Are you a certified organizational ninja? It’s okay, nobody is—so steal this idea.
Are you a certified organizational ninja? It’s okay, nobody is—so steal this idea.
It’s easy to lose perspective when we’re facing a thorny dilemma. Blinded by the particulars of the situation, we’ll waffle and agonize, changing our mind from day to day. Perhaps our worst enemy in resolving these conﬂicts is short-term emotion, which can be an unreliable adviser.
Schwab (oddly enough, no relation to Charles R. Schwab, founder of the Charles Schwab Corporation) was the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in the U.S. at the time.
By mid-career, the hard skills that got you the job won’t be the ones that get you promoted.
When Google acquired the online photo editor Picnik in 2010, CMO Lisa Conquergood and the rest of the Picnik team went, too. They worked on the site until Google narrowed its focus and closed Picnik in 2012.
Every September, largely unbeknownst to the rest of the company, a group of around 50 Lego employees descends upon Spain’s Mediterranean coast, armed with sunblock, huge bins of Lego bricks, and a decade’s worth of research into the ways children play.
Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, it doesn’t make you that much happier.
Here at Google, we don’t have a secret formula for innovation. But that doesn’t mean Googlers’ best ideas are ineffable mysteries. On the contrary, we’ve found they can be systematically coaxed into being and steadily improved upon. And so can yours.
Wednesday. Hump Day. The part of the week when we’re over the hill and begin sliding toward the weekend. If hitting midweek feels even a little bit better than slogging through Monday or Tuesday does, well, you’re not alone.
Sound familiar? Looking back, I realize I used my work to try and fill a void in myself. The problem was that this void was like a black hole. No matter how many hours I worked, it never seemed to fill it up. If anything, it made me feel worse.
Like many people, when the new year started, I felt like it was time to turn over a new leaf and undo all of the damage from the gluttony of the holiday season. I was feeling sluggish and tired, and tasks that normally take me an hour or two suddenly consumed the entire day.
To-do lists get a lot of flack, but the simple act of planning has some psychological and productivity benefits all by itself.
What separates strategic, visionary thinkers from the rest of us? And why do we tend to worry about our ability to remember names—or where our keys are—rather than loss of cognitive memory that makes great performers?
If you often find yourself having trouble falling sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association (ASA) says that 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Among that group, insomnia is the most common.
You get home from work, eat dinner, clean up, flop on the couch, and doze off watching TV or mess with your phone. Then you repeat the same routine Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Before you know it, you’ve hit the weekend, and it felt like all you did all week was work.
It’s hard not to resent Mondays. The day marks the end of the fun and freedom of the weekend–and that’s especially true during the summer, when ordinary Saturdays and Sundays have a carefree vacation vibe.
So much of being successful at your job has little to do with the actual work you do. A lot of success comes from how you approach your workday: Are you optimistic? Curious? Productive? Did you get enough sleep?
We know that there is a strong connection between your physical health and work performance. I thought I was doing pretty well. I consider myself a pretty healthy person: I try to run one half marathon a year, and exercise four or five times a week.
Your brain has a neocortex and a limbic system, and sometimes they fight. Here’s how to get them to play nice.
I’m killing time in the Frank Gehry–designed Building 20, whose signature feature is its soaring 434,000 square feet of open space, the latest addition to Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, California.
In every office, I’ve often felt, there are just a few people who do three times the work of everyone else, yet their reward is only marginally higher.
There’s nothing like an overcrowded inbox to make you long for the days of smoke signals and carrier pigeons. But unless you’ve been living under a rock without a Wi-Fi signal, email plays a huge role in your work and personal communication.
Companies like Apple, Netflix, Google, and Dell are 40% more productive than the average company, according to research from the leadership consulting firm Bain & Company.
Watching a couple hours of TV a day can have major effects on your brain. So what would happen if you quit cold turkey?
Everyone knows they need to manage their stress. When things get difficult at work, school, or in your personal life, you can use as many tips, tricks, and techniques as you can get to calm your nerves.
It’s 4 p.m. and you’re having a hard time focusing. So you stare at your computer and click in and out of lots of tabs. But when you look up, you see it’s only 4:03 p.m. Then, you get a glass of water, which takes all of seven minutes.
You might think that the impact of aging on the brain is something you can’t do much about. After all, isn’t it an inevitability?
It is a cold day in early December in Midtown Manhattan, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has barely taken his seat on stage when his interviewer throws out that brusque query. It’s the question on the lips of every one of the 400 attendees of this tech conference, but it’s still a jarring moment.
When Derek Fagerstrom was growing up, creative young people wanted to do anything but go into business: They wanted to start a band, write a screenplay, or paint murals. But the world has changed. “We’re seeing a totally different approach to business,” says Fagerstrom, who is now 39.
