Since we can’t make more hours in a day, we have to do the best we can with the time we have. And thanks to these science-backed ways to be more productive, now we can get more stuff done.
- Let there be light – According to a study from Northwestern University, people who worked in natural light were more productive than those who didn’t, so sit near a window if you can.
- Draw your to-do list – Instead of writing out your tasks and crossing them off as you finish, channel your inner artist and draw a sketch of them instead. A recent study finds that people are more likely to remember to do things when they draw a picture of them.
- Take breaks – When we have a ton of work to finish, sometimes we just want to power through until it’s done. But according to research from the University of Illinois, taking scheduled breaks can boost concentration and working non-stop can lead to a drop in performance.
- Raise your thermostat – Researchers from Cornell University moved the thermostat in an insurance office and found when it was cooler (68-degrees), workers made 44% more mistakes and were less productive than when it was warmer (77-degrees.)
- Sleep more – Easier said than done, right? But catching even 30 minutes more sleep can increase productivity, according to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
- Go green – A study by Cardiff University found that working in an environment with lots of plants could boost productivity by 15%.
- Don’t multitask – A study at Stanford University found that it’s better to finish one task first before moving on to the next job because “people who multitask do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.”
- Choose your desk buddy wisely – According to a recent study published in Harvard Business Review, the person sitting next to you can have a big effect on your productivity. It’s great if you’re near someone zipping through their to-do list, but bad behavior is contagious, too, so avoid being cube buddies with the office chatterbox.