5 ways to be more productive - backed by science

5 ways to be more productive - backed by science

08/05/2019 by Bev James

There’s only so much time in a day, a year, or even in a lifetime. The ability to use this time efficiently can boost your outcomes and ultimately make all the difference.

It’s for this reason that productivity and the ability to manage your time efficiently remains one of the top soft skills that professionals and entrepreneurs alike.

So, what exactly is productivity? Similar to most soft skills there are varying definitions, however, the pillars of productivity are rooted in motivation, a sense of purpose, and mental and physical energy. As such, preventing procrastination can be supported by ensuring that these pillars underpin each task, role or hobby you undertake. Your purpose, environment, mental capacity and physical energy should all work cohesively to produce the best outcome. Thankfully, there are a number of scientifically-backed ways to boost your productivity.


Discover 5 ways to increase your productivity today: 


Minimise multi-tasking 


Research estimates that you lose up to 40% of your productivity when switching from one task to another. So, while its multitasking might seem like a great way to get a lot done at once, the reality is quite different. As such, it’s important to give your full attention to allotted tasks, which can be done by writing a list (and sticking to it!), scheduling your time in chunks of 50 minutes of work, then 10-minute breaks, or breaking down tasking using tools like the Urgent/Important matrix. Furthermore, you can reduce the temptation to multi-task by minimising alerts including social media notifications, email alerts and other unnecessary pings that can pull our focus from the task at hand. 

Listen to music


According to research from Dr Teresa Lesiuk at the University of Miami, listening to music while working can improve people’s mood and increase performance. Dr Lesiuk studied the effect of listening to music had on work performance and found that people who did worked faster and had more ideas. Furthermore, the study found that music assisting in positive mood changes for participants. New research from the 




A study from Bristol University found that exercise boosts the performance of employees. These findings were based on 200 individuals across three organisation, who exercised one day and then didn’t the next day. The research found that on the days when employees did exercise they scored 21% higher for concentration, 22% higher for finishing a task on time, 25% higher for working without an unscheduled break, and 41% higher for overall feelings of motivation. Starting the day with exercise is a great way to increase productivity and maintain motivation throughout the day. 


Make sleep a priority 


A 2010 study from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees with insomnia or poor sleep experience major dips in productivity. Furthermore, sleep-deprived workers also suffered from a lack of motivation, poor focus and had trouble making decisions. If you want to be productive and work to the best of your ability ensuring that you get seven to eight hours per night is a great place to start. 


Teamwork is key 


There are numerous studies that suggest working within a team can help boost productivity and enjoyment. One study that set the tone for this research topic came from social psychologist Floyd Allport who found that people worked better in teams even if they weren’t collaborating, competing, or actively communicating with one another. These finding later went on to be known as the ‘social facilitation’ effect, which suggests that the presence of other people can help boost our engagement and motivation on tasks. Furthermore, team members who feel ‘psychological safety,’ are more likely to take risks, and voice their opinions. This is according to findings from a 2012 Google initiative titled Project Aristotle, which set out to discover how to build the perfect team. 


By integrating these simple, science-backed habits into your daily routine you will be able to boost your productivity and maintain motivation. Test them out and let me know how you go in the comments.


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