Ten Proven Ideas for Improving Personal Productivity!
There’s a vast amount of published psychological research into how you can improve your personal productivity. This month we have identified what are claimed to be the top ten proven approaches. We have to say that we have not yet tested all of them, but here they are for you to try for yourself.
1. Play with a puppy
Apparently, pet-friendly workplaces actually boost productivity! Bringing your pooch to the office will reduce stress, boost job satisfaction and make you feel more loyal towards your business.
2. Or just look at pictures of puppies!
If your boss absolutely refuses to let you bring your pooch into work, there is still a way to get your cute-animal, productivity fix. Studies in Japan have shown that workforces were more engaged, happy and productive after looking at pictures of puppies, pandas and kittens.
3. Take a nap
This seems pretty counter-intuitive as you cannot do anything while you are sleeping! Studies have shown that taking a short midday nap at work can immediately boost your energy, focus and productivity. So next time you are feeling drained, unmotivated and/or in need of revitalisation, don’t feel bad; have a power nap!
4. Nibble on chocolate
Well this just brightened up my day. Apparently the cocoa in chocolate can improve blood flow to the brain and boost your productivity, with a little injection of caffeine too!
5. Create a “productivity playlist”
We are a divided office on this one! I like to work in silence whereas one of my colleagues listens to a play list of film scores. He claims they work for him because:
- there are no lyrics as words can be so distracting
- he doesn’t know most of the songs, therefore is not subconsciously humming along
- they’re all fast-tempo and upbeat, building his energy and speeding him up!
However, it is all a case of personal preference and what spurs you on specifically.
6. Surround yourself with yellow
There is a lot of advice out there about creating a productive workspace but one of the easiest and most entertaining tips is to simply inject a little yellow into your environment. Apparently the bright colour will suppress melatonin (the sleep hormone) boosting your energy and keeping you productive and proactive for longer. Of course, your boss may not fancy the idea of painting the entire office yellow, but you could change your desktop background, buy yellow stationery or even wear yellow!
7. Stop multi-tasking
Surely you are saving time by doing multiple things at once? Not true! If you give one task 100% of your focus, then you are bound to get it done quicker (and better). If you are doing multiple things, stopping and starting and getting distracted, then you’re simply not working efficiently.
“Multitasking splits the brain. It creates something researchers have called “spotlights”. So all your brain is doing is to frantically switch between the activity of eating, to writing an email, to answering chat conversations.” Psychology Today.
8. Go green
Did you know that surrounding yourself with plants and greenery could enhance your mood as well as giving you a great productivity boost? Scientists say it has something to do with giving your brain something new to look at (other than the same old phone, computer and stationery) and thus, giving it “a rest”. But if you think about it; there could be an even simpler explanation. Bringing plants into the office will make you feel more at home, boosting your mood and as a result, your work ethic (just like the puppies did)! Why not grab yourself some daffs? That way you will have your green and yellow covered!
9. Stand up
In a normal office, you’ll see two things happen as the day rolls on:
- People slowly getting more hunched, slumped, comfy and cosy at their desks.
- People generally losing motivation and increasingly lacking productivity.
It’s easy to see why; being sat in the same position for hours on end is bound to drain the batteries. However by standing up and working, you’re introducing a level of discomfort, which requires more energy, more focus and more determination (you’ll want to finish quicker). Put simply, you’re not just sat, slowly stewing, staring into your computer screen.
You can even buy standing desks now. Very trendy!
10. Get naked
We took some convincing that this wasn’t a spoof. Whether it’s down to the exhilarating fear of getting caught or the fact that we all just feel a little bit freer, happier and more passionate when we’re naked, apparently baring all will increase your productivity.
Will Naked Fridays catch on?