Mentally Preparing for Your Work Day Makes You More Productive: Study

Mentally Preparing for Your Work Day Makes You More Productive: Study

Checklists, mental notes and visualization can all help.

Taking a break from work on the weekends and in the evenings matters. More down time means you can increase your productivity.

Equally as important, a new study has found, is your ability to “attach” to your work, once the workday day begins. Research done at Portland State University has found that employees who reattach to work well in the mornings are more engaged throughout the day.

“We know that detachment from work during non-work hours is important because it creates positive outcomes like higher life satisfaction and lower burnout,” said Charlotte Fritz, an associate professor and co-author in the study.

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“Now we need to think about helping people mentally reconnect to work at the beginning of their work shift or day so they can create positive outcomes during their work day and be immersed in their work. It’s not enough to just show up.”

The study surveyed 151 participants from a broad range of industries. These include finance, the energy sector, public administration, information and communication and the health sector.

What can help get your motor running?

Visualizing your day, and thinking about tasks before it starts can help. Running over the things you need to do at work over breakfast, in the shower or while standing in line for a coffee is also a boon.

Researchers hope their work will inspire workplace change. By developing norms and routines that help employees reattach, such as a few quiet minutes to reflect before starting, short planning conversations that set out daily goals and encouragement that prioritizes the most important ones through short checklists, organizations can increase engagement and productivity, they say.

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