A new study shows that stopping work 15 minutes early to reflect on the day can lead to a nearly 25 per cent increase in productivity – is it worth trying?
Businesses around the globe are constantly looking for new ways to boost employee productivity. In many situations, this is achieved (or attempted, at least) by cramming as much as possible into the working day, or even by working after hours. However, what if we told you that the key to greater productivity is doing just the opposite?
That’s what a recent Harvard Business School (HBS) study says, at least. The experiment demonstrated that employees who stopped work 15 minutes early every day to consciously reflect on what they learned and achieved became more productive down the road than those that didn’t. Counterintuitive as it might seem, the results were astounding.
“When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy.”
Employers looking to give their workers a bit of a productivity upsurge should consider reading more about the details of the study – perhaps it’s worth trying in your business!
Working less…makes you more productive?
In the study, the HBS researchers divided employees into two groups: one that reflected on the day and one that didn’t. After 10 days of this, the team that spent 15 minutes writing and reflecting showed a nearly 23 per cent increase in productivity. Not only that, but their productivity continued to be higher throughout the rest of the month. As counterintuitive as it might seem to work less and achieve more, HBS professor Francesca Gino claims that this mere 15 minute break actually leads to a performance boost.
“When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy,” she says. “They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.”
According to this study, it’s possible to get more productivity for less time.
Why does it work?
According to author Ben Fanning, one of the reasons this lifehack works so well is because of what’s known as ‘codifying’, or translating everyday experiences into practical wisdom. By physically writing down the lessons we’ve learned each day, we imprint them better into our brain, allowing us to then consciously use the same strategies tomorrow.
The best part about this lifehack? It’s so easy, and so inexpensive. Rather than spend a fortune on productivity training or employee engagement programs, businesses can potentially boost their employees’ efficiency – as well as their confidence in their work ability – with this simple trick.
For more tips on productivity and business efficiency, check out Reo’s blog today!
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