The 14 Most Popular Productivity Articles of 2017

Josh Spilker

What are the best productivity articles you have missed in 2017?

While you were working, everyone else was learning how to be more productive…right?

You’ve been so heads-down in your work that you haven’t had time to capture the wisdom from some of these gems.

Don’t worry, we’ve got a list of what productivity articles have been at the top of everyone’s reading list in 2017.

Below are some of the top articles and posts that we think you should know. Here is the criteria we used to select these articles:

-Must be shared between January 1 and November 30, 2017.

Popularity as measured by the number of median shares. This is an unfair metric, but is also useful in gauging reach and seeing what articles resonate with others. Granted, we can’t read every article and what’s helpful to one person may not be to someone else. But we were able to find the median number of social shares using Ahrefs, one of the top search engine analytics tools.

-Limited to one article per site. Hey, this is a competitive topic and some sites create more of this type of content than others. But we wanted to provide a wider range of information for more than only a handful of publications.

-Contains generally universal, actionable or helpful content with a longer shelf-life. Essentially, that means no press releases or news articles about brand-new features or company announcements. Also, we tried to avoid too industry-specific articles (like this one for developers).

1. ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

The Guardian, 10/6/17

People who made addictive technology are now turning off those very same notifications and updates that the rest of us battle.


2. Sorry For The Delayed Response

The New Yorker, 3/16/17

This publication isn’t where you expect to see much business or productivity advice! But here’s a satirical look at how we answer emails and when we answer emails and while we’re too busy to really answer emails. Great read!

What You Need To Know From 17 Productivity Studies


3. The Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs (Infographic)

Entrepreneur, 3/4/17

Wow, check out mega-successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah structure their days to keep themselves productive (and sane). One of the best productivity articles of the year for sure!


4. Gartner’s Top 10 Predictions For IT In 2018 And Beyond

Forbes, 10/3/17

Learn about the impact of the Internet of Things on productivity and the workforce.


5. The Future Is Emotional

Aeon, 6/22/17

What’s the most undervalued future job skill? Probably not what you’re thinking…


6. You Will Lose Your Job To a Robot, and Sooner Than You Think

Mother Jones, November/December 2017

No matter what your job is, a robot can do it better within the next 40 years (gulp!). What does that mean?


7. Why Employees At Apple And Google Are More Productive

Fast Company, 3/13/17

Why are some companies so much more productive? What are they doing that you’re not? This piece takes a look at those top companies and offers some actionable tips.

8. Laptops Are Great, But Not During a Lecture or Meeting

New York Times, 11/22/17

Taking notes on a computer during a meeting actually causes you to lose concentration and not focus on what’s being said.


9. These Are the World’s Most Innovative Economies

Bloomberg, 1/16/17

Yes, the United States is one of the most innovative economies, but we’re not at the top of the list. But this article will tell you who is.

10. How To Meditate For Clarity & Guidance

From the founder of Chicken Soup For the Soul, here are helpful tips about meditation.

11. Darwin Was a Slacker And You Should Be, Too.

Nautilus, 3/30/17

This article looks at the daily lives of some of the top thinkers and creatives–and realizes that they didn’t stick to normal workday schedules. Instead, they had “modest” working hours.

Why You Should Commit The First 90 Minutes of Your Day for 90 Days To The Most Important Goal



12. Why Open Offices Are Bad For Us

BBC, 1/11/17

Open office floor plans–are they really all that great? This article says that productivity goes down and that people actually get more sick. Interesting.


13. The Busier You Are, The More You Need Quiet Time

Harvard Business Review, 3/17/17

Considering if you should take the plunge into official project management certification? This article will give you some reasons to consider. For more on free project management training and certifications, this post will point you in the right direction.


14. Habits vs. Goals: A Look At The Benefits of a Systematic Approach To Life

Farnam Street, 6/2017

A look at ways that basic habits influence our overall goals and if we achieve them.


Note: This article was originally published in July 2017 to reflect the most popular articles halfway through the year.