I am extremely happy to announce our newest project, FlowLight, a traffic-light-like light for knowledge workers to reduce their interruptions at work, and makes them more productive! The research project, published with the title “Reducing Interruptions at Work: A Large-Scale Field Study of FlowLight”, was conducted in close collaboration with researchers at ABB. It was also awared with an Honorable Mention award.
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I am thrilled to announce the first publicly available version of Picturex for Business. Tierpark Goldau, a Swiss landscape and animal park, offers its visitors a unique way to share and exchange the best snapshots they took during their visit at the Tierpark. Also, users of the Tierpark Momente-App can create private photo albums to share their photos in private within their family.
What is productivity? Many would describe it as the time you spend in “the zone” when you get things done. The time you are fully present, totally engaged with what happens, time you spend in the productive flow. But how to get there? David Allen, one of the responsible people that elicited my interest in researching productivity, talked about his time-management method getting things done in on TED a few years back.
Being appropriately engaged with what is going on
The secret to stress-free productivity, according to Allen, is to be totally committed and engaged with just a single thing at a time. The more that is on your mind at the same time, the more inappropriately you are engaged, and the less you can focus on just doing the thing you should be doing. It may sound counter intuitive or even awkward, but the key to being able to fully engage with the current project/task is to park everything unrelated to the task on a separate list that you regularly revisit in the right time and trust that it lets you never forget a thought or idea.
We all have this in common: We live in a busy world. And we all have got the same 24 hours to spend. While (at least in theory) we can choose what to spend our time on, most of us are always in a hurry. And we often excuse ourselves with: “I don’t have time for that.” But that’s not entirely true…
I was regularly thinking or saying “I don’t have time for that.”. Was. Until I saw a Ted talk by Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, who studies how busy people spend their lives. She discovered that extremely busy people, such as a woman with multiple kids, a houshold to take care of and a very successful career, still had time to go for a hike on a Wednesday – a weekday!
In my strive to make people more productive, less stressed and generally happier at work, I’ve found an interesting article on Business Insider who interviewed Eric Potterat, a former head psychologist for the US Navy SEALs. He mentions that one similarity of “elite people”, whether they are athletes or military members, is how they cope with stress. He describes that people who control stress can control their performance in any environment, and that anyone can learn it and turn it into a habit.
Are you often feeling stressed during your work days? Do you never really find the time to do sports and train your body? You are not alone, but there are many easy things to be more active and healthy at work.
Meetings don’t have to be held in a dark and boring meeting room. Get your meeting partner(s) up and go out to take a walk. I usually take paper and pen with me (yes, they still exist! 🙂 ) to take notes.
Are you a multi-tasker? Maybe it’s time to reconsider your work habits.
I personally know many who are proud to be able towork on several tasks at the same time, as they “get more stuff done than others”. However, research has found out that multi-tasking is actually less productive than doing just one thing at a time. Here is why:
I’ve just watched an incredibly interesting TED Talk by Kevin Kelly, who explains why technological progress is inevitable and why robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will not kill all our jobs.
Much like our strive to make things faster, easier and more convenient couldn’t prevent the phone or internet to be ‘invented’, broad use of AI systems are inevitable. That’s why Kelly suggests us to “embrace AI to steer it”.
I am a frequent reader of Paul Thurrot’s Microsoft Insider blog and think this one about securing your internet identity/accounts is very worth to share, and probably a good intention to do (soon) in 2017!
In the blog post, he talks about how important and easy (!) it is to secure your online accounts on Facebook, Dropbox, Microsoft, Google, and so on with the Two-Factor-Authentication and why you should use a separate password for each online service you are using! As probably nobody can remember all the passwords used anyway, he recommends to use a password manager, such as LastPass or KeePass.
You can find the article on thurrot.com. Start now, and secure your online identity!
tl;dr: I don’t know. But YOU should achieve it!
Some swear on only working a few hours each day, but have maximum focus and productivity in that time. Others would never work on weekends, to get time off for friends, family, sports and leisure. On the other hand, there are many successful people who are working 90 hours a week. There is a famous quote that Bill Gates never took a day off until he was 31.
A warm welcome to 2017!
I’ve recently backed BetterBack, a fantastic gadget for a better posture and back pain relief and I am looking forward to receive the BetterBack in April 2017. Katherine, the creator of BetterBack cited Amber Rae who suggested five ideas to reflect about 2016 that help plan a better 2017:
Dear Followers and Readers,
I wish you a merry christmas, some quality time for family, friends and yourself and all the best for the new year! May 2017 be as exciting and challenging (in a positive way) as this year was, and also a happy, fulfilling and healthy one!
Are you working in an open-space office with a lot of background noise? Can you just focus better if you hear your background mumble, like in a coffee shop? Or are you more relaxed when you hear birds sing or the sound of water?
Then, Noisli is for you! Noisli is a free and very simple service that lets you enable/disable different sounds to listen in the background. You can choose from birds, forest, wind, sea, fire, train waggons, coffee shop, and so on.
I’ve been using Noisli for the past 1-2 years and I’ve found it extremely helpful in times where I have a hard time to focus on my task. Also I cannot listen to music for a whole day when I am in the office, but I can listen to birds much longer.
I recommend everyone to try it out 🙂
Why is Microsoft suddenly back as a leader in the mobile and cloud computing space? Jay Greene from the Wall Street Journal has asked the question to many Microsoft top executives and learnt of how the company shifted strategies under Satya Nadella. This includes acknowledging not getting everything right, buying talent (i.e. startups), and making people responsible for products even if they don’t have a 10-year-long history at Microsoft.
The lengthy, very worth-to-read article can be found here.