Talkers vs. listeners
“A few years ago I attended a meeting of the Association of Humanistic Psychology. One of the seminars was led by two eminent therapists. One was charismatic and engaging. The other was soft spoken and quietly confident. During the question and answer period, I realized that the “boring” therapist was a master at active listening. The charismatic therapist was performing.”
Sidestep premature optimization
“Sidestepping premature optimization turns out to be good general wisdom for life: Don’t get obsessed with a potential problem until it actually becomes a problem. The implicit suggestion here is that life’s curveballs often come from places where you least expect them, so it’s a waste of time and energy to focus too much on hypotheticals.”
Experts: Multitasking slows you down and increases the chance of mistakes
“Check e-mail messages once an hour, at most. Listening to soothing background music while studying may improve concentration. But other distractions — most songs with lyrics, instant messaging, television shows — hamper performance. Driving while talking on a cellphone, even with a hands-free headset, is a bad idea. In short, the answer appears to lie in managing the technology, instead of merely yielding to its incessant tug.”
Profile of Edward Tufte
”’I don’t want to sound too majestic, but my books are forever knowledge. People will be reading them a long time from now.’ By ‘forever knowledge’ Tufte means his principles ‘are indifferent’ to culture, gender, nationality or history. They apply to a 6,000-year-old cave etching, to the latest web design, to every map, chart and graph in between.” [via JK]
Look ma, no mouse!
Site annoyances add up
“Annoyances matter, because they compound. If the offending state-field drop-down were a site’s only usability violation, I’d happily award the site a gold star for great design. But sites invariably have a multitude of other annoyances, each of which delays users, causes small errors, or results in other unpleasant experiences.”
Upside down business at Patagonia
“Looking around at the bicycles, the surfboards, the solar panels, the Tibetan prayer flags, the shed full of convalescing owls and hawks, it’s clear that you’re not in traditional corporate-land, either. The place is all business, but it’s business conducted upside down and inside out. Everything about it flies in the face of consultants’ recommendations about How to Maximize Profits and Cut Costs. Simply put, it’s radical.” [via ZK]
The early bird catches the flight
“Earlier flights are more likely to arrive on time than later flights, because delays tend to accumulate during the day. For January of this year, at the 32 largest airports, flights due to land before 9 a.m. were on time more than 80 percent of the time; between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m., it was less than 70 percent of the time.”
A project timer for Basecamp
“Timepost is a project timer that automatically downloads projects and to-dos from various web project managers. Timepost saves you valuable time by allowing you to post accurate hours directly to services like Basecamp.”