Productivity is considered a philosophy of life and a state of mind and being productive on a daily basis has a multitude of benefits. One of the most notable being a reduction in stress levels. When you are less stressed, your body can release more of the DOSE chemicals. These are the chemicals that create our happiness and leave us in a good mood.
What’s the science behind being happy?
DOSE stands for – Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins. These are all the different chemical elements of what keeps us smiling. Each one has a different kind of key to unlock the release of that chemical. Dopamine is known as the reward chemical, which can be released by the completion of a task, engaging in forms of self-care, eating good food and celebrating the little things.
Oxytocin is known as the love hormone, which can be released from spending time with friends, petting animals and positive physical contact. Serotonin is the good mood chemical, which you can experience after exercising, sitting in the sun and meditating. The last chemical which contributes to our happiness levels is Endorphins. Endorphins are the ‘pain reliever’ of the happy chemical collection. They are released after taking a relaxing hot bath, laughing with friends and even eating dark chocolate can produce this chemical.
With productive people, they are generally happier as they use their time efficiently. By using their time in both an effective and productive manner, they are increasing their chances of being happy.
To be a productive person, you don’t have to be completing a million tasks a day. Productivity means adopting an attitude for continued improvement – so the focus should be on completing the most meaningful and beneficial tasks, not how many tasks you can do in a day, as those meaningful tasks will more likely release one of the DOSE chemicals.
The correlation between happiness and productivity
An extensive study into happiness and productivity by Oxford University’s business school found that people at work were 13% more productive when they were happy. Happy employees remarked that having a positive work environment, a good work to life balance and being recognised for their hard work meant for a better day. Employees that were happier to go to work had better days as they felt more accomplished once leaving rather than feeling like they had not progressed at all during work.
Healthier and happier workers listed that these habits helped them manage to have a more productive day – following the 80/20 rule, tackling the challenging tasks in the morning, and eliminating distractions. Only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results. Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday — they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, breaking the next project down into steps and systematically removing tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.
By tackling the challenging tasks first thing in the morning, your brain is fresh and able to focus easier. Whereas if you leave these more lengthy and thought-provoking tasks for after lunch, half the day is over already, and your mind may not be able to focus as much on the task at hand. Productive people start their day with the hardest tasks and go on with the easier ones – this makes it feel like the day is probably better as it goes on.