“How can I be more productive? Are there free ways to increase my productivity? «
These questions have preoccupied mankind since the beginning of time. Plato once said: «Better a little that is well done than a lot imperfect.» But when we think of productivity, is it the number of things we can do? Or is it the quality of everything we do? Maybe it can be both, if we think a little outside the box.
With that in mind, we’ll cover some seemingly unconventional but well-researched ways to improve productivity – some of which you may not have considered before. Let’s take a look…
1. Take a break
This is one of the more obvious tips on this list. But it’s important nonetheless, so it’s worth noting.
A comprehensive analysis showed that frequent short breaks increased the ability to perform job tasks and the wellbeing of employees. The same study showed that our mental and physical abilities are impaired during the course of the working day. This leads to a poorer problem-solving ability, increased emotional stress and the physical completion of tasks becomes much slower.
Research suggests that employees need regular rest intervals to correct these issues. In this way, our bodies’ physical and mental processes at work have time to return to their basic level.
2. Stop multitasking
Controversial, we know.
In today’s work environment, and even in our daily lives, we are expected to juggle a variety of tasks and complete them with the same efficiency as if we were just doing one job.
The idea behind multitasking is that when you are doing multiple things at the same time, they somehow get done faster. But, is this really the truth? Are we more productive when we do more than one thing at the same time?
A recent study came to the result: «Multitasking led to a loss of performance and increased subjective stress.» In fact, this review found that multitaskers were more prone to failure, performed individual tasks much more slowly, and were exposed to increased levels of stress. The research showed that multitasking can lead to positive results in virtual meetings. This is likely to be more indicative of the ability to do work and appear alert in virtual meetings than the amount of work actually done.
In short, if you want better results, stick with one thing.
3. Play card games
Yes you’ve read correctly.
Studies have linked playing games with the development of higher order thinking skills. In fact, researchers have shown that games can help improve skills that are otherwise underutilized, which in turn can increase productivity. A more specific example is improving math skills with Spider Solitaire.
Brilliant minds like Bill Gates have enjoyed playing strategy games for years, from minesweeper to solitaire. He even snuck into a coworker’s office to play his brain-strengthening games.
4. Take a nap
So you have a lot of work to do; What better way to do that than taking a quick nap? Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
However, according to research, this is not the case. The productivity literature suggests that strategic naps can promote performance and alertness. The study found that naps of 30 minutes or less can improve performance and promote alertness, making participants more receptive to new information.
After research found the impact of sleep deprived workers cost the US economy $ 411 billion annually, many employers are now encouraging naps in the workplace. For example, you can find bedrooms in many well-known offices, including Ben and Jerry’s, Google and Nike.
5. Do sports (but not in the expensive gym)
If you’re feeling sluggish and drained, and that’s why you’re looking for productivity tips, a visit to the gym is probably the biggest thing on your mind. However, exercise can improve productivity and work ability.
Interestingly, one study encouraged workers to take regular exercise breaks during the working day. As a result, the results showed that workers were comfortable and overall productivity was improved. In addition to this finding, another report on the productivity of workers doing manual activities showed that participants who exercise frequently can work longer hours without having to rest.
The moral of the story? Sporadically stand up and straighten your legs. Maybe take a walk around the block or jog at lunchtime to get the blood pumping? You will be surprised how much this improves your focus!
Are you ready to increase your productivity?
So what are the key takeaways from these unconventional productivity boosters? For one, playing a game of solitaire can actually make your job a lot faster than you think! This is not only because taking regular breaks and playing games can increase your job performance and reduce fatigue. It’s also a great way to break up your day and add a little healthy self-competition to your daily routine. Not to mention, it might even improve your math skills.
But if gaming isn’t your thing, let’s not forget our other productivity suggestions. As we discussed, if you reduce the hassle of multitasking, you can save a lot of time and likely improve the quality of your output. After all, exercise and sleep are always a must for physical and mental health. Unsurprisingly, when you take care of your body, your longevity and job satisfaction will also get a boost.
With that said, we hope this has been insightful on how to improve your overall productivity. Much luck!