Do you want to get more done in less time? Are you looking for new ways to improve work performance and reach actionable goals faster?
These five unconventional methods may not be the first ideas that come to mind, but they definitely work.
1. Skip the afternoon coffee.
And try matcha green tea in its place. Adopters of the beverage swear by its powerful antioxidant properties and ability to boost energy and metabolism without causing caffeine-induced jitters.
2. Leave your mornings wide open.
Think you work best at night? Think again. Behavioral scientists claim we all have a two-hour window when we’re most productive—and it’s first thing in the morning. Here’s what Dan Ariely, a Duke University professor of psychology and behavioral economics, had to say about the subject in a recent Reddit discussion:
One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like social media). If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want.
This is one of the easiest ways to improve work performance. Trade morning meetings for brief daily standups and replace social surfing with creative projects. If you need to power down at night, do it. As we’ve told you before, this one tip alone can shed hours of unproductive toiling.
3. Use lesser-known apps to get organized.
For example, this cool app cuts down the time you have to spend searching for files and folders. And our online standup software app can be used to get in sync with the rest of your team within just a few minutes.
4. Give your to-do list a makeover.
We’ve outlined a method to make it more manageable and less daunting.
5. Don’t do what you love.
Do you love the smell of Starbucks® Blonde Roast? Don’t brew it. At least not every day. Research suggests the more routine something becomes, the less you’ll enjoy it.
Instead, use that coffee shop trip to reward yourself when important objectives are met or projects are completed. Another way to improve work performance is delayed gratification, it can be a great motivator to power through and get things done.
Consider the Marshmallow experiment:
In the 1960s, Stanford University professor Walter Mischel gave young children a treat (often a marshmallow) and instructed them to make a choice: Eat the marshmallow when he left the room and be done, or save it until he returned 15 minutes later to get a second one.
Many years later, it was discovered that the few children who were able to wait out the full 15 minutes had higher SAT scores, lower divorce rates and less risk of obesity. Mischel concluded the “children who displayed self-control were already wired to conquer stress in pursuit of goals and more able to sustain effort.”
We can all apply these same theories and strategies to be happier, more productive and less stressed at work.