Summary of “Communication Multitasking: You Only Get 1h 12min/day Without Email”

Which made us ask: How much of your day is spent multitasking with communication tools? And just how bad is it for your productivity?
Most of us don’t consider the way we use email or instant messenger as multitasking.
When we looked at the time people spending ‘checking in’ on emails or instant messenger, we found that the average knowledge worker spends 40.1% of their productive time a day multitasking with communication tools.
The average knowledge worker only has 1h 12m of productive time a day without being interrupted by email and IM. Looking at total time spent without communication multitasking, our research found the average knowledge worker only has 1 hour and 12 minutes a day for completely focused work.
That’s barely one hour a day without the negative effects of multitasking with communication tools.
If just spending too long on communication tasks is making us more stressed and less productive, what about the compounding effects of multitasking and ‘checking in’ constantly?
Constantly multitasking with communication tools tricks us into thinking they’re the most important part of our day.
Do you think multitasking with email and communication tools is disrupting your workday? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

The orginal article.

Summary of “TV Shows Are Too Long Now”

Drew Magary on the scourge of streaming television unshackled from time constraints.
At the end of the day, all I wanna do is sit in my chair with a frosty beverage and maybe catch up on a little prestige TV. Then I check the running time for the episode and I’m exhausted all over again.
I’m far from the first spoiled asshole to stand up and cry out, “Stop the TV, I wanna get off!” But what really exacerbates the problem is that showrunners, unshackled from the old time restraints of broadcast television, are elongating every episode of every show, and it’s become a goddamn scourge.
The very small amount of goodwill I’m willing to extend that show gets severely tested when I queue up an episode and I’m greeted with a running time of 1:23.
If you needed more time to complete a story arc, you had to fill out nine different network forms to get clearance for a TO BE CONTINUED disclaimer.
Back at the turn of the century, NBC still lorded over primetime with their Thursday night comedy block of Must See TV. Jeff Zucker was in charge at the time, and he came up with the truly awful idea of exploiting the popularity of shows like Friends by supersizing them into larger time slots.
A running time that should be the exclusive domain of a series finale will now appear in, like, the third episode of the season.
Reed Hastings of Netflix once derided the old model of television as “Managed dissatisfaction,” and yet it is not much more satisfying to sit there and decide if you really wanna invest all your time in 13 sporadically timed episodes of a single series that might end up sucking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Infinity War and Avengers 4 Soul Stone Theory, Explained by Comics”

In the comics, the Soul Stone differs from the other five Infinity Stones in that it’s actually sentient and able to manifest a will of its own.
Adam played a huge role in Infinity Gauntlet with a direct relationship to the Soul Stone, something he fostered over the years.
The general rule of thumb as established by both Adam’s myriad of cosmic plot craziness and Infinity Gauntlet itself is that if a person is “Killed” by an Infinity Stone, the best way to bring them back is with an Infinity Stone – or at the very least, with someone “Attuned” to their power like Adam himself.
Maybe she’ll find someone who can help…. How the Time Stone could fit in Entering and exiting the Soul World is far from Marvel’s only recourse when it comes to bringing people back from the dead. There’s also the old reliable standby of time travel, and at the very least the Time Stone’s abilities are slightly less esoteric than the concept souls without bodies.
Infinity War puts the idea of using the Time Stone in an interesting position considering that it’s currently in Thanos’ hands and Doctor Strange, its keeper, has been disintegrated.
Though the Time Stone may not be sentient like the Soul Stone, its unique ability to become completely untethered in time means that it’s possible for it manifest somewhere in the past or future that isn’t in Thanos’ control, which it did in Marvel Comics’ Original Sin event by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu. Prior to Original Sin, the Time Stone had been “Lost” in Steve Rogers’s botched attempt to use the Infinity Gauntlet.
Things probably won’t be quite as simple as the Time Stone suddenly manifesting in Steve Rogers’ hand at the start of Avengers 4, but the idea that finding the Stone somewhere in the past or the future might be the lynchpin in their plan is certainly far from off the table.
Especially considering the tried and tested rule of the Stones being needed to counteract the effect of the Stones – if any one piece of the Gauntlet that isn’t the Soul Stone is about to come into play, the TIme Stone is probably the most likely candidate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Final Days of Robin Williams”

