The Psychology of Productivity


productivityA reader sent along this interesting article on the psychology of productivity that shares some ideas on how to be more productive. Included in the article are links to a number of different studies and ideas on what makes us productive.

My main takeaway from the writeup is that there are no one size fits all techniques to increase personal productivity. For example, the article talks about the Hawthorne Effect which revealed that singling out employees and making them feel important (in this case by using them as part of a study) increased their productivity.

Yet, as the author mentions, this process of singling out won’t work for everyone–if an employee has low self esteem and doesn’t deem themselves worthy of the additional importance, they may be less productive because of a conscious or unconscious feeling of guilt.

So what does this mean for your own personal productivity? It which means it’s up to you to find out what works best for your style of work. Maybe you would be more productive by being thrown into a spotlight, maybe you wouldn’t. It’s worth giving it a try to find out.

Here are some ideas of things to experiment with to see if your personal productivity improves (from the same article):

  1. Take a break to look at cute pictures of baby animals.
  2. Identify and reduce “busy work.”
  3. Get a second monitor.
  4. Make sure you eat breakfast (possibly of eggs, berries, salmon, and dark chocolate).
  5. Exercise.

To see the studies, check out the full article: The Psychology of Productivity. Or take a look at more productivity tips.

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