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8 Weird, Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Focus And Productivity

8 Weird, Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Focus And Productivity

So you’ve found yourself slacking off at work or school and are wondering what you can do to improve your focus or productivity. You’ve heard all of the old methods: drinking coffee, exercising, getting a good night’s rest, etc. While those simple tips may work for most, they simply do not work for some. Here are 8 science backed ways to increase your productivity that you’ve probably never even thought about trying.

1. Listen to Video Game Music

Video game music is designed to keep you focused on completing a task while being a minimum distraction. If you think about it, how many times can you recall losing focus while trying to complete a level in Mario? There are many types of gaming soundtracks available for free, you just have to choose the right one. You can read this article on video game music and its impact on focus to learn more.

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2. Hit the Gym After Studying

While working out might be the last thing on your brain while studying for a studies have shown that those that do can recall information better the next day. According to the study even light exercise may help with retention.

3. Dress to Impress

Sure it may seem only natural to want to study in a sweater and sweat pants. However, studies have shown that those who dress up have less problems paying attention. According to the study students that wore white lab coats while doing tests made about half the errors as those who were wearing regular clothes. Will the white coat method work for you? It could be worth a try.

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 4. Work in Natural Light

While we all can’t have an office with windows, you should always make it a point to get some fresh air and sunlight during the day. According to a recent study :

“Compared to the afternoon, people who had DL (Daylight) were significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening, and subjects who were exposed to AL (Artificial light) were significantly sleepier at the end of the evening.”

So if you’re having trouble staying awake or focused, just take a quick trip outside. Chances are it will help you wake up significantly.

5. Crank Up the Heat

We all hate being too hot, however, chances are that if the office is frigid you’re not being as productive as you can. What is the science behind this? To put it simply, your body uses more energy to keep warm when it’s cold in the office. That means there is less energy left for focus and concentration. According to this study workers made nearly 44% more errors and were half as productive when the temperature were set at 68F as opposed to those working in 77F conditions.

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6. Go Green

If you’re having trouble focusing in your office or cubicle try bringing a little greenery into your life. Studies have shown that offices with greenery are 15% more productive than undecorated offices. Not only does it improve productivity but the study also concluded it improved morale and the overall perception of air quality in the office.

7. Look at Cute Animals

A study in Japan has concluded that looking at simple pictures of cute animals can improve productivity. The study tested individuals and their performance after looking at pictures of cute baby or adult animals. They concluded there was an increase in performance in those test subjects after viewing the pictures. According to the study:

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“the cuteness-triggered positive emotion that is associated with approach motivation and the tendency toward systematic processing.”

8. Make. Everything. Yellow.

Well, not everything of course. But studies have shown that the color yellow increases concentration and alertness. Why? Because it is the color most associated with happiness. Just a simple poster or photo of some yellow flowers may be enough to boost your concentration and focus throughout the day.

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Colby Almond

Professional

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

1. Purge Your Office

De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

2. Gather and Redistribute

Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

3. Establish Work “Zones”

Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

4. Close Proximity

Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

5. Get a Good Labeler

Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

6. Revise Your Filing System

As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

  • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
  • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
  • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
  • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
  • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
  • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
  • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

7. Clear off Your Desk

Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

8. Organize your Desktop

Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

9. Organize Your Drawers

Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

10. Separate Inboxes

If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

11. Clear Your Piles

Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

12. Sort Mails

Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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13. Assign Discard Dates

You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

14. Filter Your Emails

Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

15. Straighten Your Desk

At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

Bottom Line

Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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