Summary of “The 10 Best Books on Productivity and Time Management: 2018”

Here, a selection of books to help boost your productivity and improve your time-management skills.
So for this reading list on the best productivity books and books on time management, I reached out to a broad range of experts from academia, business, journalism, and tech.
Fm; Justin Kerr, author, most recently of How to Be Great at Your Job; Aishwarya Iyer, CEO and founder of Brightland; Jake Knapp, author of Make Time and Sprint; Candace Nelson, co-founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes and Pizzana; Robert Pozen, senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and author of Extreme Productivity; Gretchen Rubin, author and host of the podcast Happier With Gretchen Rubin; Jane Stoller, life coach and author of Organizing Your Lifestyle; Laura Vanderkam, author of several books about time management and productivity, including Off the Clock and Juliet’s School of Possibilities; and Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-CEO of ThirdLove.
These are seven of our panelists’ most-recommended titles on productivity and time management, along with a few Strategist-approved honorable mentions.
Fm, likes the way Allen’s book “Outlines three simple steps to a productivity system adaptable to anyone.” Those steps include using “a ‘collection bucket’ to store things outside your mind and stay focused and creating a ‘next actions’ list for all your projects to avoid thinking in the moment,” says Clark, who adds that his favorite quote from the book is, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” However, the advice can get a little nitty-gritty.
Though productivity books might seem like a modern phenomenon, they have a long history that can be traced all the way back to the 18th century, with the publication of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.
“Benjamin Franklin managed to be not only one of the Founding Fathers, but also to start a public library, discover electricity, negotiate with France, invent bifocals, and write an American classic. He’s a productivity model for all of us,” says writer and podcast host Gretchen Rubin, who notes that even though this book was written centuries ago, it’s still “Fascinating, stimulating, and also quite funny.”
It’s a good reminder that one of the best things you can do to improve your productivity is to put down your phone, turn off your notifications, and simply focus on the work that needs to get done.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stephen King’s 20 Rules for Writers”

We’ve talked so much about the reader, but you can’t forget that the opening line is important to the writer, too.
Now King admits that he doesn’t think much about the opening line as he writes, in a first draft, at least.
Revision in the second draft, “One of them, anyway,” may “Necessitate some big changes” says King in his 2000 memoir slash writing guide On Writing.
It is an essential process, and one that “Hardly ever fails.” Below, we bring you King’s top twenty rules from On Writing.
“Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”
Read, read, read. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write.”
“One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Living with Dolly Parton”

He grew up when times were tough and people like him worked themselves out of poverty and into the good life, just like Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton began building her empire in the same years that workers watched the regional manufacturing economy crumble with every plant closure.
To work at Dollywood, workers must “Display” and “Live out” the principles: “Patient, kind, humble, respectful, selfless, forgiving, honest, and committed with a positive attitude and good judgment to make sound decisions.” Along with asking workers to “Lead with love,” Dollywood’s operators refer to the workers as “Hosts.” According to Vice President of Human Resources Tim Berry, “We want to treat [visitors] like they’re a guest in your home.”
On its website, Dollywood touts as employee benefits events where workers are treated “Like family” and the experience of “Working with friends.” In material benefits, they offer access to a 401(k) program for qualifying workers, and, for full-time, year-round staff and full-time seasonal workers, health insurance options.
On employee reviews across several websites, some workers suggest a gap between Dollywood’s vision of a seasonal labor force that is working to supplement other income and workers who are struggling to make ends meet.
“They work the living heck out of people for minimum wage basically. They make millions and pay pennies for the people that make them successful,” one worker stated, summing up the American economy.
Over the years, Dolly Parton has explained that her own family members work at the theme park and that she opened it to bring jobs to the region.
Parton has cast Dollywood workers as “My real people,” the hillbillies from which she sprang and to whom she is giving back, while HFE touts itself as a successful family business that follows Christian values.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Working Class Death”

He’s in the later stages of congestive heart failure, complicated by diabetes, obesity, gout, prostate problems, and whatever other trouble years of poor diet, little exercise, long work hours, and minimal health care will get you.
He’s propped up in pajamas on rough white sheets, working for each breath.
Your brother would like to be here but he’s at work on the West Coast and can’t afford time off.
“How’d you get a woman like her to marry someone like you?” a colleague asked him at a work dinner once when your mom wore her one string of fake pearls and a little black dress that made her look like Jackie O. The story hung on in the family for years, a pretty compliment to her, embedded with the kind of put-down he absorbed all his life.
The working class made you and at some fundamental level you’re loyal to it.
In your father’s prime working years, the seventies through the nineties, larger forces were massing against Americans who grew up poor, believing in the bootstrap dream.
He’s a yellow dog Democrat who’s voted and argued all his life for the honor and rights of the working man, the laborer, the veteran against forces that would crush them.
You should have done better for him, found other doctors, spent more time, but you were working long hours at the firm.

The orginal article.

