Breaking The Wheel

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Monday Menagerie, October 17th Edition

In “Monday Menagerie” posts, I share the most interesting articles I’ve stumbled across in my roamings around the ol’ series of tubes. This week, the science backed reason negative people are killing you (literally), why engineers HATE open floor plans, and how an editor at the Atlantic keeps his email inbox at zero.

“Science: The Negative People in Your Life Are Literally Killing You” by Jessica Stillman

“We all know that hanging around complainers causes people to catch their negativity. Bitching, moaning, and general drama are contagious. But that’s apparently not the only problems you can catch if you spend too much time with the eternally pessimistic — you might also pick up a host of health problems too.

Negativity has been conclusively shown to rewire your brain, making it easier to see the bad in the world and harder to see the good. (The opposite is also true — positivity is a muscle that grows with use.) But science is just as certain that negative feelings like anger, hostility, and cynicism are also terrible for you body.”

“Programmers really hate open floor plans” by Keith Collins

“Offices with open floor plans have become ubiquitous in the tech industry. The idea is that eliminating physical barriers between workspaces also eliminates intellectual or interpersonal barriers to collaboration. And, of course, it’s a cost-efficient way to squeeze a lot of people into a small space.

The problem is, programmers hate open floor plans.”

“How an Editor Stays at Inbox Zero” by The Atlantic staff

“By some estimates, American workers spend nearly six hours a day in their email inbox—checking, reading, and replying. However, much time and stress can be avoided if everyone agrees to a few simple rules of etiquette. In this episode of If Our Bodies Could Talk, senior editor James Hamblin shares his system for making answering emails a more efficient, smaller part of life.”


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