6 Ways to Be More Productive, According to Science

I think everyone reading this blog can agree on the following statement: we could all be a little more productive in our lives. Whether that pertains to studying, cleaning, working out, writing essays, you name it — there’s always room for improvement.

Below, you’ll find 6 tips for increasing your productivity, all backed by science. That means you know they’re good.

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1. Try a midday workout. Studies suggest that fitting in some midday fitness can increase work stamina. So, the time you lose at the gym is quickly gained back by the increase in productivity.

2. Take short breaks. One study suggests the ideal formula for productivity is this: work for 52 minutes, and then take a 17 minute break. I like to go on walks, get a cup of tea, basically just stand up and get away from my computer. A word to the wise: spending your break scrolling through the endless abyss that is your Facebook newsfeed is probably not the best choice.

3. Look at a picture of a baby animal. Seriously. Researchers in Japan have found that looking at these cute images improves productivity. Here’s a chart of their research:

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4. Don’t multitask…but do be flexible.  Multitasking slows us down and makes us more prone to errors, so you should give the task at hand your full attention. It’s easier said than done, so here are some tips to effectively single-task (Cliffnotes version: turn off your phone and email, and make a to-do list). But, since we’re all so busy, it’s important to remain flexible — ie, be ready to switch tasks when the time is right.

5. Get a plant for your desk, and admire it often. One study suggests that plants boost office productivity by 15%.

6. Sleep! This one has an exclamation point because it really is that important. Without enough sleep, you can’t concentrate, you’re irritable, hungry, impatient and anxious — but I don’t need to tell you, right? We’ve all been there. Here are 9 tips to get the sleep your body needs.

Do you have any great productivity tips? Let us know in the comments! And now, I leave you with a cute baby kitten…for productivity’s sake!

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  • Rachel Wisuri

    Rachel helps eager students find out about Magoosh. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a super helpful double major in History and French. In her free time she can be found eating peanut butter, drinking five cups of tea per day, and playing with cats.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

2 Responses to 6 Ways to Be More Productive, According to Science

  1. Parth Bhardwaj January 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm #


    I remember a free T-Shirt post that you guys posted before.

    And yes, I scored a 2070, so is that deal still on?

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel January 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Yes, it is. 🙂 Just email me at help@magoosh.com with a screenshot of your score report!

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