Robin Williams’s August 2014 suicide was devastating to those who knew him best-and it also came at the end of a long and difficult decline, as this excerpt from New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff’s new biography, Robin, demonstrates.
A few days after he came back from Vancouver, Robin was stirred from a fitful evening of sleep, gripped by the certainty that some grave harm was going to befall Mort Sahl.
In the meantime, Robin started sleeping in a separate bedroom from Susan.
Robin’s longtime friend Eric Idle, who was in London that summer preparing for a Monty Python reunion show, tried unsuccessfully to persuade Robin to fly out there and make a cameo appearance at one of the performances.
Cyndi McHale, who had the same birth date as Robin and had a regular tradition of speaking to him on the day, could not track him down; “I was on the phone with his managers’ assistant,” she said, “And she was just like, ‘He’s not doing well.’ That was a common line. Rebecca was just like, ‘No, he’s not doing well.’ I was really worried about him.” McHale had not seen Robin, either, at a recent birthday party for George Lucas, an event that he reliably attended.
As Pitta recounted the scene, “I just casually said, ‘Another comedian I know has a service dog. The dog wakes her up when she chokes in her sleep.’ And Robin instantly said, ‘Oh, a Heimlich retriever.’ It got a huge laugh. He just sat there and had a little smile on his face.” When he and Robin left the theater at the end of the evening, Pitta said, “I gave him a hug and I said goodbye. He said goodbye to me three times that night. And he said it exactly the same way. He goes, ‘Take care, Marky.’ He said it three times.”
On the night of August 10, a Sunday, Robin and Susan were home together in Tiburon when Robin began to fixate on some of the designer wristwatches that he owned and grew fearful that they were in danger of being stolen.
She entered the room and made a horrifying discovery: Robin had hanged himself with a belt and was dead. Excerpted from Robin by Dave Itzkoff.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the chicken nugget became the true symbol of our era”

Through hard work and prayer, those indigenous people, and enslaved Africans, might find divine redemption through work and perhaps even, one day long in the future, entry into society as equals.
Consider the etymology of the French travail and the Spanish trabajo, each a translation of the English noun “Work”: their Latin root is trepaliare, “To torture, to inflict suffering or agony.” But the way work works has changed.
Poultry workers are paid very little: in the US, two cents for every dollar spent on a fast-food chicken goes to poultry workers.
In Oklahoma, chicken company executives returned to a colonial fusion of work and faith, setting up an addiction treatment centre in 2007, Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery.
At CAAIR, prayer was supplemented with unpaid work on chicken production lines as part of a recovery therapy.
Just as autoworkers on the line assemble simplified, interchangeable parts and fast-food workers manufacture standardised burgers, so did African slaves work specialised jobs in a simplified landscape of sugar monoculture.
Managers of factories were salaried more than the workers, who worked with raw materials acquired through various kinds of peonage and natural resource exploitation, and all of them depended on free domestic labour, usually from women.
Hegemony over workers has been aided by cheap food, and the promise of a chicken in every pot.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reaching Peak Meeting Efficiency”

Peak Meeting FunctionThe thing is that most people say they don’t want to have meetings.
Most say “Oh that meeting could have been handled with an email or slack message”.
First, everything you are meeting about is relative to these factors and you’re not revisiting them every time you talk.
The first step in having any meeting is deciding who participates.
For the vast majority of meetings this will be either manager meeting with reports or peers across disciplines.
No matter what functional area of a company is represented, the role of process and values play a critical role in the meeting process.
I skipped a lot of meetings and at the same time was given a lot of grief for spending too much time meeting with the team.
Described earlier is the “Without” meeting, which I think on any project the most important execution-oriented meeting.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Investing $100 a Month Can Be Life-Changing”

Here’s where most articles will take the average return of the stock market – between 9% and 10% per year – and simply use that to show you how your money will make a straight line up over time.
To put the importance of time in perspective, here’s how much would be sitting in your nest egg if you started investing $100 – adjusted for inflation – over different time frames.
If you started investing $100… Then your nest egg would have… 45 years ago $175,100 40 years ago $150,600 35 years ago $114,500 30 years ago $80,400 25 years ago $57,400 20 years ago $40,500 15 years ago $32,000 10 years ago $21,400 5 years ago(2012) $9,300.
Here’s how much money you’d have, in constant dollars, if you start putting away $100 every month and earn a steady 7% every year.
Crucially, the stock market – on average – returns 10.8% per year.
Between the two of them, you are allowed to put away up to $5,500 per year, but that shouldn’t be a concern since right now you’re just shooting for $100 per month.
Since you are likely a beginner looking to get the broadest exposure to stocks, I think your best bet is to put your $100 per month into shares of the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. By owning shares, you pay a very small 0.04% expense fee per year, have exposure to the 500 largest stocks in the United States, and receive a modest 1.8% dividend yield.
You are giving your money the gift of more time to compound compared to cash you put away a year – or a decade – from now.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Lie That Perfectionists Tell Themselves”

