Sparring Mind

Behavioral Psychology Blog

The Science of Productivity [Video]

In today’s busy world we’ve become a people obsessed with productivity and “work hacks.”

Getting more done in less time helps us get ahead, and even gives us more availability to do the things we love outside of work. The problem we run into is that it is easy to get motivated, but hard to stay disciplined.

Most of us look at productivity in the wrong way: task management tools are shiny at first and then go unused. Being chained to your desk is as unhealthy as it is unproductive. Achievement isn’t about doing everything, it’s about doing the right things. Productivity is about saying no.

Focus and consistency are the bread-and-butter of being truly productive. Let’s take a look at the science behind how the brain works in the synthesis state, and what changes you can make for the better.


50 Must-Read Psychology Books

Reading is the supreme lifehack. Distilled knowledge that often took years to assemble can be consumed in just a few hours.

And the more you know about social psychology and human behavior, the better. Reading books lets you jump-start your education by absorbing what researchers, professors, and authors spent years putting together.


The 15 Habits of Incredibly Happy People

While happiness is defined by the individual, I’ve always felt it foolish to declare that nothing can be learned from observing the happiness of others.

Examining how to be happy is benefitted from observing the patterns of others, and then taking only what you find useful. Inspiration is the goal, not rigid rules on being happy.

I’ve gone over dozens of research papers in the pursuit of learning more about the subject — happiness in work and life is a topic to take seriously, so I’m always on the hunt for inspiration and insight.

Below I’ll cover a few of my favorite studies.


Supernormal Stimuli

With the rapid pace of technology, have we been able to keep up with the new stimulation that is available?

Some research suggests that certain things we enjoy today would be classified as supernormal stimuli, a term evolutionary biologists use to describe any stimulus that elicits a response stronger than the stimulus for which it evolved — even if it is artificial.

Before we get into the research, let’s summarize the concept of a supernormal stimulus.

The comic below will explain the basics and will take you less than 3 minutes to read.


Are You Cultivating Knowledge or
Consuming Information?

Quality output demands quality input. Garbage in, garbage out as they say.

Amidst the “sky is falling” debates over how TV and the Internet are making us mindless drones, this is the real issue to keep in mind—we need to be cultivate more than we consume.

It’s an important concept worthy of regular revisiting.

To begin, let’s explore a theatrical look on what is at stake when we don’t take our information diet as seriously as our nutritional diet.