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Tech Productivity

Issue #185  (The Negatives of a Remote Job) 08/29/22

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A Hacker News reader asked a question I'm sure many of us can relate to: Why do I struggle to follow corporate meetings? There are some good answers and discussion in the thread but I think the original post hit the nail on the head when it says:

"Am I the only one who experiences this? I can't work out if there's a part of my brain that's missing that prevents me from understanding what's being discussed in these meetings or if this is a common experience. I'm very practically minded which probably doesn't help, but I worry I'm not making enough of an effort to understand what's happening in the business outside my personal bubble."

There are definitely people who have a knack for understanding things (or, as the top comment alludes to, pretending to understand things) in a certain context.

Meeting Room Chairs

For example, I like Twitter and I hate Pinterest. I know they're different apps for different purposes, but I find Pinterest confusing and messy, whereas Twitter is more linear and doesn't feel as overwhelming and purposeless as Pinterest does.

It's funny that the original post says "I'm very practically minded which probably doesn't help." But it does help! It means you want to discuss things that have value, not things that sound abstract and foreign.

Corporate meetings can elicit the same brain response from me. They feel too complex, purposeless, and without real-world value. That doesn't mean they aren't valuable, they just feel that way to certain people. So if you feel similar, you might find some solace in the answers in that thread, which also includes some good explanations as to why such meetings do make sense to certain people.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!

Tools & Apps

hypernovaOS — Mac app that adds to instantly access any shared team link or bookmarks directly in your workflow through a command palette-like UI, with powerful search capability, accessible via a quick keyboard shortcut.

Zencal — An easy-to-use calendar app to set up your availability and send the meeting link to your clients or teammates and the app does the rest.

Cheqmark — A neat online checklist maker where you can customize and design your own checklists, or use existing templates, before downloading as PDF and/or printing.

Fastvault — A decentralized file sharing solution, ensuring the files you share are stored privately on the blockchain and not accessible by third parties.

WorkStats — a dashboard tool to quantify your productivity by visualizing numbers from services like GitHub, Asana, Slack, and GCal.

Fresco — An online whiteboard for real-time team collaboration that can be fully customized and includes task management features.

Test Your Websites More Productively — BugBug is a new “no-code” tool that boosts the productivity of people who work with web software. If you're still checking your website for bugs manually, it's a good time to automate this, as BugBug recently improved its free version.   sponsor  

Articles & Resources

If You Want More Tech-Life Balance, Do This to Protect Your Brain — A board-certified psychiatrist shares five key insights about how the most interconnected part of the human brain can avoid getting addicted to technology.

Why Thinking Hard Makes Us Feel Tired — A study published in Current Biology found that participants who spent more than six hours working on a mentally taxing assignment had higher levels of glutamate, a signaling molecule in the brain that triggers fatigue.

What I Don’t Like About Working at a Remote Job — Some brief but interesting thoughts from someone who loves remote work but has some honest and specific complaints about it.

Blue Zones: Lessons From the World’s Longest Lived — A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine that determined the 9 common denominators that consistently help people live to 100.

Does Bionic Reading Actually Work? We Timed Over 2,000 Readers And The Results Might Surprise You — I've featured a few tools and a video on this subject recently, so this is a nice follow-up that demonstrates no benefit to bionic reading, though it also doesn't harm your reading skills.

Fire And Motion — The title is a reference to a military strategy that, in principle, may help you if you have blocks of time, or sometimes entire days, when you aren't getting anything done.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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