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How to become more productive at work

Happy people are more productive than others.

According to research conducted by the University of Warwick, happy people are far more productive than others.

More productive

University of Warwick recently conducted four experiments among 700 participants; a selection of participants were offered free chocolates, drinks, and fruit, as well as being shown various comedy broadcasts. Other participants were asked to talk about recent family tragedies and other adverse events.

Researchers then tried to determine whether lower levels of happiness could be associated with how productive participants were after the aforementioned acts. 

The results showed that those who were offered free chocolates, drinks, and fruit were considered to be 12 percent more productive.

According to the article by the researchers, titled Happiness and Productivity, satisfied employees spent their time more efficiently, and increased their pace without compromising the quality of their work.

1. What is compromising productivity?

Motivation expert Mette Manus says that to be more productive at work employers should start by getting an overview of ‘time stealers’.

- What takes time and attention that is not job related? Social Media? Reading a newspaper online? Long coffee breaks? Long phone breaks? Tasks you should have delegated to others? Computer games?

2. Clear your head every morning

Manus says that the head is used to think of ideas, not keep them. You may want to clear your head every morning by writing down everything you need to complete that day.

- "Down to the smallest detail. Then select the three most important things and write them down on various post-it notes. Start with the first, do it, then throw it physically in the trashcan. Then go to the next patch, perform what should be done and throw the patch, and so on."

Manus says that you should stay focused on one task at a time; otherwise you become stressed by thinking about what lies ahead.

- “And when we are stressed, we are not very productive. By clearing your head and physically archiving the things you have to remember, you will be more focused and accomplish more.”

3. Structure your inbox

“Answering emails is a task that often takes some time. Therefore, you may want to structure your email inbox with folders,” says Manus.

- Delete unimportant emails and archive those you do not answer right away. If an email will take less than two minutes to answer, try to do it right away.

- Ideally, you should empty your inbox every day! It gives you peace of mind, and you also then have a good system so you can quickly email those you need to.

4. Make time for online newspapers

Do you read newspapers online? If so, set of realistic time for it, just like with Facebook and other Social Media.

5. Introduce sessions

- Introduce 45-minute sessions for concentrated work. Turn off the mobile and network, close the door if you can, and do what you're doing without interference.

Manus says that after these sessions, it helps to take a break. Stretching your legs gives more energy. The same applies when breathing deeply. And don’t forget lunch!

- "Chatter can wait for lunch. And after lunch you must be prepared to go back to being productive. Sit with people that give you energy, not those who are negative and slow down your productivity."

6. Vary tasks

Manus says that one must take care to vary their tasks.

- “Be sure to do some fun tasks in between the heavier, in-depth tasks. And do tasks until you finish them, so you feel that you've accomplished something.

7. Give rewards

By giving yourself rewards you being to change habits and become more efficient.

- “Treat yourself to something that pleases you, and think about what you did that caused you to be more productive. See what it gives you, how much more fun it is to leave work when you know you’ve had a productive day.

8. Do not delay work

- “Do not delay your tasks. Get things done and start today! It's amazing what you will get done and how happy you will be.”