There are many reasons as to why people aren’t as productive as they could be. One major reason is the presence of distractions. Also, the concept of working as long as possible -even between certain office hours- is not in line with the latest research into how the brain operates.
Remove All Distractions
This may sound deceptively simple. The problem with the brain is that out of the 2 million bits of information per second our 5 senses retrieve from our world around us, we only can consciously process 5-9 pieces of information. All of the extra information we gather is filtered out. Anything that distracts you is likely to take up those 5-9 pieces of information. This is not just the distraction of you being on Facebook while trying to be productive, it is as simple as a distraction of an annoying sound, or being in a room at an uncomfortable temperature. Remove as many distractions as you can.
Understanding How Long the Brain Can Focus
Many people know old science that says the brain can function at maximum focus for 45 minute time spans. New science actually shows that, if distractions are minimized, this can reach up to 90 minutes. Being aware of this allows you to organize your day into 90 minute work increments.
After your 90 minute focus, take a break. The brain needs to rest and recover. You can also utilize this time to have your lunch, take a shower, or run an errand.
Engage the Brain in Different Activities
Make sure that every 45-90 minutes you use the brain differently. Meaning if you worked for 90 minutes behind the computer, then your break is best spent away from the computer and away from reading. For instance exercise, or have your lunch. Though not a requirement, it is also wise in your 90 minute increments of productivity to do different things as well, things that engage other parts of the brain (if possible).
Scientific research has shown that by working in these increments you can get more done in less hours in a given day, which means you have more time to enjoy life by increasing your productivity.