After any given work day, what makes you feel satisfied enough to say that you have been productive? Is it after accomplishing ad hoc requests while working on a big project? After going through hour-long meetings? Or after clocking in a new record for the longest hours worked by a single person?
Multitasking, engaging in hour-long meetings, and sacrificing longer work hours may have been lauded in the past as a sign of an employee’s dedication. However, studies have shown that these may actually be detrimental to your productivity. Did you know that it has been proven that working more than 50 hours every week makes you less productive?
In the video, AsapSCIENCE further discusses the rationale behind time management and deliberate practice:
Watch: The Science of Productivity by AsapSCIENCE
If you were to follow the same deliberate practice that elite violinists undergo to perfect their work, you would need extreme focus and transparency in the office. We have gathered some best practices and online tools to help you be on top of your game.
For Planning Your Day
It’s easy to be engrossed with the idea that you need to get more work done or work longer hours to be productive. However, planning your day and widening your perspective can help create a healthier work environment.
- Build a healthy work mindset.
- Schedule your tasks and stick to it.
- Make use of lists like Google Keep, Any.do, or Wunderlist to easily update your tasks across multiple devices.
- Keep a clean calendar of all your deadlines and tasks in one place, such as in a Google Calendar, iCloud Calendar, Any.do Cal, or Sunrise. Set up notifications before your deadlines so you can easily prioritize urgent and important tasks.
For Timing Work Hours and Breaks
Check out these online resources to know which types of work rhythms can help boost your productivity and how best to spend your breaks.
- Test work rhythms.
- Similar to what AsapSCIENCE discussed above, you can try the ultradian rhythm with 90-minute durations followed by 15-minute breaks.
- Meanwhile, the Pomodoro technique calls for 25 minutes of work and 5-minute breaks.
- Bookmark news or watercooler sites for your breaks.
- Use news reader apps like Feedly and Flipboard for quick updates on your favorite sites.
- Since it has been proven that looking at cute images can improve focus, you might want to check out Reddit Aww, Just Cute Animals, and all these Buzzfeed lists.
- Take two minutes to just relax and do nothing, weave silk, or be in a quiet place.
For Blocking Out Distractions
In the video above, we were told that our minds are most productive when undergoing periods of intense work. As such, it’s important to make sure that you block out distractions during scheduled blocks of work.
- Build your own ideal music playlist.
- Listen to background noise.
- Block distracting sites.