Weekly Productivity Links

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading this week around the RescueTime office.

Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?

What motivates people to do a good job? If you ask a lot of people, they’d say money, but that may not actually be the case. Dan Ariely explains some of his research exploring how people find meaning in their work, and some behaviors that can destroy motivation. This should be required viewing for all managers who want to keep their employees happy and motivated.

Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research

Here’s a look at several studies that analyze the effect of increased salary and monetary rewards on performance. Turns out money doesn’t have such a great track record as a motivator.

Embracing slow time 

With all the communication tools today, remote teams can still stay in touch, but the added friction of distance can serve as a good buffer to distracting interruptions that are so easy when you’re sitting in the same room as your co-workers. Here’s a good look at how you can take advantage of the “slow time” communications to think things through and possibly even answer your questions for yourself.

7 Simple productivity tips you can apply today, backed by science

Here’s a list of small changes you can make that will have an effect on your productivity and happiness. Bonus, each one of them has some solid research to back it up.

How Kaggle Is Changing How We Work

Kaggle is a online community of data scientists that uses data-mining and predictive-modeling competitions to rank it’s members. Employers are starting to take that rank seriously. It’s another example of how reputation is playing an increasingly important role in our professional lives. Other examples of niche communities where reputation is starting to matter to employers include GitHub for software developers, and Dribbble or Behance for designers.

Why I For One Welcome Our New Robot Underlings

It’s a little unsettling to think about robots getting smarter and smarter and being able to do more things that once only humans could. But it’s clearly happening. What will the world look like once machines can do most jobs? Andrew McAfee points out several ways that it could actually end up being rather nice.

Have a happy and productive week, everyone!