Fun Friday Links: Communication Flowcharts, Why You Probably Aren’t Good at Multi-Tasking and the Science of Productivity

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Happy Link Time 11813

January 25, 2013

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK!

Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

What Mode of Communication Should I Use? A Flowchart

Wendy Macnaughton is like a wizard of visual philosophy. This flowchart of which mode of communication to use is just one example of her talent (I especially love how she incorporates possibilities like procrastination and whether or not you’re trying to get a raise):

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 1.09.18 PM

Also excellent: Should I check my email?

If You Think You’re Good at Multi-Tasking, You Probably Aren’t

I’ve addressed the great multi-tasking debate in the past, but research from the University of Utah provides cold! scientific! evidence!

“People don’t multitask because they’re good at it,” says David Sanbonmatsu, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah and lead author of the study. “They do it because they are more distracted. They have trouble inhibiting the impulse to do another activity.


“People sometimes think multitasking means greater productivity. That’s not what the findings in the literature say at all. A lot of times people multitask because they can’t focus on the task that’s most important to them.”

The Science of Productivity

Is there a secret to being productive? The lovely people at AsapSCIENCE attempt to answer that question in this video.

Some of my favorite points made:

  • The first thing to come to terms with is that your willpower is simply not enough.
  • Studies have shown that starting a project is the biggest barrier to productivity. This is because people spend too much time visualizing the hardest parts to come before they even begin. 
  • While multi-tasking may make you feel like you’re accomplishing more, studies have shown multi-taskers to be much less productive.