The Scientifically-Backed Best Ways to Spend a 15-Minute Break

15-main

We have all worked with the marathoner office worker. The one with eyes glued to a spreadsheet all day, or frantically taking calls for hours on end.

Or maybe that’s you. Maybe you measure hard work in raw hours logged. Maybe you put in 12 solid hours and eat at your desk. Maybe you care so much about work you haven’t taken a lunch break in months.

Maybe you’re terrible at your job. Ever think about that?

Or at least you could be hurting your productivity. There’s a growing amount of research suggesting that work punctuated by short breaks leads to better focus and better productivity.

Also, working for uninterrupted hours on end — especially if done sitting down —can be terrible for your health.

Continue Reading

How to Transition to Working From Home

 

remotefulltime

You’re more likely than your parents to work from home one day.

Or from a Starbucks, a shared working space, you get the idea. In fact, 4.2 million American workers joined the remote working movement from 1997-2012, according to the Census Bureau.

What this means is that many of us who started careers in a cubicle and necktie are switching over to the pajamas and home office.

It’s a big change. And it’s not easy.

Thankfully, the trail has been sufficiently blazed by workers who have been remote working for years, some for decades. Many of those brave pioneers have documented their experiences. So let’s explore some of the best advice from remote workers who have learned what works, and what to avoid.

Continue Reading

Why You Should Always Write Down Your Bad Ideas

badideas

Most of Thomas Edison’s ideas were bad.

At least they weren’t good enough to make it out of the laboratory. Or from the patent office to the product line. Thousands of ideas, never to see the light of day.

An associate of Edison’s, Walter S. Mallory, recalled asking the inventor about this, according to a 1910 biography “Edison: His Life and Inventions.” Mallory recalled that Edison had been working for months on a nickel-iron battery. Mallory visited Edison in his shop and learned his friend had tried more than 9,000 experiments for the battery and none had been successful.

“In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’”

Mallory sympathized with Edison. He felt sorry for him that so many ideas had not yet produce one result. Edison saw it differently.

“Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.'”

Continue Reading

How to Have a Great First Day at Your New Job

first-day

Day one at the new job. How’s it feel? Slightly terrifying?

It should. At your old job — just last week perhaps — you were the most experienced you ever were there. Suddenly, you’re the least experienced you ever will be at this job.

It’s enough to cause a panic. But it doesn’t have to. Fresh starts come with great opportunity. Here are a few tips on how you can capitalize on this new adventure. We’ll skip the obvious — show up on time, practice the route to the new office —and focus on some of the research behind the first day and how you can use what science and experts say about the topic.

Continue Reading

Why Your Brain Loves Negativity and How to Fix It

negativity

Pretend you’re a caveman.

You’re in your cave preparing for a hunt, but something outside seems dangerous, violent sounds you don’t understand.

You have two choices: Skip the hunt, spend the night hungry but live another day. Or risk death and go outside.

Hold onto that thought. We’ll be getting back to that.

Now imagine you’re driving to work. While getting off the highway, someone cuts you off. You slam on your brakes.

You know the feeling that’s coming. That tense anger rises up. Your fingers clench the steering wheel.

It’s enough to set you on a path to feel horrible all day. You might be less productive at work, distracted during meetings. You might try to counterbalance the feeling with a quick shot of endorphins from junk food, mindless web surfing or time-wasting YouTube videos. This only compounds the problem. This is like taking short-term unhappiness and investing it in a long-term, high-yield unhappiness investment plan, ensuring belly flab and career stagnation for years to come.

So why does this one minor thing, getting cut off, have such a powerful effect on us? Why does one negative experience ruin an otherwise great day?

The answer has to do with our friend, Mr. Caveman. Research shows that our brains evolved to react much more strongly to negative experiences than positive ones. It kept us safe from danger. But in modern days, where physical danger is minimal, it often just gets in the way.

It’s called the negativity bias.

Continue Reading

The Ultimate Guide to Awesome Meetings

meetings-ebookGenerally, meetings are pretty terrible. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We teamed up with Do to create this free eBook on how to make meetings better.

It’s a book that started with a question: Why are meetings so bad?

The problem is there are 11 million meetings every day in the U.S. and over half of those are unproductive. Oddly, even though it has become a fundamental part of our work day, most of us haven’t been taught or trained on how to run an awesome meeting.

So we created this comprehensive guide to end all of that—to arm everyone with the knowledge they need to run an awesome meeting.

Take control of meetings and download your free guide now.

Here’s a look at what you’ll be learning

  • How to ruthlessly kill inessential meetings
  • How to cancel those that shouldn’t happen
  • How to end on time
  • How one company got seven extra hours of productivity every week
Fill out my online form.

Over the past few years, we’ve become obsessed with improving meetings, and we’ve talked with hundreds of managers on how they run them and what works and what doesn’t. This eBook contains everything we’ve learned on how to improve your meetings and change the culture of meetings at your company.

Get your free eBook now

Your Accomplishments, Now with Emojis

emojicast-gif

We’re excited to present to you: the launch of emojis for iDoneThis! It’s a fun way to record your accomplishments and share with your team how you’re feeling.

To give it a try, just type a colon and then start typing a word, like :pizza: pizza.  If an autocomplete menu shows up, then we have it. Bread-and-butter emojis like smileys of different kinds work as well. smiley

Continue Reading

@Team and the All New Autocomplete

Screenshot 2015-03-16 09.51.03

We heard your complaints about the old autocomplete.

  • You had to know the username of the teammate that you wanted to mention. That was all fine and good when your teammate’s username was @janesmith, but not when it was @l33thax0r.
  • You had to know the exact tag that you wanted to use. It was too easy to create multiple tags for the same purpose, because it was way too hard to figure out what other tags were out there.
  • Autocomplete was case sensitive.
  • There wasn’t any way to mention the whole team, so you had to mention people one by one.

We fixed all of those problems in the latest revamp of autocomplete! Now it’s just plain easier to use.

Continue Reading

Integrate Everything—Introducing iDoneThis for Zapier

idonethis-zapier

We’re super excited to announce that we’ve integrated iDoneThis with Zapier.

Zapier, makes it easy to connect two apps together. Have you ever wanted your Google Calendar meetings to show up automatically in iDoneThis? Zapier makes it super simple.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 7.48.42 PM

This means that the 400+ tools that Zapier integrates with are now available to you to integrate with iDoneThis, tools like Trello, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote and more.

To get you started, we’ve created a few zap templates for you to use:

Note: to use this zaps, you’ll need to create a Zapier account.

Continue Reading

iDoneThis for Mobile

iphone before and after

Before on left, and after on right

We’re excited to announce that we’ve made iDoneThis better for your phone and tablet. When you pull up idonethis.com on your phone’s web browser, you’ll now get an iDoneThis that’s specifically tailored for your screen size.

Now it’s much easier to read what your team is getting done and enter your dones on the go, from your phone.

IMG_2525-14

To have the app-like experience of launching iDoneThis from your home screen with a single tap, just add iDoneThis to your home screen.  It won’t take more than 30 seconds to set up—just choose the directions for your device below.

Add to Home Screen for iPhone / iPad

Add to Home Screen for Android

Continue Reading