9 science-backed practices to boost your productivity

9 science-backed practices to boost your productivity
May 27, 2022 Linda Murray

Struggling with your productivity at the moment? Let me share some practices with you that have been scientifically proven to boost productivity in all areas of your life.

  1. Work in natural light.

A study by Future Workplace found that daylight has a direct impact on the quality of our sleep, performance, and quality of life. 47% of employees surveyed said they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office. The body’s Circadian rhythm – our inner control telling us when to start and when to turn off – is affected by light. Daylight stimulates our sensors and helps the body generate energy. Without it, we feel tired and have difficulty concentrating and even sleeping. Find the natural light and let it feed your mind and body.

  1. Take a nap.

(I love this one!) NASA research showed that a 26-minute nap improved overall alertness by 54% and job performance by 34%.  Catnaps are good for you.

  1. Exercise

Exercise improves your overall brain health. Movement helps circulate blood and oxygen to the brain, improving its ability to function and reducing the impact of stress and anxiety. Make sure you get up and stretch or take a quick walk regularly during the day.

  1. Drink lots of water.

Our brains need water to function properly, and studies show it can increase productivity by 14%. When you don’t get enough water, it affects concentration as well as energy. Keep a water bottle handy and sip regularly.

  1. Create an inspiring environment for work.

We’re creatures of habit and our brains learn to predict what we’re going to do as we enter a space. You’ve might even have felt your brain (and focus) change as you enter or leave your workplace. Your mindset adapts to where you are. Your brain is also stimulated by the things around you. Your phone invites you to chat or visit social media, but your laptop may signify work. Keep your work environment separate from play and remove anything that could distract your brain.

  1. Eliminate distractions.

Research has proven that even short 3-second distractions can double your error rate and it takes 23 minutes to regain your focus. Something as simple as your phone ringing can throw off your concentration. Put away your phone and try to reduce the likelihood of interruptions.

  1. Stop multitasking.

Trying to do more than one thing at a time decreases your productivity by anything from 20 to 40%, depending on which study you read. Regardless, it’s a negative. We become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake, so the work quality suffers. Do one thing at a time and do it well.

  1. Schedule regular breaks.

The brain needs regular breaks to maintain productivity. Our bodies work in 90-minute cycles of energy, at the end of which we need a break. It’s called the Ultradian rhythm and it’s our basic rest-activity cycle. When you align your activities with your natural energy cycle, you function better. A regular 20-minute break between 90-minute work cycles will help you work better for longer.

  1. Choose the right company.

Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when you’re around certain people? They can pull you up or bring you down. You might not know this but sitting within 25 feet (just over 7 metres) of a high performer can boost your performance by 15%. However, if you’re the same distance from a low performer, your own performance can drop by 30%. The influence is there. Surround yourself with the right people and your performance will improve.

These tips will help you boost your productivity and improve your results. Are you ready to try them for yourself? For more advice and tips on improving your productivity, download my free whitepaper on Peak Performance.

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