Counter-intuitive productivity boosters

Author: Adrianne   Date Posted:1 February 2016 

We all want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as we can but inevitably at some point or another we will find ourselves staring off into space or stumbling over words that would otherwise come easily as we reach the afternoon (or morn..........

We all want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as we can but inevitably at some point or another we will find ourselves staring off into space or stumbling over words that would otherwise come easily as we reach the afternoon (or morning) slump.

The reflex is to reach for another cup of caffeine or something containing copious amounts of sugar, however, this might work in the short-term and can in fact be beneficial to your health if you time it right, but the long term crash is even slumpier than the slump, needing more and more caffeine and sugar.

To help you through the slump of productivity we have collected four methods that might sound like time wasters but are scientifically proven to boost productivity both in the office and at home.

1. Have a cup of coffee.

Now, I know that it has already been mentioned that caffeine can be a quick-fix with not much follow through, but only if you are doing it wrong. The right way to caffeinate is slowly and carefully. Most people will reach for a coffee as soon as (if not before) reaching the office but the actual ideal time to drink your morning cup is a bit later than this – 10 or 11 in the morning, or even including a coffee with your lunch.

2. Take a nap.

What a waste of time! I should be doing things! I can’t be productive with my eyes closed and my mind switched off! While that is all true, taking a nap has been proven to increase alertness, productivity and mood. How many times have you made mistakes because you were tired? A 10-20 minute power nap can refresh you and reset your mind, and simply closing your eyes or looking away from the screen can improve reading skills and alertness.

3. Watch cat videos.

The theory has been around for a few years now but people (read: management) still remain sceptical. But its true: watching cutes videos and looking at cute pictures does boost productivity. Now, this is not an excuse to lost in a never-ending spiral of you tube and cheezburger.com but two separate studies (one from the University of Indiana, the other out of Japan, the University of Hiroshima) have verified the benefits. Looking at cute things triggers protective instincts and influences the watcher to more responsible behaviour. In researching this I was forced to endure a few examples and in my opinion: I love the cute!

4. Go for a walk.

Again, something to take you away from your desk – so how can this help productivity? When you start thinking about it though, it starts to make more sense. A large part of the slump comes from a sort of hypnotic familiarity: the same thing, the same thoughts, the same sights, lulling you into a trance. Standing up and taking a walk not only changes this perspective and gives you something to pay attention to, it also gets your blood flowing and heart pumping, energising you for whatever is scheduled next.

Don’t just take our work for it, try it out for yourself: go for a walk to get some coffee and then watch cat videos until you fall asleep, you’ll be ultra productive in no time!

 

 

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