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Tech Productivity

Issue #262  (Sleeping Our Way to Being Productive) 02/19/24


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An article published in Bloomberg in January stirred up some conversation on Hacker News. The article, which is paywalled, is called Remote Work Doesn’t Seem to Affect Productivity, Fed Study Finds. I was going to share it in the articles section below, but I generally don't include hard-paywalled stuff if I can help it.

Nonetheless, there's some good reaction to the study in the Hacker News thread. There's a link to an archived version at the top of the thread, but I couldn't get that page to load.
Remote meeting on Zoom

The multi-page threads on Hacker News are pretty rare, so I thought it would be a good one to link to considering the subject. One interesting comment is as follows:

"How could remote work not be more productive? Most of my friends/colleagues get back at least an hour of their lives each day they don't commute, and they all use the 'extra' time to do more work. People wanna work. They just don't wanna sit in traffic, walk through parking lots and ride elevators for an hour every day."

This is mostly true and I wonder how much this was taken into consideration in the study.

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


Tools & Apps

Keypirinha — A fast launcher for keyboard users on Windows, to launch apps, custom search queries, language translations, and lots more.

PDFtoChat — An open-sour\e, AI-based tool, powered by and Mixtral, that allows you to have a conversation with your PDFs (papers, textbooks, contracts, etc).

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Timbre — An iOS app that includes a comprehensive suite of tools, soundscapes, and sleep analysis, for finding the right sounds to help you improve sleep and relax better.

Sofa — A "downtime organizer" for iOS that lets you create lists of apps, books, movies, tv shows, podcasts, music albums, etc., that you can use or enjoy in some way later during your busier times.

Sortable — A distraction-free news reader that lets you choose your favorite news sources and receive an email digest at your preferred time, like "bringing RSS into the modern age."

Heptabase — A learning and project management tool that helps you visually make sense of your research, projects, and study materials.

Articles & Resources

Sleeping Our Way to Being Productive — An exploration of how the amount of weekly sleep influences employment, productivity, and the income of individuals in Germany.

How To Hire Low Experience, High Potential People — From Tara Seshan's Substack, who's had 1000+ hours of experience interviewing candidates, explains how to find, as she puts it, diamonds in the rough.

Managing the Chaos of Context Switching — An in-depth look at what is context switching in our work, the cost of it, the benefits (yes there are some), and how to manage context switching.

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Stop Worrying About Productivity (And Do This Instead) — The most important heading in this one is "You Are Not Beyonce", which is a world-shattering wake-up call for the desperate musician in me.

🎧 Small Steps, Big Results: Overcoming Overwhelm Gradually — An episode from the Working With podcast by Carl Pullein, with a transcript, which covers preventing yourself from becoming overwhelmed and learning to build more realistic days.

5 Top Strategies for Helping Time Blindness — Sometimes hours can go by and you may not realize it – that's time blindness, which this little guide might help you with if you find this is a problem for you.


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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