Summary of “​How A Wooden Bench In Zimbabwe Is Starting A Revolution In Mental Health”

As Shekhar Saxena, the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization, once put it: “When it comes to mental health, we are all developing countries.”
After surveying 12 health clinics in Harare, he found that over 40% of people scored highly on psychological health questionnaires, a large majority of whom met the clinical threshold for depression.
Chibanda presented these findings at a meeting with people from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the University of Zimbabwe.
In their role as community health workers, grandmothers have been working for health clinics across Zimbabwe since the 1980s.
At first, Chibanda called it the Mental Health Bench.
Vikram Patel, Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of the community-led Sangath project in Goa, India, had adopted Abas’s research into the local idioms of distress to create a screening tool for depression and other common mental disorders.
Although Chibanda had found studies showing that training community members or nurses in mental health interventions could reduce the burden of depression in rural Uganda and in Chile, he knew that success wasn’t guaranteed.
Since 2017, Skipper has been working as a peer supervisor for Friendship Benches, a project that has adapted Chibanda’s work in Zimbabwe to fit within New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Iron Ox opens first ‘autonomous’ robot farm, but humans are still required”

After launching in 2015 with the aim of automating the hard work of growing produce, the company unveiled its first “Autonomous” production farm last week.
In 8,000 square feet of indoor space, its engineers use proprietary robot systems to grow roughly 26,000 heads of lettuce, leafy greens, and herbs each year in hydroponic vats.
In the sort of hydroponics system that Iron Ox uses, each plant has to be transferred one by one through a series of different growing vats based on its rate of growth.
The first is a porter: a 1,000-pound wheeled bot named Angus that moves pallets of seedlings around the warehouse in their hydroponic growing vats.
There was the lighting, he says, as Iron Ox had initially planned to use all LEDs for growing.
If Iron Ox truly wants to change farming, it needs to compete on price with modern outdoor farms that have been optimized over the past century to produce incredible amounts of produce as cheaply as possible.
Supermarkets went through a salad shortage, but in that sort of situation, Iron Ox will be able to “Guarantee a market push-through for large customers.”
Iron Ox needs to prove it can grow and sell at scale Alexander mentions the same benefits and says Iron Ox farms will be located near urban centers and will easily adapt to the whims of the market.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Employers Track Their Workers”

“They try to never speak up, never stick out, do nothing that might get noticed by management. This leads to a vicious cycle, whereby management grows more suspicious and feels justified in ratcheting up the surveillance.”
Perhaps the most common argument for surveillance-one often deployed by firms that make employee-monitoring products-is that it can make workers more productive.
Purveyors of monitoring software claim they can help managers reduce the number of wasted hours and ensure that employees make better use of their time.
Humanyze gathers data by fitting employee ID badges with a microphone, location sensors, and an accelerometer to tease out patterns of employee behavior that affect a company’s performance.
At one office, Humanyze’s data suggested that more frequent employee interactions improve productivity, so the employer installed larger, more central coffee stations to encourage those interactions.
How bosses can track their employees 24/7.In his essay “In Praise of Electronically Monitoring Employees,” the MIT researcher Andrew McAfee describes a study of surveillance he conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis and Brigham Young University.
The installation of the software correlated with a reduction in employee theft by less than $25 a week for each location-not a whole lot.
Employee’s tips also grew, and this, McAfee writes, suggests a “Win-win.” He speculates, “As far as we can tell, performance improved simply because people started doing their jobs better.” Perhaps once the “Bad actors” understood they were being watched, they realized their best bet for making more money was to improve their service in the hope of garnering larger tips, McAfee surmises-and that good behavior caught on among other employees, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why do we feel so busy? It’s all our hidden ‘shadow work'”

I will resist to my dying breath the notion that there’s anything normal about a world in which buying groceries from a multinational corporation entails a procedure that involves no human contact, makes me put in all the effort, permits the corporation to fire long-serving employees – and, decades after the first models were unveiled, still basically doesn’t even work.
Self-checkout machines are one small but glaring example of what the Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich called “Shadow work”: unpaid labour that benefits someone else.
It’s nothing new: housework and child-rearing are both major cases of shadow work, since paid work would be impossible without them.
As Craig Lambert explains in his book Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day, it’s rapidly on the rise.
This may help to explain the puzzling fact that we feel so much busier these days, despite not working longer hours.
We’re not working longer paid hours; it’s just that getting through life entails more work.
In reality, it’s taken paid work away from humans, while also increasing their burden of shadow work, by transferring tasks from employees to consumers.
There can be benefits to shadow work – saved time, increased autonomy – but as Lambert points out, one huge downside is that it’s socially isolating.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Built My Multimillion-Dollar Side-Hustle While Working a Full-Time Job and So Can You”

Juggling a side hustle alongside a full-time commitment will stretch you in every way possible, but the rewards are even more fulfilling.
According to estimates, more than 44 million Americans have a side hustle.
Side hustles are a low-risk way to earn extra cash or explore a passion – and there’s always the chance they could become full time.
Within 11 months, my side hustle was generating more than $250K a month.
Use them as you launch your side hustle to maximize your chance of success.
Time is your biggest obstacle when running a side hustle.
Building a successful side hustle will change your life thanks to the new experiences, insane personal growth, and freedoms that come from being your own boss.
Juggling a side hustle alongside a full-time commitment will stretch you in every way possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Staying Focused in a Noisy Open Office”

How can you make peace with your open office? How should you handle loud coworkers who are disturbing your focus? What’s the best way to cope with the noise and distractions in your office without coming across as antisocial or rude?
As companies increasingly adopt an open layout, it’s important to learn how to deal with unwanted noise, says Karen Dillon, the author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics.
Even the most open of open offices tends to have discrete spaces that allow employees to remove themselves from the commotion.
If your problem isn’t the open office per se, but one talkative and very loud coworker, it might be time to “Speak with your manager about moving desks,” says Dillon.
Do:. Talk with your manager and your team about how you can all work optimally in an open office.
“Working in an open office environment allows me be approachable and accessible for everyone,” she says.
Kaitlin Stewart, senior account executive at the TASC Group, the public relations agency, works in an open office with eight of her colleagues.
For the most part, Kaitlin views the open office as beneficial for her team’s camaraderie.

The orginal article.