Increasing productivity at the office

“Work smarter, not harder.”

By definition, clichés are annoying and irritating; however, there might be some truth behind the one above.

There are several ways to increase productivity at work without putting in longer hours or shoehorning more into an already-jammed-packed calendar.

  • Take a break.Kind of odd, right? Seems a bit like a step backward when we’re talking about increasing productivity. Yet, according to ScienceDirect, taking mental breaks help keep focused, and the deactivation and reactivation of task goals help maintain a consistent performance level. Plus, sitting at a desk for hours on end can cause a less energetic feeling. We’re talking about how much we get done in the day, not how many hours we can sit. So, get up and take a quick stroll around the office to recharge the batteries.
  • Let’s meet to talk about cutting back on meetings.OK, some meetings are necessary. They gather people in one space to convey information or brainstorm an idea. However, we might have veered into meetings overkill. The Australian software company Atlassian put out a report that essentially indicated many meetings are the business-world equivalent of the Phantom Zone – the void-like fictional prison realm where General Zod and his cohorts were banished in “Superman II.” Atlassian reported that the average office worker spends up to 31 hours a month in unproductive meetings, which wastes an estimated $37 billion in salary costs for U.S. businesses.
  • Track your time and set limits on tasks.According to the science series “This vs That,” only 17 percent of people can accurately estimate the passage of time. With so many digital distractions literally at our fingertips, setting a limit on a particular task can have several benefits such as providing a singular focus, increasing discipline, building momentum and blocking distractions. Feeling a bit under the gun can drive off procrastination, but it does take practice. There are plenty of time-tracking apps that are available to help.

 If all else fails, there is one other interesting option.

In his book “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations,” psychologist Dan Ariely details an experiment indicating that pizza is a bigger motivator than cash and can make employees more productive when used as a stimulus.

So perhaps someone in the office should pony up for a nice, hot, pepperoni pie.

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