Polishing off the bulk of your work before Friday all comes down to your work habits from Monday to Thursday.
When’s the last time you paid attention to your breath? Most of us take it for granted and don’t stop to think how deeply we inhale or exhale. But most of us also survive on shallow breaths that have us living on edge constantly.
This story is part of The Privacy Divide, a series that explores the misconceptions, disparities, and paradoxes that have developed around our privacy and its broader impacts on society. Read the series here.
If the goal of the economy is to provide decent-paying work for everyone, that economy clearly isn’t doing a good job at the moment. Real wages for most Americans haven’t increased in 40 years. Real unemployment–which includes the “under-employed”–is above 10%.
There are few things that impact your daily productivity, career trajectory, and overall well-being as much as your routines. As Will Durant writes in The Story of Philosophy (a quote often misattributed to Aristotle): “We are what we repeatedly do.”
But as board-certified sleep specialist and The Power of When author Michael Breus sees it, exactly when you should have caffeine depends on your sleep type.
When actor and comedian Wali Collins was in first grade, his teacher, Miss Dunn, would lead the class in a group meditation–except that none of the 6-year-olds realized that’s what she was doing. Having everyone close their eyes, Miss Dunn would ask the class to tell her what they heard.
Listening is a skill–but you already know that. There’s plenty of advice on how to become a better listener and why it’s so important.
The image is from cartoonist Hugh MacLeod, who came up with such a brilliant way to express a concept that’s often not that easy to grasp. The image makes a clear point—that knowledge alone is not useful unless we can make connections between what we know.
You’re 96% sure that you are ready to schedule a meeting with your boss to ask for a raise. Or perhaps you’re nearing the end of the job interview process and an offer is in sight.
If you’re lucky enough to be a member of the global 1%, last year was another good year to be alive (every year is pretty great, though). Your wealth bracket increased its share of global riches so that it holds just over half of global wealth, according to a new report from Credit Suisse.
Boredom gets a bad rap. Truly amazing ideas and offbeat solutions have often come from endless hours of daydreaming. If space and time is what you need to make unusual connections, then why does the daydreaming that comes out of boredom have such negative connotations?
I have a love-hate relationship with food. I love it; it generally hates me. Matter of fact, I love food so much that until a few years ago, I was extremely overweight. So overweight that I invented a piece of health tech to help me lose 80 pounds.
I’ll admit it: For the majority of my adult life, spreadsheets have remained shrouded in mystery.
As a coach who works with a lot of business owners and solopreneurs, I’ve seen my clients do everything from marketing to idea generation to logistical firefighting. Often, they’re doing all these things on the same day, if not the same hour.
In early 2009, three years prior to Taco Bell’s 50th anniversary, CEO Greg Creed was already experiencing something of a midlife crisis. “Our target audience is [customers] in their 20s. Turning 50 makes us sound old, and I didn’t want to sound old,” Creed explains.
Lifelong learning will help you be happier, earn more, and even stay healthier, experts say. Plus, plenty of the smartest names in business, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk, insist that the best way to get smarter is to read. So what do you do? You go out and buy books, lots of them.
Tony Fadell’s wife likes to remind him when their three children’s eyes are glued to their screens that it’s at least partly his fault. Hard to argue.
Gathering good reading material from around the internet is hard. You can’t trust your friends on Facebook. Twitter is too noisy. And even if you’re a master of RSS, you probably spend too much time sorting through filler. This is where Pocket hopes it can make a difference.
It would have been crazy to say just a few years ago. But today, Google produces better-designed software than any other tech behemoth. If you don’t believe that, then set down your Apple-flavored Kool-Aid. Take a cleansing breath, open your mind, and compare Android and iOS.
I never expected to make a career out of building executive presentations. When I went to college in the mid-1990s, I was a fine art major, much to my parents’ concern. But it was that same love for visual storytelling that led to what I do today.
Why you shouldn’t write your list in the morning, and the items you should leave off completely.
One day in the spring of 2016 I mentioned to a friend that I needed a new mattress. Mine was a sunken hand-me-down that had become about as comfortable as concrete.
When Edward Snowden blew the lid off of the NSA’s mass surveillance program, he also revealed the extent of the government’s smartphone location tracking records.
Satya Nadella’s corner office, on the fifth floor of Building 34 at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters, features a can’t-miss 84-inch Surface touch-screen computer that dominates one wall. But what demands even more attention are the vast quantities of books in the room.
“It’s kind of counterintuitive,” Google cofounder Larry Page remarked a couple of years ago. “Normally in a business, you think about, ‘What’s the adjacent thing that I can do?’ But maybe you can actually do more projects that are less related to each other.
Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections explores how our society may be creating a world of unhappiness.
