Productivity Archives | Ladders

Articles about Productivity

Office Life

4 expressions to avoid that make you sound clueless at work

In order to make sure you sound like you know what you’re talking about, cut these common words and expressions from your vocabulary.


How to say no without feeling guilty: 6 secrets from experts

Being “too nice” can cause legit problems. So how do you say no without feeling guilty? Experts and research have answers.

Office Life

The 8-hour workday has no place in modern society — here’s why

We bind ourselves to an antiquated eight-hour workday standard to drive our productivity and evaluate our performance, and that’s just unfair.


5 ways to separate life and work when you’re the boss of your own business

Being your own boss is hard. Take care of yourself and use these tips to inch closer to the work-life balance you need to keep from burning out.


11 habits of ridiculously likeable people

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few. Wrong.


These are the hardest-working cities in the U.S.

American employees have some of the longest work hours in the world, approximately 25% more than our counterparts in Europe, but behind workers in Mexico.


13 questions that will change your life

Life, like business, runs on questions, not answers. Here are 13 of the tough questions we should be asking ourselves regularly.


Here’s how to identify your office ‘work type’ — and what you need to do about it

The further you progress in your career, the more you’ll solidify your working style. Are you a lone wolf? A deadline diva? An office mom or dad?


Study: ‘Buddy system’ is a powerful way to change your habits

If you truly want to change, sometimes it's best not to go it alone. The buddy system works. Here's why, and how you can use it.


5 reasons to be more like Larry David at work

Sometimes, your inner curmudgeon is your best asset.


5 ways to finally get started on that big fall project

Here's how to shake off the dust and get started on that big project you've been putting off. Follow these tips to be more productive.


What not to do when writing email subject lines

Don't make these subject line mistakes the next time you're about to send someone an email message in the workplace.

Office Life

This is the secret behind top teams’ best ideas

Debate — not lockstep agreement — is the secret recipe for a high-performing team, a new six-year study has found.

The Whole Human

The four keys to a fulfilling job, according to a happiness researcher

What are some ways companies can increase happiness levels of employees, in order to boost performance? Here are the four keys to a fulfilling job.


6 reasons why spending time alone is good for your career

Here's why spending some time alone — during the work week or when a lazy Sunday rolls around — can boost you professionally.


Here’s the crucial lesson Steve Jobs taught Apple’s Jony Ive about focus

According to the advice Steve Jobs gave Jony Ive, to organize your life, you'll need to prioritize what matters to you and clear away the clutter.


Fearlessness: 3 things you can learn from special ops and Navy SEALS

The traits that help Navy SEALs and Special Ops to succeed — preparation, confidence and humor — add up to fearlessness. Here's how you can have it, too.

Office Life

One hour of exercise can prevent depression, study finds

There's good news for those of us who hate to go to the gym too often: You just need an hour of physical activity every week.


Email is the most effective tool you are not using

With so many other forms of communication available, email may seem like the archaic tool from the Internet’s dark ages. But it's essential to do it right.


New neuroscience reveals 2 rituals that will make you more mindful

You might think you lack self-control. Or that you make bad decisions. But none of these explanations fixes the problem. Here's how to be more mindful.

Office Life

The best way to manage email stress, according to an email researcher

Most work email is actually relevant to our jobs, and that we should be tackling it right away for our own peace of mind.


How to read people: 5 secrets backed by research

Want to be perceptive like Sherlock Holmes? Here's the basic 101 on how to read people.

Science of Work

This is how boredom can make you brilliant

New book "Bored and Brilliant" by Manoush Zomorodi argues that we lose key moments for creativity, reflection, and growth when we don't space out.

Office Life

Study: The average worker’s inbox contains 199 unread emails

So much for inbox zero: The average US employees has 199 unread or unopened emails taking up space in their inboxes at any given time.

Office Life

Open plan offices are so terrible that a new company is selling workplace tents

Pause Pod wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of the open office plan. This is what a work tent looks like.


20 harsh, but necessary, lessons you learn in your 20s

Your 20s are a time of change and development. Learning harsh but necessary life lessons will smooth the path for your future success.


