The Science of Productivity
Here's the actual science behind what makes us more productive and happy at work.
You'll learn what the latest in neuroscience and psychology means for your productivity, and we'll give you concrete tips on how to make it a part of your life.
Photo: Katie Weilbacher
Over at The 99%, Tony Schwartz offers some excellent advice on how to accomplish more by doing less.
It’s not just the number of hours we sit at a desk that determines the value we generate. It’s the energy we bring to the hours we work … . Maintaining a steady reservoir of energy – physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually – requires refueling it intermittently.
Schwartz’s insistence that real productivity requires real rest, recharge, and renewal is in tune with Ken Robinson‘s focus on energy. Robinson suggests that having passion for your work is a built-in energy renewal system. Schwartz’s point on sustaining personal energy levels is even more basic, whatever your passion (or lack of passion) is for your work — simply take more meaningful breaks.
Get outside, move around more, and please, stop eating lunch at your desk.
Watch Shawn Achor’s entertaining, thought-provoking TEDxBloomington talk on the power of positive psychology.
The author of The Happiness Advantage and CEO of Good Think Inc., a research and consulting firm, points out that the common understanding that happiness as the last thing to happen after success achieved by working hard has the order all wrong.
Instead, raising the level of positivity in the present creates a happiness advantage that results in better, more productive performance. In fact, 75% of job successes are predicted by optimism levels, an environment of social support, and ability to frame stress as a challenge rather than a roadblock.
Achor recommends daily practices to rewire your brain to get on a positivity track, including journaling and acts of kindness that spread positivity to others.
Use iDoneThis to help you set up your pattern of productivity!
The always wonderful Maria Popova at Brain Pickings delves into the psychology of to-do lists in her discussion of John Tierney and Roy F. Baumeister’s book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.
She points to the authors’ discussion of the Zeigarnik effect, which explains why our brains continue to nag us about what we leave unfinished. Originally thought to be the mind’s way of making sure we get stuff done, recent research shows that this nagging is to make a specific, doable plan of action to get stuff done.
Fascinating! Have you read Willpower? Let us know what you think!
Here at iDoneThis, we are huge fans of Daniel Pink, author of #1 New York Times bestseller, Drive. We admire his thought leadership on the changing world of work and are so excited that he records his daily accomplishments with iDoneThis. Below, we interviewed Dan on the important stuff – why he does what he does and how he gets stuff done.