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Tech Productivity

Issue #49  (Work-life Boundary Erosion) 01/20/20

Are companies right to erode the work-life boundary by adding "fun" stuff to a workplace like exercise machines, ping-pong, fuseball, etc.? Often these things are added under the expectation that "you're one of us now", where the 50+ hour work week becomes the norm and work is the new "family" (Michael Scott anyone?).

The company ping pong table.
Does the company ping-pong table erode work-life boundaries?
This Twitter thread covers some of this subject matter. I'm not in agreement with everything said there, but I'm definitely on the side of thinking that work needs to have its boundaries and people need to have a life outside of work. In the words of George Costanza, worlds collide. Sometimes that's a good thing, but often it's at the expense of time with family, time for non-work leisure, and so forth.

I don't think there's a perfect answer to this problem, but I think balance is the key, as is the case with many things. Work is work. Life is life. Those two things aren't necessarily one and the same.

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

Tools & Apps

Diary Email - Write a private diary using email. No need to sign up, just write to a specific email address and then access your diary via the website.

DueFocus - Time tracking and productivity software you'll actually use.

CrushEntropy - Online scheduling app that takes the hassle out of following two popular productivity hacks: Cal Newport's recommendation in "Deep Work" and Neil Fiore's recommendation in "The Now Habit".

Brill - iOS and Android app that saves you time by instantly digitizing your handwritten notes. Share with email, Slack, Jira, Trello, and more.

Disco - Keep big projects organized and on track. Break complicated tasks into smaller and smaller pieces. Zero in on specific tasks while you work, then zoom out to see the big picture.

Articles & Resources

Working for someone vs. doing your own thing - Tigran Hakobyan with a bit of a brain dump on the two types of work that tech people generally consider.

The lazy way to being outstanding: go after hard things - Artur looks at how doing the hard things is both the best thing for your company, for you and, counterintuitively, your lifestyle.

How to motivate employees? Don’t. - Claire Lew recommends six ways to motivate your team that don't undermine the intrinsic employee motivation they already have.

Why I Keep a Research Blog - Gregory Gundersen believes writing has made him a better researcher and thinker, and he explains why.

What would happen if Facebook were turned off? - (Soft paywall) Article from early 2019 based on a study of people who were asked to deactivate their Facebook accounts.


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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