One of the most common ones is the belief that increasing productivity, or getting the most out of your time, will decrease the quality of your work, or your ability to do tasks perfectly.
In the online program we run to help working professionals develop more productive work behaviors, about half of our participants have agreed with the statement: “I’m sure I could get more done in less time, but the quality of my work would go down.”
More time doesn’t necessarily translate into better quality work.
Spending more time at work and on specific tasks can actually hurt our performance, reducing the quality of our work.
Research has shown that when weekly hours worked exceed 50 or 55 hours, cognitive performance and work engagement levels begin to decline, dragging down the quality of the work produced with it.
One participant in our program said, “Why should I get my work done more quickly if I’ll just be given more work to fill the time?” To break up this cycle, we need to stop associating more time with higher quality work.
Keyboard shortcuts save us time and lead to higher quality work because they enable us to avoid the easily-made mistakes of dragging and dropping items in the wrong spots and clicking on the wrong items.
In our work with companies, we have seen what happens in a quality-first culture: people spend a lot of time perfecting work that would have had the same impact without the extra hours of tweaking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The United States of Japan”

Consider the fascination with “The Japanese art of decluttering.” Its guru, Marie Kondo, lives in Japan.
Why should Americans be so compelled by one from Japan? Close to twenty years ago, the answer would have been “Because Japan is the global imagination’s default setting for the future,” as the author William Gibson wrote in 2001.
“The Japanese seem to the rest of us to live several measurable clicks down the time line.” Gibson was referring to a Japan of trendy gadgets and services, such as high-tech cell phones and robot sushi bars, the flashy products of a hyper-consumer metropolis that inspired the creators of such films as “Blade Runner” and “The Matrix.” But what Gibson wrote about products was just as true about other, less visible trends in Japanese society: economic stagnation; a plunging fertility rate; a dramatic postponement of the “Normal” milestones of adulthood, such as getting married or simply moving out of the family home; a creeping sense of ambivalence about what the future might hold.
We don’t buy into Kondo’s life-changing magic just because we think Japan is cool; we also buy because our country is, in many ways, increasingly like Japan.
A cynic would point out that the life-changing Japanese magic of tidying up is a ploy to divest ourselves of all the Walkmans and Tamagotchis and other tchotchkes that Japan convinced us to buy in the first place.
At the time, some Western reviewers questioned its plotline: “Isn’t there something odd about a 22-year-old man being so utterly clueless?” the Japan Times asked.
In what Japan calls its bubble-economy years, when high-flying investors were bagging international trophies such as the Rockefeller Center and Columbia Pictures, the otaku’s infantile, inwardly-focussed tastes became a societal embarrassment.
The British writer John Lanchester summed it up in a column for the Times Magazine: “As Japan shows, us there are worse things for a society than calmly growing old together.” Or, to paraphrase Marie Kondo, all our futures, individually and collectively, depend on finding the things that spark joy in the midst of the inevitable, inexorable trend of old age.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Run a Meeting Without Talking Too Much”

Have you ever left a meeting feeling that you dominated the whole thing – and not in a good way? You talked a lot, and in the end, you felt that nobody else had enough time to speak.
What can you do to help ensure that you are not the only one talking in meetings? The obvious answer is to talk less, but that’s often easier said than done.
Preparation is just as important for a meeting as it is for a public speech.
If the agenda for the meeting is posted in advance, make a few notes about what you will say about the points that you know are going to be raised.
Of course, you should make sure that other people in the meeting also contribute.
Let them know that you are hoping they will speak up at the meeting.
In a round-robin, attention is given to people by the structure of the meeting – not from being called on – so the pressure is off.
If you better prepare and take steps to ensure others contribute, you can make the meeting one people want to attend, instead of dread..

The orginal article.