April 23, 2014

Boring Gloria Mark is unstressful

mindless at-work activities such as surfing the Web or deleting the inbox--may sound a bit mind-numbing. But new research has found that people are actually happiest on the job doing unchallenging assignments.

The study, led by Gloria Mark at the University of California, Irvine along with colleagues at Microsoft Research, examined how employees' mood and attention change when performing various activities at work, such as responding to email or checking FacebookFB +2.92%.

"With rote work, you get a feeling of accomplishment, but you haven't exerted a lot of mental activity," says Dr. Mark. "It gives you a feeling of fulfillment, but there's not frustration or stress."

The researchers' findings provide a picture of how boredom and focus change throughout the day--and what digital tasks make workers happiest.

Focus, they found, peaks in the mid-afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. and also rises in late morning, around 11 a.m., after workers have time to gear up. (After 3, however, workplace focus drops precipitously.) Meanwhile, people are most bored early in the afternoon, soon after lunch--and not surprisingly, on Mondays.

"It takes time to ramp up and get into a focused and productive state," says Dr. Mark. "You don't hit the ground running."

The research will be presented at a panel on workplace distraction at the SXSW Interactive conference on Saturday, and is forthcoming for publication in April at the Proceedings of the Computer-Human Interaction Conference 2014.

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April 20, 2014

Sell yourself the google $GOOG way

Bock: "Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn. One of the things that makes people more effective is if you can do both. ... If you're great on both attributes, you'll have a lot more options. If you have just one, that's fine, too." But a lot fewer people have this kind of structured thought process and creativity.

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April 18, 2014

Sleep: At least 6 hours a day


For about nine weeks, Mitchell worked with the sleep therapist to adjust her sleep habits. She got under the covers only when she was extremely tired. She quit watching TV in bed. She stopped drinking caffeinated coffee in the evening. She also learned breathing exercises to relax and help her drift off. It was all quite simple and common sense, and, most importantly, noninvasive and didn't require popping any pills.

"It's common knowledge that sleep is needed for day to day function," says Dr. David Rapoport, director of the Sleep Medicine Program at NYU School of Medicine. "What isn't common knowledge is that it really matters--it's not just cosmetic." Rapoport has long seen people seek sleep therapy because they're chronically tired or suffering from insomnia, but an increasing number of patients are being referred to his center for common diseases, disorders, and mental health.

Researchers have known for some time that sleep is critical for weight maintenance and hormone balance. And too little sleep is linked to everything from diabetes to heart disease to depression. Recently, the research on sleep has been overwhelming, with mounting evidence that it plays a role in nearly every aspect of health. Beyond chronic illnesses, a child's behavioral problems at school could be rooted in mild sleep apnea. And studies have shown children with ADHD are more likely to get insufficient sleep. A recent study published in the journal SLEEP found a link between older men with poor sleep quality and cognitive decline. Another study out this week shows sleep is essential in early childhood for development, learning, and the formation and retention of memories. Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen, a pioneer of sleep research at the University of Chicago, once said, "If sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function, then it is the biggest mistake the evolutionary process ever made."

April 16, 2014

Stratechery

Stratechery is an oddly titled blog.

Strata Cherry ? With a cherry on top ?
Strategery ? With George W. Bush ?
Stratarchy ? Strategy with anarchy ? Or with archery ?


Talks about bitcoin and Apple>.


April 12, 2014

Pantone skin color

Pantone's color spectrum of human skin tones.

April 10, 2014

The dissolve on cinema

The Dissolve provides great retrospective on film and actors. Example, the broken-down grace of Bill Murray.

April 8, 2014

Shake your head, wait for something to appear

Shake your head for something to appear!

shake_head.jpg

Via 9gag.

April 3, 2014

Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin, Unstoppable

ANTHONY LANE's New Yorker's Scarlett Johansson, Unstoppable before and after Under the Skin.

Robert Downey Jr. drinks her in and says, "I want one"--the best line in any Marvel picture, telling us everything about Iron Man, the superhero so blasé that his only option is to buy, or build, enough toys to perk him up. Most of the characters are no better than playthings, anyway. But not her.