Bookshops and the internet are crammed full of advice on how to increase productivity. There is so much information available on this topic that anyone trying to read all of it is in danger of seeing their productivity levels plummet due to the amount of reading time they have committed to.
Thus we have distilled some of the essentials into bite-size chunks below, along with some new ideas to ensure you are as productive as possible.
Taking a nap might not seem like the most logical way of increasing productivity, but an increasing body of evidence has shown that power naps can result in increased mental agility and improved productivity. NASA’s well-respected study on strategic naps showed that pilots who were allowed to take a short nap (40 to 45 minutes) improved their performance by 34% and their alertness by 54%.
Companies including Deloitte Consulting and Nike have been rumoured to encourage their employees nap on the job. For those who work at home, this is a quick and easy (not to mention enjoyable) way to boost productivity during the working day.
From blueberries to sardines, the list of super foods that will enhance brain activity and improve mental performance is lengthy. However, those focusing on eating right tend to ignore the flip side of the coin: the benefits of sugary snacks. From ice creams to doughnuts, sweet treats can provide a blast of quick-fire energy that temporarily increases productivity, particularly if – like many chocolate bars – they contain caffeine as well as sugar.
Of course, filling up on sugary snacks is not the healthiest approach to one’s diet, but a well-timed nap followed by a chocolate bar can produce impressive results.
Some more usual quick tips for increasing productivity include eliminating distractions, planning ahead, taking screen breaks, exercising and outsourcing tasks where possible. A quick Google research will result in countless other bits of advice, and guess what? There's an app for that.
The truth is that the right approach will differ for every individual. One person will be most productive when focusing on a single task, while the next will find flitting from task to task keeps their attention and energy levels higher.
The best approach is to experiment – write a quick list of the tactics that you plan to use to increase productivity and give each one a go. Just remember to assess the results, so that you know which tactic works best for you!
Which tips have you implemented to increase productivity? Share them with us by using the comment box.