Close-up of a key with a tag reading the number 13, sitting on a wooden desk.
Image: © vadim yerofeyev/

13 science-backed productivity hacks that could be the key to success

8 Nov 2019

When it comes to productivity, the top tips aren’t always as intuitive as you might expect, as this infographic shows.

One of the most important aspects of working life is not only seeking out ways to boost our productivity, but also unearthing methods of maintaining it. There is plenty of advice out there for those who are interested, but sometimes the sheer amount of tips and tricks can seem overwhelming.

With that in mind, Quick Quid has pulled together 13 strategies that have been backed by scientific research, highlighting that most useful hacks for increasing productivity aren’t always as intuitive as you might expect.

Multitasking, for example, is often cited as an in-demand skill in the working world. And yet, according to Stanford professor Clifford Nass, it’s not really as simple as that.

Nass set up a lab to research what he deemed ‘chronic multitaskers’. During his research, he placed particular focus on people that were dividing their attention across multiple media, and found that they were predominantly bad at dividing time and attention.

“Our brain can’t do two things at once. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking,” he said.

“They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organised; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another.”

Nass went on to compare multitaskers to overflowing filing systems. He cited inevitable disorganisation as their downfall and suggested that doing one task at a time is much more efficient.

What should you stop doing?

So, what can you do to ensure you’re not unknowingly following counterproductive advice? Or, more importantly, what should you stop doing?

Quick Quid’s infographic notes that closing down unnecessary distractions, including any virtual conversations you have on the go in the background, is the first step in the right direction. Regular meditation can also be effective for training yourself to focus by strengthening your attention span.

Check out the rest of the tips on the infographic below or click here to see a larger image.

Infographic of 13 things to stop dong today.

Image: Quick Quid

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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