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5 Strange Ways to Be More Productive at Work

Hamlet procrastinated. Look what happened to him.

Weird Science

We know, you’ve got your own methods. You work on a schedule, only take breaks that you’ve planned ahead of time, and limit your distractions so that you can be as productive as possible. But do you look at enough pictures of cute animals? Check out these weird ways to make you more productive at work.

Cuteness Overload According to a study in Japan, looking at cute baby animals can actually increase your productivity. There are some interesting scientific theories explaining why that is, but the more important question is: Why pass up a chance to validate your love of adorableness?

Go for Coffee Studies have shown that a moderate amount of distraction actually helps the creative process, the stereotypical coffee shop being the ideal. But if you don’t feel like paying $5 for coffee when you just need the atmosphere, naturally, there’s an app for that. Download Coffitivity and get that coffee shop vibe without the actual people.

Listen to Music No, not your favorite tunes. They’ll release dopamine in your brain to make you happy, and distract you from the task at hand. The folks at [email protected] suggest listening to anything but your go-to tracks. Does that mean you should play Justin Bieber at work? We certainly would not suggest it, but to each his own. Anything you don’t usually listen to will trick your brain and increase productivity.

Hit the Lights There are plenty of suggestions for the kind of environment you should work in—77 degrees fahrenheit is the ideal room temperature, by the way. But sometimes a simple fix is all you need to get that extra boost. If (when) you spend a lot of time on the computer, your eyes get tired, and productivity plummets. Try f.lux, an app that will automatically alter your computer’s display to optimize it for the time of day.

Do the Impossible Though it may seem counterintuitive, trying to solve an impossible task actually kickstarts your brain’s creativity. According to Robert Epstein, the best way to train your brain is to undertake a challenge that you will likely fail, a problem without a solution. You can do something pointless and ridiculously frustrating, or if you’re feeling ambitious, try your hand at one of those daunting issues facing our society. Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually solve world hunger while just trying to be productive at work.

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