Posts belonging to Category Productivity



New Search Options from Google

Google just unveiled new search options to help you search for information more effectively. Whenever you search for an item, the search results page now includes a “Show options” link at the top left of the page. Click on “Show options,” and Google will open up a left sidebar with additional filtering options such as:

  • Videos, forums, or reviews
  • Recent results, past 24 hours, past week, or past year
  • Images from the page, or more text
  • Related searches, Wonder Wheel, or Timeline view

Here is a brief video showing these new search options in action:

(Video length: 2:04)

HT: Lifehacker

Best Advice on Procrastination

Do you have a habit of procrastinating? Here is the best advice on procrastination I have read.

“No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.”

-Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910), Scottish preacher

HT: C.J. Mahaney

12 Alternatives to Beating a Dead Horse

“The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians says when you discover you’re riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in modern business and ministry, because of the heavy investment factors, other strategies are often tried with dead horses, including:

  1. buying a stronger whip;
  2. changing riders;
  3. threatening the horse with termination;
  4. appointing a committee to study the horse;
  5. arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses;
  6. reclassifying the dead horse as “living-impaired”;
  7. hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse;
  8. harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed;
  9. donating the dead horse to a recognized charity and deducting its full original cost;
  10. doing a time management study to see if lighter riders would improve productivity;
  11. declaring a dead horse has lower overhead and therefore performs better; and
  12. promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.”

My favorites are numbers 4, 5, 8 and 12. Which are yours?

HT: Dr. Sam Lamerson.

Average American Work Day Chart

Here is an interesting chart on the average American work day from the American Time Use Survey, released by the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics. The chart shows time use on an average work day for employed persons ages 25-54 with children. Data include non-holiday weekdays and are annual averages for 2005.

Time use on an average work day for employed persons ages 25 to 54 with children

So, how does this compare to your typical work day?

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics page provides many other interesting charts, organized in the following categories:

HT: Lifehack

A Messy Desk is the Sign of an Orderly Mind

Al Gore - An Inconvenient Desk

Wow, I finally found something that Al Gore and I both have in common. Here is a picture of Al Gore’s desk from Al Gore’s American Life in Time Magazine.

And here is my favorite messy desk picture. This is philosopher Quentin Smith looking for something in his faculty office at Western Michigan University:

Philosopher Quentin Smith's Desk

Having trouble with your desktop lately? You could try these 10 tips for keeping your desk clean and tidy from LifeClever.com.

Or you could try Nobel prize winner Robert Fogel’s ingenious solution:

When Nobel Laureate and University of Chicago economics professor Robert Fogel found his desk becoming massively piled he simply installed a second desk behind him that now competes in towering clutter with the first. (from A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder, by Eric Abramson and David Freedman)

As we messy-desk type people are fond of saying: “A messy desk is the sign of an orderly mind.” It must be true – how else could we posibly find anything?


News and Notes – 3/19/2007

Rolling in the dough. People in New York are paying chef Nino Selimaj $1,000 for a single 12-inch lobster tail and caviar pizza. Granted, each pizza costs Selimaj $720 to make, but that is still a pretty good profit margin.

No brains, no sweat. A new study links regular exercise with improved memory. So if you can’t remember the last time you exercised, maybe that’s why.