Study: Being busy can ruin your workday
Do a little less in your day if you want to do a little more.
A pretty cool study came out recently that yielded the interesting fact that doing less can actually increase your productivity.
Basically, you stretch yourself too thin, and the work as a whole suffers. Sure, you might be doing 59 different things in a day, but you'll have a tendency to make more mistakes and not be able to focus.
How does this actually work? You do what the study itself calls "contracting time.":
Consumers often organize their time by scheduling various tasks, but also leave some time unaccounted. The authors examine whether ending an interval of unaccounted time with an upcoming task systematically alters how this time is perceived and consumed. Eight studies conducted both in the lab and field show that bounded intervals of time (e.g., an hour before a scheduled meeting) feel prospectively shorter than unbounded intervals of time (e.g., an hour with nothing scheduled subsequently).
Over the course of two years, researchers from the Olin School of Business, the Fisher College of Business, and the Washington University of St Louis conducted 8 wide-ranging tests. One of the tests, I think, is especially fascinating: 158 college students were put in 2 groups, one told that they had "about five minutes to do whatever you want" before an implied appointment and the other told that they had exactly five minutes. Interestingly, those who were not under the clock performed 2.38 tasks to the hurried group's 1.86 tasks. The mere suggestion of time constraints can result in less actually getting done.
One of the researchers, Professor Stephen Nowlis, doesn't suggest that you use study this as a means to slack off. On the contrary, he suggests using your time wisely:
“If you have some big tasks, too many scheduled things will affect your productivity. A lot of scheduling is fine for shorter tasks. So find the environment that works for you.”
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.
- July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
- Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
- NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
Strangely, the sun showed no sunspots at the time the photo was taken.
- The photo shows the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth, as it does every 90 minutes.
- The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a time when there were no sunspots.
- In November, astronauts aboard the ISS plan to grow Española chili pepper plants.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.