Hack The System Blogger Maneesh Sethi & The Craigslist Slapper Experiment!

Hack The System Blogger Maneesh Sethi frequently partakes in unconventional techniques to help increase his productivity and then records the findings of these experiments in his blog or newsletter.

His latest experiment saw him hire a slapper from Craigslist – for our UK readers who know a slapper to be a woman with loose morals/underwear, that’s really not what’s going on here… Sethi wanted someone to sit next to him while he worked and give him a slap every time he strayed from the task in hand by going on Facebook or trawling YouTube for funny videos.

Being in San Francisco, he advertised the position on Craigslist, offering to pay this person $8 an hour to sit next to him and observe his screen. The person who was given the job would have to monitor what he was doing and yell or slap him if they noticed him wasting time.
Within an hour of posting the advert he had 20 applicants, one stood out and he met and interviewed her the next day. That is how Kara came to be Sethi’s slapper. Continue Reading

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New Study Suggests That Looking At Pics Of Baby Animals Improves Concentration

Photo: Thinkstock/liquidlibrary

One of the most popular ways of killing time at work is to look at pictures of little kittens and adorable puppies. Most of the time we do this when our bosses can’t see our computer screens, but a new research study from Japan suggests that looking at pictures of cute baby animals can actually make us more diligent and careful with our work and therefore more effective.

A group of researchers from Hiroshima University took the theory that people who look a cute baby animal images behave more carefully because of an instinctive need to be vigilant when taking care of babies, and put it to the test. Continue Reading

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Background Noise Makes You More Productive

At a Cafe

I knew there was a reason that I enjoy having soft music playing in the background, even if I’m not actively listening to it.

In the past I’ve been chided by those close to me for my preference for constantly surrounding myself with noise of some type. Some have even gone so far as to say I was afraid of silence. Although far from the truth, I do find that I’m most stimulated when there’s some sort of sound in the background. It can be the radio, the television, even the sound of rain, but I find it stimulating.

A bustling little tea shop or the outdoor patio of a nearby restaurant/bakery was an ideal studying spot when I was in college, and to this day I enjoy working in cafes and coffee shops, the chatter of other patrons creating an invigorating backdrop.

I often have set my music to such soft levels that it’s not even immediately noticeable, but it’s there. The more my ears focus, adjust and “tune in” to the noise into the wee hours of the evening, especially as silence falls everywhere else in the house, the more I turn the volume down, not up, adjusting it so it remains a background piece and not the main focus of my concentration.

I always considered this just one of my own idiosyncratic habits, a byproduct of my love of music in all its forms, but now it seems there may be other reasons for this particular penchant of mine. Not only that, I’ve probably already been benefiting from it for years.Continue Reading

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