21 Jul Work Smarter, Not Harder-Techniques to be More Effective at Work
These are extraordinary times. People are trying their best to juggle work, family, household chores, and physical and mental well-being while fending off cabin fever at home due to Covid-19 lockdowns. In such a situation, getting upset or not feeling adequate is a common feeling. Today, we bring you three tips that help you in working smarter, backed by science.
Tip 1: Allow yourself to take more breaks.
In demanding work cultures, taking a break is frowned upon. People who take breaks are unfairly considered to be procrastinators, and maybe even lazy. Interestingly, the human brain can only remain focused for about 90 minutes. Post this, it needs a break of at least 15 minutes. This is based on the natural ultradian rhythm among humans. It was first discovered by sleep researchers Nathan Kleitman and William Dement.
So, when you take a break after 90 minutes, your body and mind renew themselves. You can then fire off another 90 productive minutes. Additionally, taking short breaks between work helps reset the attention span and refresh the mind.
Tip 2: Spend time with nature.
A long-time study published as far back as 2014 by the Journal of Experimental Psychology did reveal that walking outside increases productivity and creativity levels. This is because urban environments are filled with stimulation that requires dedicated attention, unlike natural environments.
For instance, walking in a park is less stressful than navigating a busy street. You have to constantly be on guard to not bump into something or get hit. This increases anxiety and stress levels.
Spending time with nature, on the other hand, calms those anxious nerves and brings down your stress level. It is therapeutic.
Tip 3: Limited to-do lists.
If you want to bolster your productivity, limit your everyday to-do list. Pick up a few most important tasks (MITs), and complete them first. These will boost your confidence. Next, add minor tasks and proceed with them only after you’ve finished your MITs.
As the day progresses, you will find that there’s no need to work late because the most critical tasks have been completed. You’ll leave your workstation relaxed and feeling accomplished.
Which of these techniques do you like? Do you have some tips of your own? Don’t forget to share them with us.