19 Hacks to Improve Productivity

- Productivity

by Drew Page

The Link Between Productivity and Motivation

When we reflect on our daily, monthly, quarterly or yearly goals we measure our level of productivity. Goal setting often signals of how productive we would like to be but do goals and output ever align perfectly?

Perhaps it is the cognitive bias known as the Overconfidence Effect, which states that one’s subjective confidence usually overstates the objective accuracy of the judgment. It might require a different approach to productivity, instead of looking back at how effectively the task was accomplished, but how motivated you are to work on the task.

The Impact of Motivation on Productivity

If you have ever taken on a project or a hobby that you were passionate about you know how rewarding it can be to work on mastering the skill, craft, or even completing a single task. It probably didn’t occur to you that you were motivated to accomplish anything in particular since you actually enjoyed the work. Having the ambition to learn and grow in your career can be a boon to your productivity. Former Google and Apple executive turned entrepreneur, Kim Scott mentions in her book Radical Candor, “only 5 percent of the population has an actual vocation.” This means that 95 percent of the workforce does not have a job they actually love.
If you are in a line of work that you love, take a minute to appreciate how rare that is. If you fall in the large majority of people who are indifferent or hate their job, rest assured there are solutions out there.

Productivity and Motivation: Cause and effect

There is a debate in philosophy over the possibility of time-travel known as the Causal Loop, which refers to a sequence of events where an event causes another event which then is among the causes for the first-mentioned event. Although we have not yet figured out how to travel through time, we are quite aware of the cause and effect relationship between motivation and productivity.

If you are highly motivated to accomplish a goal, chances are you will jump through hoops and break through barriers to achieve said goal. Although many people agree motivation leads to productivity, I also argue that productivity results in higher motivation. It feels good to accomplish goals and check off items from the to-do list because our brains actually release dopamine when we succeed.

Former U.S. Naval Admiral William McRaven states in his book Make your Bed, “If you want to change the world, start off with making your bed.” When we start the day with an accomplishment, no matter how trivial, it can lead to a positive spiral in productivity.

Tips to increase productivity

If you want to increase your productivity and potentially your motivation, there are some micro-adjustments (like making your bed in the morning) that you can make in your workspace. A lot of people fail to recognize how important their surroundings are to their level of output. Some steps you can take to increase your productivity in the office include:

  • Organize your desk
  • Get natural light
  • Set the thermostat to 77°F
  • Work in a quiet environment

The old adage “A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind” might not apply to you, as it apparently did not negatively impact Albert Einstein but much like making your bed in the morning, a small win like keeping an organized space can extend to other areas of your life.

For more productivity tips for the office check out the full visual from GetVoIP. If you struggle to find the motivation to get work done, put some of these tips into action setting measurable and time-sensitive goals to test your newfound productivity and motivation.

How do you increase your productivity? Share your tips in the comments below!

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