So here are seven simple productivity boosters that you can start right now.
1. Work With Background Noise, Not Distractions. Have you ever found it hard to concentrate at work because of noise? Maybe some of your co-workers’ telephone conversations catch your attention from the next office. Or perhaps the comings and goings of others, though necessary and welcomed, interrupt your focus. Instead of wishing for a quieter workplace, why not add your choice of more noise?
Time Magazine reported that researchers from Yamaguchi University in Japan discovered that while background noise is conducive to productivity, office noise like conversations distracts from the task at hand.
Try using headphones and play some gentle, constant background music without lyrics or nature sounds to boost productivity when you have a noisy workplace. And if that fails, head to a busy coffee shop where a steady stream of background noise could be just what you need to concentrate.
2. Grab a Coffee Nap or a Catnap. If you’re like many sleep-deprived small business owners, you may feel you’re just too busy to get the suggested 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. And forget about adding a daytime nap — who really has time? Yet if you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to boost productivity, a 15-20 minute midday-nap could be the answer – especially if it’s a coffee nap.
Though it’s a stimulant that can improve reaction time, the caffeine in coffee takes about 20 minutes to hit your system. And sleeping reduces brain chemical adenosine, so napping while giving the caffeine from your coffee time to kick in could make you alert, focused, and ready to work when you wake up.
Even if coffee isn’t your thing, a catnap on it’s own could do the trick. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that napping in the workplace effectively boosts productivity.
3. Stay Home. Sometimes the best way to get work done is to avoid going to work at all. Instead, stay home with your laptop, tablet, and/or cell phone for a productive work session. Ninety-one percent of remote workers believe they’re more productive working from home.
4. Crank up The Heat. One of the fastest things you can do to for a productivity booster is to simply adjust the temperature of your workspace.
In fact, multiple studies going as far back as the 1940s have shown a warmer temperature increases productivity, and that workplace temperature even impacts our perception and language.
5. Drink More Water. While you’re probably aware of the health benefits of drinking more water, did you know that increasing your water intake could also make you more productive?
While severe dehydration has long been linked to impaired cognitive ability, more recent studies have found a surprising link between mild dehydration and our ability to focus, which in turn helps us work more efficiently.
So despite the added breaks that drinking more water may add to your day, keeping hydrated could help stave off brain fog and improve your mental focus so you can get more done.
6. Get a Blue Light. If you find yourself experiencing brain fog after lunch and can’t nap at work, try a midday blue light brain boost. For the same reasons you shouldn’t check your phone, laptop, or tablet right before bed (it makes it harder to get to sleep), blue-light exposure can make you more alert and attentive, which boosts productivity.
7. Work Less Hours. The six-hour workday seems to be boosting productivity in Sweden. In a study here is the United States (Stanford University and the Institute for the Study of Labor), it was determined that there was a non-linear relationship between output and hours worked in the performance of female munitions workers. So at some point, known as “threshold hours,” the relationship between hours and output changes, and output declined as the number of hours worked increased. In layman’s terms, our productivity changes after working a certain number of hours, suggesting we are actually most productive when we work fewer hours.
Becoming more productive at work doesn’t necessarily require hiring an expensive efficiency expert, drastically changing your routine, or investing in a time-consuming course. And while not all of these tricks may work with your lifestyle, work style, or personality, why not give them a shot? Trying just one or two at a time requires little investment of time and money, and they’re easy to scrap or change if they aren’t working.