4 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Improve Productivity Significantly

Dan Kristoph
4 min readJan 8, 2021


Productivity is the holy grail of anything that we work on. Having a high level of productivity will allow us to complete our tasks faster and better. Thus, it is always good to know and implement ways to improve productivity levels. When you have some research-proven methods to do that improvement, it will be all the better.

As we do our work almost every day, we tend to get an average level of productivity that we usually produce. However, if we see the statistic on how long people really work during their working hours, that level seems highly suboptimal.

According to research, an average worker tends to work only 2 hours 53 minutes from the standard 8 working hours.

That’s right. Not even half of the available time is spent in a productive way by most of us.

On the face of it, this fact might not be surprising at all. After all, we live in an era when there are many distractions that can make us not doing our jobs. It can be hard to look for ways to improve productivity because of them.

A noisy world

Have you ever reflected on the way that you spend your time an ordinary workday? What are the activities that you usually do to fill up the hours that you have?

If you are like most people, there are probably many kinds of things that you do. Besides working, you might spend some time checking social media, browsing, taking a break, talking with co-workers, and other side activities. Added up and the time you spend for them and they can take a significant portion of your working hours.

In the modern era of working, there are many things that can trigger us to do these side activities. Access to the internet and social media make it easy for us to divert our attention. There are also many other things around us that can make it even harder to focus on our real work.

This noisy environment certainly contributes to the significant decrease in our productivity level. Thus, what can we do to be much more productive with our work?

The Ways to Improve Productivity

Luckily, there are some researches too which give us some ideas on the ways to improve productivity significantly. Here are the five approaches that you can implement right away:

Try a work-break routine

As we look at the many work distractions sources above, we surely have to find a way to resist their temptation. One of the ways we can try is to implement a work-break rhythm for ourselves.

Research from DeskTime suggests that we should take the rhythm of 52 minutes work and 17 minutes break. Doing this helps your focus on work as you have the time to do other stuffs during the break. It makes your mind resist the urge of procrastinating better because you know there will be time to do it later.

Write down daily goals

Logically, goals can be one of the ways to improve productivity. It is because they allow you to be more focused on your work priorities.

This is indeed the case as researchers have found that goal-settings can improve workers’ performance by 12–15%. The goals in work can be formulated daily to make you more focused and time-conscious. When you formulate them, implement the famous SMART principles to make the goals be much more impactful to your work.

Stand up during working

Here is the thing. According to research, standing up can improve productivity by up to 46%! A real deal, don’t you think?

It is said that standing while working can improve the focus and brain functions when doing the tasks at hand. Moreover, you can also burn calories and be healthier if you stand up when working regularly. Talk about a beneficial way to do your work!

Focus on one task only at a time

Multitasking is a myth. There, I said it.

Research has found that when we try to multitask as ways to improve productivity, we may get the opposite effect. Instead of multitasking, we do what is called task switching, an act of switching focus back and forth between activities. This is bad for our productivity as task switching is able to lower our productivity by as much as 40 percent. So, next time you are asked to multitask by other people, consider yourself warned 

So, what do you think of those ways to improve productivity? Eager to try them out? Remember, though, that your commitment to work is the most important of all. Being uncommitted to use your time productively will make all tips not effective for you.

This article is originally published at Positivity Stories.

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Dan Kristoph

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