That’s the question behind the new Chrome extension Data Selfie.
There’s an old saying in neuroscience: neurons that fire together wire together. This means the more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. This is why, to quote another old saw, practice makes perfect.
But the great thing about this story is that anyone can have such an impressive outcome, and it’s not at all as daunting as it might sound. In fact, all these outcomes came from doing small things every day over a long period.
When Miguel Zabludovsky opened his first laundry delivery service, Slate, in 2005, he pitched customers convenience: He would pick up their unsorted laundry (literally: he was both CEO and courier), and his subcontracted eco-friendly dry cleaners would clean it however they saw fit.
Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day.
I told myself I’d start writing at 10 a.m. and crank out a few sections of this article before lunch. It’s now 1:40 p.m.–and I’m finally getting started. What happened? In the commonly held view of procrastination, I failed to appropriately manage my time.
Every year, Ikea Group and INGKA Holding (the company that controls the majority of Ikea’s retail stores) publish a research report on how people live in and relate to a specific aspect of their homes. Since 2014 it’s dealt with morning routines, food and kitchens, and disagreements at home.
The following is the second of two excerpts from The Way to Design, a guide to becoming a designer founder and to building design-centric businesses. It was adapted and reprinted with the author’s permission. Read the first one, on the case against empathy, here.
In 1973, America watched as then President Richard Nixon vehemently declared on national television, “I am not a crook” in regards to the Watergate scandal. Not many people believed him.
Last year may have been the beginning of the end for plastic. It may have taken a while for the average person to wake up to its dangers, but many were shaken into action by the images and videos of plastic’s impact on the natural world that flooded the media in 2018.
Apple quietly acquired Messerschmidt’s startup in 2010 (after Messerschmidt sent Steve Jobs an unsolicited email, but that’s another story). Afterwards, Messerschmidt was placed on the Apple Watch team, where he led a group charged with architecting new sensor technologies for the device.
This story was adapted, with permission, from the forthcoming book Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days (Simon & Schuster) by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. Preorder a copy here. Imagine you’ve got a great idea.
It’s a bright September morning in San Carlos, California, and Masayoshi Son, chairman of SoftBank, is throwing me off schedule. I’d come, as he had, to meet with the people he’s tapped to run the Vision Fund, his $100 billion bet on the future of, well, everything.
Four years ago, I wrote about having no regrets for being a “dumb phone” user. At the time I was an anomaly: 58% of Americans, according to Pew researchers, owned a smartphone; that figure was around 80% for people in my age demographic. Now, I’m a clear oddity: 77% of U.S.
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates may spend heavily on vaccines and aid programs, but he seems to recognize that the one of the things that money can’t buy is more knowledge.
For many of us, work can feel like a never-ending cycle of long meetings, overflowing inboxes, and urgent demands. No matter how fast we go or how hard we work, there’s far more to do every day than there is time to do it.
This story reflects the views of the authors, but not necessarily the editorial position of Fast Company.
If you don’t know much about Cuba, Airbnb’s recent announcement that it has begun booking rooms there sounds pretty unremarkable. After all, Airbnb operates in more than 190 countries, and its offerings are as diverse as they are plentiful.
There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected liberal democracies: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it.
Google recognizes this. The company has packed Gmail with dozens of advanced options that can save you time and add powerful possibilities into your inbox. The only problem is that there are so many of them—scattered across so many places—that it’s all too easy to overlook something useful.
If you decide to drive in downtown Oslo, be forewarned: You won’t be able to park on the street.
When you’re working in a word processor, every second you save matters. And while Google Docs may seem simple on the surface, it’s practically overflowing with out-of-sight options that can help you get more done with less effort.
From work deadlines to family happenings and random reminders, Calendar is what keeps me on track, on time, and on top of the approximately 1.7 zillion things I tend to juggle on an hourly basis.
Ask BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti about his influences, and his answer sounds like, well, a BuzzFeed post—one titled “The Three Historical References That Explain BuzzFeed Will Make You Say WTF.
It can, and in fact it does.
More than one-third of American adults view social media as harmful to their mental health, according to a new survey from the American Psychiatric Association. Just 5% view social media as being positive for their mental health, the survey found.
The work-anywhere, travel-the-world fringe lifestyle is going mainstream–and these apps, services, and events are here to help.
City streets and sidewalks in the United States have been engineered for decades to keep vehicle occupants and pedestrians safe. If streets include trees at all, they might be planted in small sidewalk pits, where, if constrained and with little water, they live only three to 10 years on average.
Experts believe that emotional intelligence is the job skill of the future. So I had mine tested, and the results were scarily correct.
More people than ever are living long, healthy lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years for men and 81.1 for women. More relevant, however, is that as people grow older, their total life expectancy increases.