All Women's Talk

7 Bizarre Tricks for Boosting Productivity ...

By Kati

I’ve spent the last few weeks testing out some amazing tricks for boosting productivity, and the results have been crazy: while I’m still not superwoman, I’m definitely getting there! If you regularly get to 5pm and realize you haven’t achieved everything you wanted to, your productivity needs a boost. Here’s the best tricks for boosting productivity I’ve found to become more efficient and get everything done that little bit faster.

Table of contents:

  1. Get out…
  2. Close some tabs…
  3. Watch the clock…
  4. Leave the news ‘til last…
  5. Set sprint tasks…
  6. Look after your brain…
  7. They call it mellow yellow…

1 Get out…

I found one of the best tricks for boosting productivity in an old journal, and it really does work! A study in the Journal of Consumer Research in December 2012 found that a moderate buzz of activity, such as that found in coffee shops, actually boosts performance. Loud or soft noise had the opposite effect. It even found that being around other people in coffee shops boosts oxytocin, which reduces stress hormones and prevents those stressed-out mental blocks. You are even less likely to be distracted in a coffee shop than you are at home or in the office. Give it a try!

2 Close Some Tabs…

We can do everything at the same time these days. I’ll bet you’ve got your emails and at least one social network open at the moment, and your phone is probably connected, too. Multitasking was thought to be the best thing ever when technology finally allowed it, but recent studies have found that attempting to do more than one thing at once adds stress and increases the production of toxic chemicals like cortisol, which destroys brain cells. It’s thought to take up to 20 minutes to concentrate again after getting distracted, so try clearing your desk (and your desktop!) and focusing on one task at a time.

3 Watch the Clock…

Okay, so you won’t be more productive if you spend all day looking at the time, but being aware of how much time you have can only be helpful. If you feel that you’ve got all the time in the world, you’ll work slower and spend longer getting things done. If you’ve got a limit on your workday, you’ve automatically got a deadline to work toward. Try leaving half an hour early one day a week, or arriving half an hour later in the morning, to boost your efficiency and make you fit your work to your day.

4 Leave the News ‘Til Last…

We are all super used to getting the news straight away these days. Our morning newspapers are full of analysis and opinion on the biggest stories at the moment, while 24/7 news channels tell us exactly what is happening right now, and Twitter is great for getting details. And it’s great to know what’s happening, right? Not really. Staying too up-to-date is both distracting and depressing, and reading the news quickly tires out your brain. Even reading the newspaper before work in the morning can reduce productivity, by increasing stress levels before you’ve even got started. Try reading the headlines at home after work, when you don’t need your cognitive strength for work anymore.

5 Set Sprint Tasks…

Competition motivates people. Use it to boost your efficiency and get more done by timing 10 minute blocks, and setting yourself a sprint task. Break your project into small targets, and spend 10 minutes getting as much done as possible. It’s long enough to get things done without the risk of getting bored or procrastinating, and you can have a few moments afterwards to recover before moving on to the next task. It really works!

6 Look after Your Brain…

Treat your brain right, and you’ll find you have more cognitive strength to get things done. Playing brain games is known to boost productivity, and a crossword or Sudoku puzzle in the morning can really boost productivity. There’s even computer games or phone apps that will test your brain, and monitor its improvement. Just be careful not to overdo it!

7 They Call It Mellow Yellow…

Another of the most surprising tricks for boosting productivity was the value of yellow. Yep, yellow is proven to help you stay alert and active, and boost your productivity. Looking at something yellow actively decreases melotonin levels, the hormone which makes you sleepy, which means you can get more done. Studies on offices show that yellow flowers, pictures or lights can all boost efficiency, and energy, in the office. Even just changing your desktop background to a yellow image can make a difference. Win.

I’ve been testing these tricks for boosting productivity along with the traditional recommendations, including adding plenty of berries to my diet and carrying a notebook around, and the results are incredible. I’ve even found time to spring clean the kitchen! Give them a try, and see how much you can get done. Got a great productivity trick? I’d love to try it!

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