8 resolutions you can actually accomplish with what’s left of the year

Eight simple, no-stress, no-brainer resolutions and goals you can totally master before New Year's Eve that’ll improve your life and work performance.

Office Life

5 ways to get your office to eat healthier

You spend half your waking life at the office, so it can have a huge impact on your health. Here's how to eat healthier while you're there.


6 ways to create the perfect vision board

When it comes to your ultimate goals, a little visualization can go a long way. Here's how to craft a vision board that speaks to what you really want.


6 ways to gear up your career for fall

After a long, relaxing summer, it's time to hit the ground running this fall. Here's how to make sure you're in a good place professionally.


4 ways to deal with a difficult coworker

Dealing with a difficult coworker can be extremely stressful. Here's how to work with your least favorite colleague without losing your cool.


Try this trick to go straight to sleep

Lack of sleep can take years off of your life. Here's a breathing technique that might just help you get those years back — while staying more productive.


3 reasons to start napping in the afternoon

We can make up for lack of sleep at night with short naps. The consensus among sleep experts and sleep studies find that afternoon hours work best.


4 ways to command respect in your workplace

Why you might not be getting the respect you want at work, and how to make sure that you do in the future. Hint: it's a two-way street.


Listen up: Retaining millennial employees takes good ears

Millennials may be a different breed of employee but they are here to stay so listen to them and make the necessary adjustments for their success and the success of your business.

Office Life

Chef giving up his Michelin stars shows the perils of constantly being ranked

Once you reach the top of your field, you must choose to embrace this pressure-cooker of raised expectations — or escape its heat as Sébastien Bras has chosen to do.


4 ways to get work done after hours

Here are a few tips to help you burn the midnight oil efficiently.

Office Life

4 ways to get your work done when you’re drowning in meetings

Try to schedule a meeting where no one sits down. That'll speed things up.

Office Relationships

You can’t know it all: Mentoring across ages and stages

The typical mentor is older and wiser, but as office and work culture has changed so has the importance and diversity of mentors. Age doesn't matter as much as communication and compatibility.

The future of work

6 absurdly beautiful workspaces you can use all over the world

Live like you are on vacation, and work like you never left the home office.


5 ways to communicate with a stressed-out co-worker

How can you effectively deal with a stressed out co-worker without losing your cool yourself? Here’s what you need to know.

Office Life

How to leave your work at work and focus on fun in your free time

How to switch off your work brain and enjoy your free time outside of work instead of thinking about what is awaiting you back at the office.

Office Life

How Broadway ‘swings’ memorize every part in a play

Ladders went to The People's Improv Theater and sat down with Jake Keefe and Anna Dart, who are swings on the show Puffs — a parody play set in the world of wizardry — to find out how they tackle that task and if they've ever had to go on stage with little to no notice.

Words at Work

10 passive-aggressive work phrases and what they really mean

When it comes to corporate-speak, everything isn't always as it appears.

Office Life

Here are people’s biggest coworker pet peeves

Do you sit next to someone who chews loudly? Do they type louder than thunder? Do they eat food that smells up the whole office? We've all had an issue with a co-worker at one point or another. Ladders went out to ask people what bugs them about the people in their offices.


If you’re stressed, new study says to think of yourself as someone else

To put your problems in perspective, it helps to give yourself some objective distance. Here's a new technique with scientific backing.

Office Life

These are the 5 best workplaces for women

An equal seat at the table. Female executive leadership. These are the companies on Fortune and Great Place to Work's 100 Best Workplaces for Women in 2017.

Office Life

Is it OK to wear shorts at work?

It's debate that comes up every summer. Is it OK to wear shorts to work? Some say no, some say yes. How comfortable is too comfortable at work?


This is how you can juggle your passion and your day job

We all know the story of creative people who work temp jobs waiting for a big break, but some people devote as much effort to their day job as they do their passion. Here's how the smart ones do it.


This is exactly how long your vacation needs to be for it to work

How long does it take for the stress of our workdays to melt away on vacation? A new study proposes an exact answer: eight days.