Weird Ideas for Improving Your Productivity at Work
Looking to improve your productivity? Here’s one for you: A research study reported that watching cute animal videos boosts productivity.
I find this difficult to believe. If you’re like me, when you watch a video of, say, kittens, you find it so cute that you watch it again and again. Then you click on adjacent links to other videos of cute animals, which leads to even more clicking because there’s no end to videos of cute animals. And all of this is time away from the job.
It could be that watching these videos makes you laugh. Laughter relaxes you, relieves stress, and triggers the release of endorphins, which promote a sense of well-being, all of which might make you more productive—once you return to the task at hand. Yes, watching cute kitten videos while writing this article relaxed me. Yes, the videos relieved stress. Yes, they made me feel good. And I lost almost an hour watching them!
Some productivity tips can actually help you become more productive. For example, when you’re going through your email, repeatedly say “next” to yourself. Doing that might be just enough to keep you moving through your messages.
An environmental tip is to make sure the space you’re in is warm enough. Studies suggest that when the workspace is too cold, employees tend to be more distracted and make more errors. In an office setting, you might not have control over the temperature, but when you do, keep this in mind.
Definitely worth a try is keeping your desk clean. A messy desk creates distractions, and searching for missing items is time down the drain. If, by the end of each day, your desk looks like a tornado hit it, spend a few minutes at the end of the day cleaning it off. Doing that will give you more than those few minutes in improved efficiency the next day.
There’s a strong, vocal contingent that claims that checking your email first thing in the morning is a bad idea. The claim is that you’ll be far more productive if you devote the first hour of the day to important tasks. Good idea for some, perhaps, but not for me, and I’m not alone. If I didn’t check my email first thing, I’d lose productivity, not gain it, because I’d be distracted wondering what messages are awaiting me.
Do what works best for you. Just watch out for email messages with links to cute animal videos!