Every once in a while, we meet someone who just seems to have an innate ability to get stuff done—and not just a little bit of it, either. They seem to power through massive amounts of work, all with a smile on their face. It looks impossible, but it’s not. Everyone can become a little more productive every day.
Trust me, they aren’t robots. They are simply people who are using scientifically-based tricks to make the most out of their work day. These tips and tricks are easy to use and will boost your ability to get things done faster than ever before.
Best Science-Backed Ways to Boost Productivity
- Take a break to look at cute videos. Being overly focused can actually kill your ability to keep focused long-term. Scientists found that people were in a better mood and accomplished more work if they looked at cute animal videos for five minutes out of every hour of work. Surprising, isn’t it?
- Stop trying to multitask. It used to be that every single boss out there wanted a legion of employees who could multitask. Everyone had to be doing multiple things at the same time, or they seemed inefficient. Believe it or not, this demand is fading because people started to notice that single-taskers are better at accomplishing tasks faster and being more productive than multitaskers.A lot of it deals with the way that focus works. We are, for the most part, designed to focus one one thing at a time. Trying to multitask throws off most people. By focusing on one task at a time, you are statistically less likely to make mistakes or spend extra time on the same task.
- Track your time throughout the day. The best way to figure out how to become more productive is to find out where all your time is spent. You might be surprised how much time you spend setting up your work station, researching, or even just editing things. By getting a better idea of what your workday is spent on, you can figure out how to cut time faster.
- Make a reasonable to-do list, with small steps towards every goal laid out. Did you ever notice how intimidating it is to look at a list of massive projects? It can make anyone freeze up, and scientific research actually suggests it does. A to-do list featuring small, easy to do steps is proven to be more effective at keeping people productive and confident in their work.
- Make your most pressing task the first one you set out to do. Research shows that finishing the most difficult task of the day first makes people more motivated to do more afterwards. This makes sense, if you think about it. Most people procrastinate when they have a challenging, tedious, or intimidating task ahead of them. By getting rid of that task first, the rest of the day goes smoother than you could ever have expected.
- Delegate tasks whenever possible. No person, no matter how smart or talented, is a one-person wonder worker. Studies show that all the most productive and efficient people in the world delegate tasks to others in order to accomplish things that can only be done by them. Take a look at all your to-do’s today. Are there any that you could outsource to others? If so, it’s time to look into getting others to do it for you.
- Declutter your workspace. It’s often said that a messy desktop is the sign of a genius, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies show that people who work in cluttered environments are more likely to get distracted and tend to work slowly.Decluttering your workspace doesn’t just change the way your office looks; it declutters your mind. Keep things tidy, and you’ll see your workflow improve naturally.
- Take a brisk walk sometime during your day. Exercise’s benefits continue to be revealed by researchers every single day. One of the bigger studies in recent years proved that exercise increases alertness, which (you guessed it), improves your productivity throughout the day.This doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour at the gym every day. Rather, it just means that you need to go for a brisk walk once a day in order to get your blood pumping.
- Group similar tasks together. Ever notice how you seem to get more done when your tasks are all lined up in the same category? It’s not just you, it’s the way people are wired. If you do similar tasks in batches, your day passes faster and you get more done. It’s really that simple!
- Ditch energy vampires. Everyone out there has one or two people they know that just act like a drain. They’re negative. They’re unfocused. They are whiny, clingy, and always need help. They are also, incidentally, really awful for your productivity.Studies show that we tend to emulate the behavior around us. Ditching “energy vampires” is one of the easiest ways to make sure you don’t fall victim to their bad habits and toxic outlooks on life.
- Stop being afraid of asking for help. Our culture tends to emphasize being a one-person show. We’re told that asking for help is stupid, or makes us seem incapable of handling our workload.This isn’t healthy, nor is it even productive or efficient. If you don’t know something about a task you need to accomplish, you need to ask others for help. It’s the best way to get stuff done, not to mention get it right.
- Resist meetings. Too much time gets whittled away at meetings. Rather than talking about what you’ll do, it’s better to just do it. By cutting down on time spent talking the talk, you increase the amount of time you spend walking the walk.A study performed on Fortune 500 CEOs showed that cutting meetings short was the fastest way that high performers could do more in the same amount of time. If this little trick can work for them, it’ll work for you, too.
Do you have a favorite way to boost your productivity? Comment below!