Curiosity Presents: The Science of Productivity (And How To Improve Yours)

Our 2017 resolution is simple: increase productivity. (Is there anything more satisfying than powering through a to-do list?) There are a ton of theories as to how to do more—and how to do it faster—but not all are backed by science. To get the new year started on the right foot, we're gathering everything we know about productivity in one place. All of these concepts have been researched and proven by studies, or they're popular methods conceived by experts (businessmen! physicists!) that you can try out for yourself.

Check out the topics below to start your month of productivity and learn more about why productivity matters, how you can be more productive, and what you can just forget about (spoiler: stop multitasking).

Improve Your Productivity: Scientifically Proven Approaches

Work For 90 Minutes, Then Take A Break

What's more effective: working nonstop for five hours, or working in three 90-minute intervals interspersed with 20-minute breaks? For many office workers it might seem like the first option is best. Read more >>

Want To Be More Productive At Work? Scroll Through Cute Puppy Photos (Or Any Baby Animal Will Do)

You know that moment when your boss walks over to your computer and instead of having work on your screen, she catches you clicking through a "cute kitty" slideshow? Chalk it up to improving productivity. Read more >>

Improve Your Work Performance By Taking A Nap

It's about 3 pm on a work day, and you're experiencing the dreaded midday slump. Before you gulp another mug of caffeine, consider a different option: napping. You might've dismissed naps as a respite for toddlers or your 80-year-old grandmother, but science has proven that naps can be incredibly beneficial for getting those brain juices flowing and boosting your productivity. Read More >>

Easy Techniques: Proven Methods From Successful People

The Ivy Lee Method Is The 100-Year-Old Productivity Secret

When businessman Ivy Lee gave Charles Schwab his five-step method, he told Schwab to pay him what he thought it was worth after testing it out for three months. Ninety days later, Schwab paid Lee the equivalent of $400,000 in today's dollars. Read more >>

Learn Anything In Four Steps With The Feynman Technique

With the Feynman Technique, you learn by teaching someone else in simple terms so you can quickly pinpoint the holes in your knowledge. After four steps, you'll understand concepts more deeply and better retain the information. Read more >>

Myths: These Practices Are Actually Hurting Your Productivity

Stop Multitasking

According to Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, your brain simply isn't optimized for split attention. Read more >>

Listening To Music At Work Isn't Helping

Listening to background music at work may hurt you more than help you...but it's complicated. Read more >>

Written By
Curiosity Staff
January 6, 2017