5 Weird Things That Make You More Productive

Have you hit midweek slump? Well, even if the coffee machine is broken and you left your to-do list at home, there’s a lot you can do to get yourself back on track. As an added benefit, some are ridiculous enough to be entertaining.


(Photo Credit: praziquantel/Flickr)

1. Smile.

“Think of your brain as a brilliant chemist; more than 100,000 chemical reactions go on in your brain every second,” writes Marla Tabaka at Inc. “When the brain produces the neurotransmitter known as serotonin, tension is eased. When it produces dopamine or norepinephrine, you are able to focus and take action, resulting in higher levels of productivity.”

Studies have shown that smiling isn’t just a sign that we’re already happy; the simple act of turning that frown upside down can produce the state, as well. It’s an easy way to soak your tired brain in happy chemicals, which in turn might make you more productive. (Or at least, care less about your lack of productivity.)

2. Look at cute animal pictures.

Researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan have found that looking at photos of cute animals boosts both productivity and friendliness.

3. Play video games.

Here you thought your awesome dotcom was being nice by stocking video games in the break room. It turns out, they’re just being smart. A study at Penn State found that playing video games bolsters problem solving skills.

4. Surround yourself with yellow.

“The color decreases melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy in the evening, giving us more energy to accomplish tasks,” Coral Arvon, PhD, director of behavioral health and wellness at the Pritikin Center, tells Yahoo! Health.

5. Chew gum.

A study from St. Lawrence University found that students who chewed gum 15 to 20 minutes before a test scored better than those who didn’t. Supposedly, chewing gum activates neurons, which translates to better critical thinking skills.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the weirdest thing you do to boost your productivity? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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