For some people it always seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get done everything on your to-do list. Productivity is an elusive thing for many people, who get wrapped up in personal obligations, extra-curricular activities or are just plain lazy. Productivity has a tendency to slip through our fingers all the time, and as a sales professional with National Agents Alliance, this can wind up really hurting your bottom line.
According to TIME Business, truly productive people share these certain characteristics:
- They have a life: The most creative and inventive people have a life outside of work. It helps to take their mind off of work and be able to just think about non-related things. According to academic research, external commitments are highly correlated with high achievement.
- They take breaks: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that if you work more you’ll get more done than if you stopped and took a break. Neuroscience has shown that we can easily become resource-depleted (tired), causing you to quickly become rigid and narrow minded (tunnel vision). By taking a break and going to a short walk to reset and refresh your mind, you can solutions to problems that you would have never recognized behind the desk.
- They have often worked in several different industries: This means that they regularly challenge orthodoxies because they’ve seen different frameworks and approaches. They may not take so much for granted, and have the experience to see the value in re-framing problems, TIME Business stated.
- They have great outside collaborators: Sometimes these collaborators are formal, often not. But their sounding boards aren’t just immediate colleagues or clients. Their wide networks allow them to incorporate a wider range of thinking, contacts and information and they bring light and air into the business, TIME Business said.
If you can incorporate just one of these characteristics you will surely see an increase in your productivity. In fact, scientific research by the Ford Motor company in the 1900s has shown that 40 hours is the sweet spot for employee productivity. Working another 20 hours does provide a minor increase in productivity, but that increase only lasts for three to four weeks, and then turns negative. So keeping a life outside of work and actually keeping your work hours to 40 hours a week, you will see your productivity pick up.