3 Scientifically Proven Methods To Increase Productivity

Whether you are studying at university, launching your own business or working a 9-to-5 job, it is essential to be as productive as possible.

This can often be a struggle, particularly if you are feeling distracted, stressed, or tired.

To help you get more work done everyday, here are 3 scientifically proven methods for remaining productive, especially when working from home, as there you have some direct control over your environment.

#1 – Create the ideal work environment

Researchers have discovered that environmental factors can have a huge impact on how productive a person is, including:

Natural light

We now know that working in environments where there isn’t much light or there is an excessive amount of artificial light can negatively impact productivity.

It can cause headaches and eye strain, which will increase cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone).

The solution is to use plenty of natural light, which has been found to actually reduce cortisol levels.

Scientists have found that working in natural light will also:

  • Improve your mood
  • Ensure your biological clock is functioning well
  • Improve concentration levels
  • Improve your mental health
  • Reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency


Temperature is a very important factor when it comes to productivity.

If the room is too hot or too cold, it will be much more difficult to focus and work efficiently.

Researchers have even found that temperature can affect your accuracy.

One study found that office temperatures below 20 degrees caused employees to make 44% more mistakes.

Personally, I find 19 degrees keeps everyone awake!

For most people, the ideal temperature for productivity is somewhere between 21 to 25 degrees Celsius (70 to 77 degree Fahrenheit).

Try different temperatures to find where you are the most comfortable and efficient.


The colour of the room where you are working will have a dramatic effect on your mood, emotions, and cognition.

Researchers have found that most office workers prefer blue or blue-green for their office decor, as it promotes a sense of calmness and efficiency.

It helps to counteract any feelings of stress, which are common is busy offices.

Although many of you will have no control over your wall colours, it’s worth raising with management.

Green also reduces stress and anxiety, while promoting harmony and balance.

If you aren’t too worried about stress and want something more energetic, try painting your room orange or yellow.

Whatever you do, don’t stick with white or grey (as per my current landlord’s choice).

Researchers have found that these colours negatively impact productivity by causing office workers to make more mistakes.


Ergonomics is the science of designing objects that are efficient to use.

In terms of the workplace, this means creating objects that are ideal for the tasks you perform like sitting, using a computer, or accessing whatever tool you need.

Good ergonomics makes your work space more productive and healthy.

Implement ergonomics by thinking about the objects around you in the workplace and how well suited they are to your daily activities.

The chair is usually a good starting place.

Is it comfortable?

Does it help you maintain good posture?

Is it easy to adjust?

You can then look at desk and whatever other objects are around.

Think about how easy it is to obtain and use the objects you work with each day.

Consider how much each action costs in terms of time and physical requirements.

#2 – Take a coffee (or banana) nap

There is a lot of scientific evidence which suggests that taking a nap during the day is a great way to improve productivity, creativity, problem-solving, and informaton retention.

A “coffee nap” can make napping even more beneficial to your productivity levels.

To take a coffee nap:

Choose the right time

Start by identifying the time of day when you are the least productive.

For most people, this will be between 1pm and 3pm, as it is common to see declining energy levels shortly after lunch.

Prepare your napping area

Make the area where you are napping as comfortable as possible.

Close the blinds, make sure the room is a comfortable temperature, turn off electronic devices, and eliminate unnecessary noise.

Drink a coffee and start your nap

Drink a strong cup of coffee and lay down for your nap.

The idea behind the coffee nap is that the caffeine in the coffee will take 20 minutes to enter your system, so you will feel its effects immediately upon waking from your nap.

If you struggle to get to sleep, try using mindfulness techniques, focussing on your breathing or performing a short body scan upon laying down.

It is important to keep your naps between 15 to 20 minutes.

If you nap for more than 30 minutes you will experience “sleep inertia”, which is a state of impaired cognitive and sensory-motor performance that occurs after awakening from a deep sleep.

#3 – Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques are designed to help you focus on the present moment while accepting your bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings in a positive way.

This takes your mind away from the negative and persistent thoughts that are triggers for anxiety, stress, and procrastination.

Other scientifically-proven advantages of mindfulness include:

Greater emotional control

You will be able to make better decisions that are not heavily influenced by anger, fear, or other emotions.

Improved memory

Researchers have found that regularly practicing mindfulness can improve a person’s working memory.

Better focus

Mindfulness techniques improve how well you can focus, which is extremely useful in a working environment.

Less stress

Stress is a real productivity-killer.

By using mindfulness to reduce your stress levels, you can spend less time stressing and more time getting things done.

Better relationships

One wonderful advantage of mindfulness is that you can relate to other people more easily.

You will become more perceptive and attentive, which improves your work relationships and productivity.

Thanks for reading 3 Scientifically Proven Methods To Increase Productivity.

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Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international tax adviser who specialises in dealing with ultra high net worth individuals.

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