All posts filed under: Productivity + Life Efficiency

My Productivity Secret: Embrace the Path of Least Resistance

The desire to pursue the path of least resistance is a fundamental law of our universe. Successful leaders are hailed for their seemingly inhuman ability to ignore the path of least resistance and instead always take steps toward success, but what I think really happens is that they engineer a path of least resistance that leads to success. [pullshow] [pullthis]The fact that electrons follow the path of least resistance allows electrical engineers to create computers, TVs, and smartphones that perform predictably. When I press the letter “A” on my keyboard, the carefully engineered system in my laptop creates a path of least resistance for electrical signals that display the letter “A” on my screen. [/pullthis]Hardware engineers have never tried to motivate electrons with stock options or given them performance reviews in the hope that they pursue a more noble path. Rather, they put the electrons in a system that is designed to operate properly because they follow the path of least resistance. Similarly, if you design a workflow and environment where the path of least …

Task of the Week: Fight With My Bank (And Win)

What do you do when your bank screws up and you can’t get an actual person on the line? If you’re like TaskPoster Mina R., you keep trying (and trying… and trying) until you finally reach a living, breathing person who tells you there’s nothing they can do. Did Mina suck it up and take a loss of $2,000? She sure didn’t. She hired TaskRabbit Karryn N. to write a letter to her bank. Karryn and Mina collaborated on the letter’s content in a GoogleDoc, then Karryn polished it up, printed it out, and sent it off to the bank. Ten days later, Mina received a check for $2,000 from her bank. “To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting anything back,” she told us, “but I felt so much better that I had at least dealt with it in the best way I could.” We’ve gotta admit — we’re pretty impressed with this one. We’ve witnessed people outsourcing all kinds of things on TaskRabbit, but hiring someone to patiently deal with the customer service blackhole …

Wanna Win a Free iPhone 5?

This morning, Apple announced the release of the iPhone 5. We can’t wait to get our hands on it. We plan to line up early. Really, really, really early. Want us to hold your place? TaskRabbits are standing by in New York and San Francisco to hold places in line on release day, Friday, September 21st. Reserve your spot today for just $55. Your assigned TaskRabbit will wait in line at your local Apple Store for up to 4 hours and swap places with you before you purchase the iPhone. Pretty sweet, huh? I want to skip the line! Not in these cities? No problem. Post a Task with your details here. It gets sweeter. Everyone who hires a TaskRabbit to wait in line at the Apple Store for this release will be entered to win a brand new iPhone 5. We’ll announce two winners on Thursday, September 20th. Don’t be like Brian, hire a TaskRabbit to wait in line for you today.

How TaskRabbit Helped Betsy and Toby Throw Their Dream Wedding

Allow us to share the second installment of TaskRabbit Tales, a new series designed to showcase some of the best stories in the TaskRabbit universe. In this episode we meet Betsy and Toby, a photographer and opera singer who fell in love with a continent between them. It didn’t take long for Betsy to move from her home in New York City to San Francisco to be with Toby, but when she arrived she realized she’d need a little help in the employment department. So Betsy became a TaskRabbit to fill in the financial gaps between freelance assignments. The story doesn’t end there though, it goes on to happily ever after. You see, when Betsy and Toby decided to tie the knot, Betsy realized she could hire fellow TaskRabbits to help create the wedding of their dreams. Suddenly their limited budget didn’t seem so limiting. Congratulations from all of us here at TaskRabbit, Betsy and Toby! If you’re a TaskPoster or TaskRabbit with an amazing story, you could be featured on the next TaskRabbit Tales. …

Task of the Week: Tame This Garage

Did you know that 87% of people who have a garage, attic, or storage space are afraid to open the door due to fear of avalanche? That’s a totally fabricated statistic, but it illustrates something we all know to be true: our garages are out of control. It starts innocently enough, a few stray boxes here and neglected tennis racket there, and then snowballs into a wild and growing heap of crap that just screams, “Minimize me! Please, oh please, won’t you minimize me already?” San Francisco TaskPoster Dan M. has the right idea — he hired a TaskRabbit to tame the clutter. Kymberli J. cleaned and organized Dan’s entire garage, hauled a load to the dump, and even built shelves to help corral items in the future. Ready to make a dent in your storage space? Post a Garage Cleaning and Organizing Task now.

