major platform:
, for all your drawing and photo-editing needs. (Windows
, for vector graphics creation.
, for incredibly powerful document creation.
, if you want to make your own fonts.
, the old standby for word processing, spreadsheets, and all those other office needs. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew
on Feb 20, 2009 -
"Multitasking messes with the brain in several ways.
At the most basic level, the mental balancing acts that it requires—the constant switching and pivoting—energize regions of the brain that specialize in visual processing and physical coordination and simultaneously appear to shortchange some of the higher areas related to memory and learning. We concentrate on the act of concentration at the expense of whatever it is that we’re supposed to be concentrating on." [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Aug 21, 2008 -
The Portable Freeware Collection
tracks free Windows software that can be launched from a USB flash drive with no installation. It advises on how to prepare and launch the software (usually as simple as saving and double clicking an exe file), and if/where settings are written to the computer. I'm particularly keen to get to grips with the Pimmy
email, newsgroup and RSS client; the KM@
web browser (portable versions of Firefox and Opera are also available
); and organizational joygasm NeoMem
posted by nthdegx
on Jan 3, 2006 -
Temptation Blocker So, have a major deadline looming or ripe opportunity closing and just don’t have time to waste playing Half Life 2 or checking Bloglines one last time? Well then, add Half Life 2 and Firefox to the list of programs you want to block in Temptation Blocker, set the timer for how long you want to block them and then hit the “Get Work Done!” button.
posted by srboisvert
on Aug 3, 2005 -
How Powerful Is Productivity?
TCS interviews Former Carter Staffer (and Democrat) William Lewis, who makes some interesting remarks about worker productivity: There were many disparaging comments made in the US and maybe even stronger abroad, (and especially in Japan) about how the US labor force was getting what it deserved because it was lazy, uneducated and maybe even dumb. And of course, the Japanese then showed -- the really capable, competent Japanese manufacturing companies -- showed that was wrong by coming here, building their own factories, managing American labor and taking a lot of other local inputs and coming within five percent of reproducing their home country productivity.
posted by Kwantsar
on Jun 20, 2005 -
The scientific productivity of nations
(pdf). An article by the UK's chief scientific advisor, published this week in Nature, quantitating the scientific output of different countries, normalized to per capita GDP, area of study, number of researchers, higher education research spending, and more. A commentary
, from a UK perspective.
posted by shoos
on Jul 19, 2004 -
Could This Be The Renaissance Of The Three-Martini Lunch?
Do business and alcohol mix? Do business and pleasure? Must we be all be utterly sober when we do deals? Or work? Is a little lubrication slowly replacing mineral water and political correctness? Surely it's not only writers who gain from the odd whisky and soda or gin and tonic? Have you
ever done any worthwhile work while under the influence? Please feel free to choose your drug of choice. Tobacco, amphetamines and benzodiazepines included. [Via eGullet's recent thread, started by Beans.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 11, 2004 -
Web of Distraction.
Does the web cause you to lose time, having a hard time stopping browsing, and starting working? I know for me, the sheer inertia of browsing, it's hard to start working.
posted by patrickje
on May 9, 2002 -
from researchers at the University of Alberta concludes that unhappy workers perform their tasks at the same rate as happy workers, but with about half as many errors (more inside).
posted by hazyjane
on Jun 15, 2001 -
"They appear to have been skilled workers capable of stupendous productivity under harsh circumstances. When they failed, it was not from lack of inventiveness, but because of poor leadership, bad luck or the inherent instability of all-male commercial ventures."
It sounds like the writer is describing the typical failed dot-com. Actually, he's writing about 17th Century commercial colonization of North America. The similarities are quite amusing. Read on...
posted by ratbastard
on Nov 23, 2000 -