productivity

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1. Foreign Policy traces the history of behavioral economics with this timeline in the latest issue.

2. One hundred and twenty six of the richest 300 colleges (based on endowment size) have curtailed cafeteria tray use. According to the group rating the environmental policies of colleges, the University of Chicago’s dining practices earn an A.

Dining Services purchases 20 percent of its food from local suppliers and contracts with a local dairy. The university is currently changing its dining hall format so that all meals will be served on reusable dishware. The university also offers reusable cups, mugs, and shopping bags.

3. A Mac application, Freedom, that disables networking on an computer for up to eight hours at a time, freeing you from the “distractions of the internet” and allowing you to do something better with your time.

Hat tip: Chad Valasek.

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Dan Goldstein digs up three terrific web tools for boosting productivity.

1) Gmail is experimenting with a “Take a Break” option that prevents users from checking their email for 15 minutes and directs them to do something more productive instead.

To use it, you’ll need to manually activate “Gmail Labs” inside Gmail. See the Gmail blog or if you’re impatient, try Settings -> Labs from Gmail. Right now, it’s only enabled in the US and UK.

2) A Windows program prevents users from opening and using any other program. Goldstein says this tool is designed to prevent opening email software or internet browser.

3) An add-on to FireFox called Time Tracker that logs how much time you waste (ahem, spend) on various sites.

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