When Your Employees Thrive, So Does Your Business

In her last Huffington Post column, Leah came out strong in favor of company culture. She quickly debunked the myth that a positive company culture can continue to grow organically over time, and underscored the role of culture in everything from recruiting to marketing. This is a favorite topic of our illustrious founder and CEO, so it didn’t surprise us to see her dive even deeper into culture last week in her latest column. In “When Your Employees Thrive, So Does Your Business,” Leah trumpets the importance of creating the kind of working environment that makes employees happy, productive, and creative. Here’s a quick look: As founder and CEO of an early stage tech startup, I get to decide exactly what our office is like. From the SOMA location within a short stroll of some of San Francisco’s best restaurants to the color of the walls (neon green, bright blue, and stark white), I get to help design the space where we work and play and grow. It’s a luxury most people will never have, …

The New Model of Work: Why Independent Employment Is Killing the Nine to Five Job

We’re thrilled to report that Leah’s very first column for The Huffington Post’s Small Business section was published this morning. It’s only been live for a few hours and has already trended to the front page. And no wonder, Leah discusses a very cool and exciting vision for the future of work: no more 9-to-5 jobs. Here’s a quick teaser: The term “nine-to-five” has long symbolized a kind of drudgery that sucks up our lives and eclipses our identities, but it wasn’t until the Great Recession that the pejorative phrase was crowned with an entirely new distinction: old-fashioned. Even as the jobless rate continues its slow decline, the still-anemic U.S. employment market is prompting more and more people to do the math: There are 12.8 million workers looking for jobs — that means multiple candidates for every open position. Summation? The paths of least friction and risk are increasingly leading away from traditional employment. Read the entire column here. This installment is the first of many: Leah’s column is dedicated to topics like collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer marketplaces, …

TaskRabbit Roundup: Use Your (counter) Intuition

No matter what we think we “know,” it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind and occasionally question our norms. This helps freshen up our minds and keeps us out of the ruts that we are prone to get ourselves into. If you “always do it this way,” ask yourself if that way is really the best way. Use your counter-intuition! This week, I read an article on Lifehack.org that got me thinking about this topic: HowtoStopFiddlingwithProductivityToolstoGetMoreDone. Chris Smith points out that sometimes we get ourselves caught up in the latest productivity tools because we convince ourselves that we need them to be productive. After all, it’s a productivity tool. It will change our lives and magically turn us into the people we’ve always wanted to be. Right? Not right. Smith says, brilliantly I think, “You get you organized. You get you productive. A tool doesn’t ‘get’ you productive or ‘make’ you more productive. A tool doesn’t create productivity. A set of tools augments and enhances your productivity.” Perhaps we shouldn’t make a …

Getting More Done in a New York Minute

Below is a guest post from Paula Rizzo. Paula is the Senior Health Producer for FoxNews.com and founder of ListProducer.com, a blog focused on living efficiently through the effective use of to-do lists. It’s called the “city that never sleeps” for a reason – New Yorkers are going non-stop. You can literally find someone doing something at all hours – day or night — in this city. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up – even for natives. But between work, school and pleasure – it can seem impossible to get anything done as your world is whizzing by you. I’ve been here my whole life so take it from me–there are some key ways to get more done in a New York minute: 1.  Make a List: Never underestimate the power of a good to-do list.  It’s really a goal list worked out in print or on a screen. If you write it – you can do it. Seriously – it’s a good mood booster to see everything written down so it’s accessible and out of your head. There’s …

Chore Wars: An Unnecessary Conflict

It’s an age-old conundrum, and every married couple will battle it: chore wars, as Ruth Davis Konigsberg dubs it in her recent Time Magazine article of the same title. Who should be doing what? Is perfect equality between the sexes attainable with regard to household responsibility? And really, WHO IS GOING TO DO THE DISHES?! Konigsberg begins her article by voicing a frustration many working mothers may find relatable: “Do I have to do everything?” Coming home from the office only to find more (unpaid!) work waiting for you at home seems unfair and unbalanced – what about the husbands? Do they get a free pass? But, Konigsberg counters, it’s not as unbalanced as you might think: “…it may come as a surprise to you, as it did to me, to discover that on balance, husbands and wives have never before had such similar workloads.” Now, more than ever, men are expected to be involved in child-rearing and the inner workings of the home, as well as continuing to bear financial responsibility. So, while women on the whole may still be …