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6 left-field ways to make yourself more productive

6 left-field ways to make yourself more productive

Posted 20th September, 2019 by Sarah

Mark Twain once said that the secret to getting ahead is getting started. Evidently, the writer, entrepreneur and publisher didn’t suffer from procrastination or get distracted easily.

According to the Office for National Statistics the average worker in the UK is 16 per cent less productive than their counterparts in the USA, Italy, France and Germany.

If you’re the owner of a start-up or small business or an entrepreneur, you probably consider yourself to be a driven and motivated person.

But, in light of these statistics, does this automatically mean you’re productive? And what about your team members? Are they really as productive as they could be? The internet is full of advice on improving workplace productivity. Just a few nuggets of tried and tested advice out there include:

  • Use apps to automate task delegation

  • Track and limit the time spent on tasks done in a day using technology

  • Hold daily huddles

  • Create war rooms

  • Turn of notifications for emails and texts

  • Complete the most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning

  • Keep a Bullet Journal

  • Get plenty of sleep on work nights

  • Eat healthily

In addition to these slightly more orthodox techniques for improving productivity, though, there are a few more left-field tactics out there.

In this blog we’ll look into these tactics in more detail.

Dance into the day

Operating in 25 destinations across the world, Daybreaker is said to increase creativity and productivity in the office. What Daybreaker is, is a pre-work sober rave. Lasting two hours, it gives attendees the opportunity to ‘dance with reckless abandon’ before heading to the office.

The Daybreaker team claims that dancing for two hours before work increases the levels of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins in the body. The combination of all these things is said to increase a person’s motivation to achieve their goals that day and put them in a good mood before work.

Daybreaker sessions are currently only available in London in the UK, but if you want to test out the Daybreaker theory yourself there’s nothing stopping you from bulk buying some glow sticks, plugging in the Bluetooth speaker, and getting your team to set their alarms for dawn for a pre-work in-office danceathon.

Get the easel out

Research suggests that taking part in a 45-minute session of free art-making can improve a person’s confidence in both themselves and their ability to complete tasks.

In fact, the experiment, by creative arts professor Girija Kaimal, found that a significant 73 per cent of participants showed a beneficial increase in their feelings of self-efficacy after completing their art.

This has huge implications for the workplace. Give your employees access to markers, paper, modelling clay and collage materials and see what happens.

Get the art on the walls

Giving employees the opportunity to create their own art isn’t the only way businesses can harness art to improve productivity.

Studies have shown that a fifth of workers believe that having art on the office walls can help stimulate creative discussion and is crucial for brainstorming and problem solving.

One megabrand that truly believes in the power of office art is Facebook. In fact, the tech giant now employees a team of 25 people to constantly update and reinvigorate the art works on the walls of its global offices.

The art work team is now known throughout the company as the Analog Research Lab and it regularly welcomes artists in residence to work with it on temporary exhibitions with names like The Right Kind of Wrong.

Shiver into action

There doesn’t appear to be any hard and fast research to prove it, but anecdotal evidence suggests that a short blast of cryotherapy in a morning can help boost productivity.

If you’ve never heard of it before, cryotherapy aka cold therapy involves immersing the body in air that’s specially cooled to temperatures as low as -321 degrees C. It was invented in the 1970s to treat autoimmune diseases, but clinics in big cities around the world are now offering fast three-minute cryotherapy sessions to workers before and throughout the working day to increase their awareness, improve their cognition and enhance their learning and memory.

In the UK, there are currently only fast-cryo clinics in London. However, research suggests that similar benefits can be achieved by taking a cold shower. Even a quick 30-second shower in uncomfortably cold water has been shown to increase the body’s production of norepinephrine, which stimulates the brain and nervous system.

Have a spring, summer, autumn or winter clean

Multiple pieces of research have linked a tidy office to increased productivity levels within a company. There are various reasons for this. The first is the most obvious – dirty workplaces are more likely to give people illnesses for which they’ll need to take time off. An absent worker is the least productive of all.

The second reason seems to be a psychological one. Harvard University carried out an experiment in which students were asked to complete an impossible puzzle in either a messy workspace or a tidy one.

Researchers found that the students who were attempting to complete the puzzle in the messy environment gave up after 11 minutes, while those tackling the challenge in a tidy space didn’t throw in the towel until 18.5 minutes.

Harvard concluded that a messy environment can undermine people’s persistence in completing tasks, therefore badly affecting productivity.

Try floatation therapy

There are flotation therapy options all over the UK and all of them claim that a session in a floatation tank can help people do everything from get through a creativity block to manifest business dreams.

Flotation tanks are essentially soundproof pods filled with shallow bath-warm water where users go to – as the name suggests – float for between an hour and 90 minutes at a time. Some flotation therapy centres have ambient lighting in their pods, others play soothing soundtracks.

Depending where you go, sessions cost around £50 a time.

Categories: Small Businesses

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