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Relativity Can Tell Us A Lot About Productivity

Relativity Can Tell Us A Lot About Productivity

“Perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. That we’ve barely begun. That our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us. That our destiny lies above us.”

Recently Interstellar (2014) has become quite popular. Like many people, its thought-provoking, ambitious plot may have inspired you. But maybe you’ve begun to question its relevance in your own life. If so, you’re on to something fairly significant.

Most people don’t know that Einstein’s theory of relativity can actually be applied to productivity.

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If we pull back the shades on his theory, you’ll see that it’s divided into two distinct parts: “special” and “general” relativity. Special relativity basically explains that motion is defined relative to an inert frame of reference like time and space — where there is no gravity. On the other hand, general relativity expands this notion by including gravity as a dependent variable in the equation.

Because everyone wants to be more productive, especially at the beginning of a new year, let’s take a closer look at key contributions from relativity that can help you to achieve greater productivity.

1. Reach for higher gravitational potential

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Like in the movie Interstellar, gravitational time dilation helps explain the notion that time flies when we are having fun, but drags when we are doing some mundane activity, like writing a history paper! If you want to guarantee your ability to produce more and faster, fix your sites on a higher gravitational plain by increasing optimistic thoughts and envisioning positive outcomes. This process helps release your “natural high” energy with godsends like serotonin and gets your feel-good juices flowing. You will be able to move through tasks with lightning speed and you’ll feel pretty unstoppable during the process, too.

2. Step into the black hole every now and again

Are you afraid of time standing still? What would happen if you could only do…nothing? A black hole — a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out — offers the possibility of doing just that. Why would someone purposely choose to go into a black hole to increase productivity? Well, every now and again you need to step away from all the distractions and the noise — sometimes even your own mental noise — to gain fresh perspectives and return to your work renewed and ready to create at the highest level.

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3. Generate motion, then build momentum
Motion has the potential to build incredible momentum, especially when speed becomes part of the equation. Momentum, an important element of Einstein’s theory of relativity, explains that when you push a freely moving object it will naturally accelerate. Have you pushed yourself lately? If so, how effective were you in producing results? Challenge yourself to move — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then, dial up the dynamism and increase your momentum. It’s about breaking free from apathy and inertia to get results.

4. Formulate a powerful perspective, enabling you reach for your inner-pioneer

Your ability to produce results is based on your perspective, your mental view, or outlook. Relativity advances this premise with the notion that the speed at which you progress through time varies with your frame of reference and relative motion vis a vis the object you are observing. Moreover, different observers experience time differently (perspective is everything!). Developing a powerful perspective will help you increase the speed at which you move through difficulties and generate the will and ingenuity to produce results.

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5. Connect the dots by embracing the power of the Tesseract

You can choose to flatline or live life in 3D, fully experiencing the visceral nature of all that it has to offer. But if you’re really ambitious and willing to raise the stakes on your productivity, reach for the power of the Tesseract and go all the way to the fourth dimension. The point is to use innovation and jettison convention to increase your results. Be bold. Be fearless. Think outside the box and let nothing stop you.

In case you were uncertain that you could become more productive this year, Einstein got it right and so can you. Think about how you can increase your productivity using these century old principles that can breathe life into your sluggish routine.

Featured photo credit: space via google.com.hk

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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